Erectile Dysfunction May Be a Symptom of Something More Serious

When it comes to men’s health, there are two words that really make you stand up and take notice: Erectile dysfunction (ED). While this condition can often be a cause of emotional anxiety and considerable frustration, it may also be trying to tell you something about your overall health. And you should heed the warning.

Here at Lafferty Family Care, we specialize in general and preventive health care, and ED is one of those symptoms that not only has immediate repercussions, it could be signaling more serious issues. Our goal is to give our patients in Bentonville, Arkansas, the necessary tools and information so that they can take control of their health. With that in mind, here’s a look at why ED may be a symptom of something more serious.

Defining ED

Erectile dysfunction is defined as the ability to get, or maintain, an erection long enough for sexual intercourse. Most men suffer from ED at some point in their lives, which is perfectly natural. These bouts may be one time only or last a week or two, but they usually resolve themselves on their own.

If you’ve been struggling with ED for longer periods, and you’re persistently unable to achieve an erection more than 50% of the time, it’s likely that there’s an underlying problem -- and you should seek treatment.

The build-up of an erection

To better understand what may be behind your ED, it’s helpful to review all that goes into a seemingly simple process, which is anything but simple. An erection involves several systems in your body, notably your brain and vascular system.

Your brain is ground zero for your erection. During arousal, which is processed in your brain, your brain activate your nerves, which call for the arteries in your penis to open and your veins to close, trapping blood that creates the erection. After ejaculation, your veins open back up again, draining your penis of the extra blood.

This all means that a failure to achieve an erection can happen anywhere along this back-and-forth messaging between your brain and your body.

The common culprits

When it comes to ED, there are several potential culprits involving your physical health. The most common one is a compromise in the blood circulation to your penis. This can be caused by any number of cardiovascular issues, with high blood pressure and high cholesterol leading the charge. These conditions are signs that your blood flow isn’t working well because of plaque buildup in your blood vessels.

These conditions have the potential to become very serious, making ED the least of your worries. So if you’re experiencing persistent ED, let us take a look to make sure that you’re not suffering from a vascular disease.

Neurological disorders can also play a large role in ED. Anything that disrupts the nerve impulses between your brain and your penis can cause ED, and the primary suspects in this category are diabetes, stroke, and multiple sclerosis.

Injury or direct nerve damage through trauma may also play a role, so if you’ve sustained an injury to your groin, it’s worth investigating to see whether it may be behind your ED.

What we can do

There is good news in all of this. If your ED is signaling a larger problem, and we catch it in time, we can not only address your ED but work on the root cause, too. By proactively treating your ED, we can improve your sexual health, as well as your long-term health, allowing you to enjoy a great quality of life for years to come.

If you’re struggling with ED, don’t wait to call us. Or you can use the easy online scheduling tool on this website to book an appointment.

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