Erectile dysfunction (ED)
I am 40 years old and have been married for 10 years with 2 children. Recently, I experienced some difficulty in erection. Will any change in lifestyle help me overcome this problem? I am not keen on taking medicine?
You are suffering from erectile dysfunction (ED) or 'impotence.' This is the inability to keep the penis erect or firm enough for sexual intercourse. Don’t ignore it as this can be an early warning sign for more serious health problems such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
There are many causes of ED. But the most common lifestyle-related causes are smoking, obesity and stress. Making lifestyle changes may improve ED and your overall health. These include:
1. Exercise regularly: A study from Harvard University showed that a 30- minute walk a day would reduce the risk of ED by 41%. Other studies suggested that moderate exercise helped obese men with ED improve their sexual performance. Kegel exercises, by strengthening the pelvic floor muscles, can improve erection.
2. Eat a well-balanced diet: In the Massachusetts Male Aging Study, eating a diet rich in fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and fish and reducing the intake of red and processed meats and refined sugar, lessened the likelihood of ED. Food fortified with vitamins, especially Vitamin B12, helps ED in older people.
3. Regular medical check-ups: Reduction of blood sugar, cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure have been known to help lower the risk of ED.
4. Maintaining a healthy weight: This is a good strategy for avoiding ED. Obesity raises risks for vascular disease and diabetes, the two major causes of ED.
5. Stop smoking and avoid excessive alcohol consumption.
6. Reduce stress: Learn how to relax. Give yourself some "quiet time "and get enough rest and sleep. This will help your body recover from stressful events and ED.