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Reducing the Risk of Erectile Dysfunction

The Mayo Clinic defines erectile dysfunction as the inability to achieve and maintain an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse.  This condition affects many men and grows more common with age, although it is not a natural condition of aging.  An occasional occurrence of ED is not necessarily cause for concern, but as an ongoing issue it can have negative consequences on self-confidence and relationships.  Moreover, ED may signal an underlying health issue requiring treatment.

Causes of ED

According to the Mayo Clinic, ED most often has a physical cause, including:

  • Heart disease;
  • Clogged blood vessels;
  • High cholesterol;
  • High blood pressure;
  • Diabetes;
  • Obesity;
  • Parkinson’s disease;
  • Multiple sclerosis;
  • Tobacco use;
  • Alcoholism; and
  • Use of certain prescription drugs.

On occasion, however, ED has a psychological cause, including:

  • Depression;
  • Anxiety;
  • Stress; and
  • Relationship problems.

If you are experiencing ongoing ED, you may not be aware that you suffer from some of the underlying physical conditions that can cause it.  Because some of these conditions are serious and require medical treatment, it is important to consult your doctor about persistent ED.

Risk factors for ED

Again according to the Mayo Clinic, certain factors may place you at greater risk for experiencing ED.  These factors include:

  • Certain medical conditions;
  • Being overweight;
  • Tobacco use;
  • Drug and alcohol use;
  • Certain medical treatments and medications;
  • Injuries;
  • Certain psychological conditions; and
  • Bicycling for prolonged periods of time.

How to reduce your risk for ED

There are some obvious ways to reduce your risk for ED, like losing weight and cutting back on (or eliminating) drug and alcohol use.  Quitting smoking can also help.  Now, a new study shows that a change in your diet may also help lower your risk.

As reported by the New York Times, new research shows that a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, tea and wine may be effective in lowering your risk for ED.  These foods contain flavonoids, which are antioxidants that have been shown to cause anti-inflammatory effects reducing the risk of some cancers and heart disease.  Researchers followed more than 25,000 men over the course of ten years, tracking their diets with food questionnaires every four years.  None of the men had ED at the beginning of the study.

By the end of the study, just over 35 percent of the men had reported ED.  After controlling for a variety of factors, the study’s authors determined that high consumption of flavonoids in men under 70 was associated with an 11 to 16 percent lower risk of ED.  Higher consumption of fruit (a major source for the relevant antioxidants) was associated with a 14 percent risk reduction.  The Times points out that, while the study does not prove causation, its design and large sample size suggest that its results are strong.

Reach out to our Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyers to learn more

Treatments for erectile dysfunction can include medication, injections or surgical procedures.   Medication can have negative side effects and surgical procedures can go wrong.   Furthermore, unscrupulous practitioners have been known to prey on men anxious for a quick solution.  Reach out to the experienced medical malpractice lawyers of Cohen, Placitella & Roth P.C. to learn more about your rights and options.


Contact us for your consultation (215) 567-3500