More than 20% of the population suffers from erectile dysfunction (ED) impotence) and the number is increasing every year due to wrong lifestyle habits. There are several reasons why you develop this disorder and preventing erectile dysfunction is all about addressing the causes.
A survey shows that over 48% of males have unhealthy eating habits, a sedentary lifestyle without much physical activity, bad sleeping habits, and wrong habits of smoking and drinking alcohol. This type of wrong lifestyle is the leading cause of reduced sexual drive. You may also be harboring certain health conditions, which you should promptly address with medical help to keep these under control to prevent developing erectile dysfunction.
In a person having erectile problems, the treatment of ED essentially deals with treating any existing causes or risk factors.
Essential steps to prevent erectile dysfunction
Maintain healthy weight will help prevent ED
Obesity causes erectile dysfunction along with a lot of other health problems. If you are obese, take steps to lose weight. You can do this by following the right type of diet that will help you lose extra pounds. You also have to exercise regularly with a plan to lose weight.
Maintain proper nutrition
You must eat well and have a diet that contains adequate amounts of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes. There are certain foods and vitamins that specially help to prevent erectile dysfunction. Special attention should be given to intake of the following:
- Zinc. Zinc helps in raising testosterone levels. It is found in most foods that are rich in proteins. Non-vegetarian sources of zinc include beef, lamb, pork, chicken, turkey, salmon, and shellfish. Vegetarian sources include milk, yogurt, cheese, whole grain cereals, brown rice, potato, beans, and peanuts. Pumpkin seeds are very rich in zinc.
- Vitamin C. Vitamin C increases the flow of blood to the various parts of the body, including the penis. Food sources include fruits such as oranges, lemons, lime, strawberries, guava, leeches, mangoes, and peaches. Vegetable sources include broccoli, gourd, green cabbage, cauliflower, tomato, peppers, and potatoes.
- Arginine, an amino acid produced by the body, helps in the production of nitric acid which keeps the blood vessels relaxed, thus contributing to the extra flow of blood. Food sources of arginine include nuts and seeds, meats, fish, shellfish, chicken, eggs, turkey, milk and milk products.
Exercise daily to prevent male impotence
Regular exercise helps to increase blood flow to all parts of the body including the penis. More blood flow to the penis means a better erection. Aerobic exercises such as walking, cycling, and swimming daily will go a long way to boost your sexual performance for a long time throughout life.
Practice safe sex
Indulge in sex on a regular basis to keep your juices flowing and exercise your penis. Several studies have shown that men who have sex less often have trouble with penile erection. To prevent ED, make sure you have sex as often as you can.
Check your diabetes and cholesterol
You should check your blood sugar for diabetes and cholesterol levels regularly on a six-monthly basis after the age of 40 years. Be more particular about this, if you have a family history. Any abnormality should be promptly addressed. Diabetes and cholesterol usually co-exist and can negatively affect the blood supply to the penis and its erection. Diabetes and ED coexist often because diabetes is the most potent cause of ED.
Improve your lifestyle
Lifestyle improvements include no smoking and no alcohol. Alcohol in moderation, however, of 2 pegs for men and 1 peg for women may be allowed, if there are no other contraindications.
Learn to manage stress
You must learn to increase your mental stress thresh hold. There are quite a few stress management techniques that will help. If under extreme mental stress, do not hesitate to talk to a psychoanalyst. That talk can give you tremendous relief and prevent that stress and anxiety from “putting you down”.
Men who have sleeping disorders like insomnia are more likely to have ED. According to a study published in 2016, 63% of men suffering from obstructive sleep apnea also had erectile dysfunction. Getting good sleep is important in view of other health complications of sleeplessness. There are ways to learn the techniques to sleep well.
Drink plenty of water
Drink an adequate quantity of water ( 2.5 to 3 liters) spaced out during the day. Its magical benefits for you are tremendous. Difficulty in getting and keeping an erection firm enough for sex could be due to dehydration. Drinking water will help increase your blood volume, resulting in more blood flow to the penis and prevent erectile dysfunction.
Be wary of certain drugs that can cause ED
Certain health disorders like hypertension, Parkinsonism, and depression require medication to be taken lifelong. Long-term intake of such drugs can cause erectile dysfunction because they can have an effect on a man’s hormones, weaken the nerves, or reduce blood circulation, resulting in an increased risk of ED.
Some common drugs that can cause ED include:
- Antihypertensives (high blood pressure drugs).
- Parkinson’s disease drugs.
- Antiarrhythmics (drugs for irregular heartbeat).
- Muscle relaxants.
- Chemotherapy medications.
- Prostate cancer drugs.
- Anti-seizure medications.
If required to be taken, consult your Physician and update him of your apprehension about taking these drugs. He will know best, what to do.