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High Cholesterol Levels Among the Causes of Impotence
- High cholesterol levels are rising and can cause problems with sexual functioning
- Artery plaque can build up while hardening arteries which affects the creation/maintenance of an erection. If there’s poor blood circulation, men can suffer from erectile dysfunction (ED)
- Know your cholesterol levels. There’s LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol and triglycerides
An increasing number of Americans either have or are at risk of developing high cholesterol levels. Unfortunately, this condition could have serious ramifications for your sex life. Understanding what causes elevated cholesterol levels and how too much cholesterol can cause problems with sexual functioning may give you another reason to adopt some serious lifestyle changes to protect your overall health.
What is High Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a fat-like substance that is produced naturally by your body and that can be found in many of the foods we eat. Your body does need cholesterol to function properly but when too much cholesterol is in your body it ends up being left to float through your arteries. When that happens, the fatty substance starts to cling to the inner walls of the arteries. The build-up mixes with other substances floating through the blood, starts to harden, and leads to atherosclerosis. This condition is one of the risk factors for heart disease and can increase your risk of a heart attack or stroke.
How Too Much Cholesterol Affects Sex
When that plague (the build up of cholesterol in the arteries) builds up, the blood flow through your arteries is reduced. As you probably already know, blood needs to flow into the penis in order to create and maintain an erection. If the blood isn’t capable of flowing in sufficient quantities, men can suffer from erectile dysfunction (ED) and this can make having a satisfactory sex life very difficult. Although high cholesterol does not always cause ED, the risk is greater. Research has shown that men who have total cholesterol levels over 240 have twice as great a risk of dealing with these problems in their lifetime.
Knowing Your Cholesterol Levels
Most people will have their cholesterol levels checked as part of an annual physical by their doctors. Normally, the results come back divided into four numbers: total, LDL, HDL, and triglycerides. If you’re concerned that you may develop erectile dysfunction as a result of your cholesterol, you should start to take action if your total cholesterol numbers begin creeping over 200 which is considered borderline. Because LDL cholesterol is a big factor in your plague build-up, you want to pay special attention to it as well. You want your numbers to stay below 130 mg/dL which is considered borderline high.
Dealing with Sexual Dysfunction
When high cholesterol affects your sex life, you can take several steps to improve the situation. The good news is that most medications meant to treat higher levels of cholesterol are not going to impair your sexual functioning. If your levels are quite high and you have a number of risk factors for heart disease or cardiovascular problems, your physician is likely to prescribe one of the drugs on the market.
To temporarily treat your erectile dysfunction, you can also take a prescription drug, such as Viagra, which makes the muscles less tense so blood can flow more easily into the penis. You should avoid non-prescription treatments because their effectiveness and side effects are questionable.
Finally, you can make important lifestyle changes to help reduce your cholesterol levels. Cutting down on saturated fat, exercising more, and working to increase your HDL cholesterol levels can help you restore your sex life to its former glory.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
|Bad Cholesterol Levels9 Dec 2008|