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Physical Causes of Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile Dysfunction is not simply 'all in the head' as was previously believed. In fact, erectile dysfunction may be one of the first signs of an underlying medical problem.

Most cases of erectile dysfunction are usually a result of certain health conditions, medicines, or habits that interfere with blood flow around the body and penis.

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Physical risk factors can contribute to erectile dysfunction

Prostate Cancer
Surgery for prostate cancer can cause erectile dysfunction by unintentionally injuring nerves and arteries that run near the prostate and act upon the penis.

Diabetes is a life-long disease marked by high levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood. There are two main types of diabetes, Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Type 1 can be caused by too little insulin (a hormone produced by the pancreas to regulate blood sugar) and type 2 by resistance to insulin, or both. Diabetes is a common risk factor for erectile dysfunction, and men with diabetes are up to four times as likely as other men to develop ED. They also tend to get it at a younger age. If you are suffering from ED it is very important to rule out Diabetes before buying treatments online. While drugs like Viagra may fix the problem in the short term, you may do irreversible nerve damage in the long term. You can have you blood sugar level tested by your GP or buy a kit in any pharmacy.

ED is more likely to happen as a man gets older, particularly after he's 60. The occurrence of some degree of ED is 39% in men 40 years old, and 67% in those aged 70 years. ED can happen at any age, even after years of satisfying sex. Nevertheless, age itself doesn't cause ED. Rather, it's the more frequent occurrence in of certain health issues in older men, such as vascular diseases and diabetes, that accounts for the increase in ED with age.

High-blood pressure
High blood pressure (also called hypertension) can cause changes in your blood vessels leading to them stiffen or narrow. This can restrict the blood flow to your penis, leading to erectile problems. Some medicines used to treat high blood pressure can also contribute to erectile dysfunction, you should be aware of any medications with such side affects.

Heart disease and high cholesterol
Heart disease and high cholesterol levels can affect the flow of blood to your penis, leading to erectile dysfunction. High cholesterol levels are responsible for a build up in fatty deposits in the blood vessels leading to disturbances in the flow or a complete block in blood flow. Men with heart disease are twice as likely as other men to develop erectile problems.

Excessive alcohol use has long been recognized as a cause of ED, leading to the euphemism "brewer's droop". Alcoholism, in addition to causing nerve damage, can lead to atrophy of the testicles and lower testosterone levels which can lead to erectile dysfunction.

Studies have show that smoking increases the risk of erectile dysfunction by around 50% for men in their 30s and 40s. Cigarette smoke contains more than 4000 chemicals and many of these have been implicated as a cause of disease to the vascular (blood) system. With regards to the penis this directly impacts on the arteries and veins that supply blood to the penis.

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