Although your penis cannot predict if you will get hit by a car tomorrow, it can still provide important clues about your life expectancy. The function of your penis depends on the same blood supply and pressure as your heart. Without adequate blood pressure, your penis might not stay erect, and your heart health could begin to decline. Although there are other causes of erectile dysfunction, the main cause is poor cardiovascular health.
Recent studies confirm this link with cardiovascular health, causing men to fear the condition even more than before, not only for their relationships’ sake, but also for their own longevity. According to a study performed by The University of Mississippi, the development of erectile dysfunction signals a 70 percent increase in the risk of premature death. Within five years of receiving an erectile dysfunction diagnosis, most men end up suffering a heart attack or other serious cardiovascular event.
Atherosclerosis, or plaque buildup in the arteries, is the condition that causes trouble for both the penis and the heart. The penis is the first to show the signs of cardiovascular distress because of the small size of the blood vessels in that area. As the plaque buildup reaches new heights, the larger blood vessels of the heart start to struggle to pump enough blood through the partially blocked pathways.
Plaque deposits in the arteries develop in response to poor lifestyle practices. Men who do not regularly exercise or eat a healthy diet run a serious risk of developing atherosclerosis. Smoking, aging and genetics also play an important role in this condition’s development. Luckily, there is still hope for those suffering from the earliest sign of atherosclerosis — erectile dysfunction. If you have dealt with this condition for at least three months, you must put your embarrassment to the side and discuss the problem with a doctor.
Physicians can recommend noninvasive treatments, such as a healthy diet and exercise program, in an attempt to naturally reverse the plaque buildup in the arteries. Other noninvasive treatments include taking blood pressure medication and quitting smoking. If the noninvasive treatments do not work in a short period of time, or the atherosclerosis symptoms worsen or spread, physicians will usually move onto the invasive options. In cases of total artery blockage, the invasive treatments may be performed on an emergency basis.
To reverse the effects of atherosclerosis, surgeons can perform cardiac catheterization to view the blockage and place a widening stent in the artery. Alternatively, a man may need to have bypass surgery performed to reroute blood flow around the blockage to restore the health of the heart, penis and other bodily systems impacted by this condition. After making a full recovery from surgery, men should continue healthy lifestyle practices, such as maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly, to avoid the prompt return of plaque deposits in the arteries.
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