Erectile dysfunction (ED), also referred to as impotence, is one of the most common ailments afflicting mature men worldwide. The main symptom of impotence is the inability to achieve and/or maintain an erection suitable for sexual intercourse. Reasons for impotence include stress, hormonal deficiency, psychological issues, pelvic trauma, neurological problems, smoking, alcohol abuse, or conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Treatment will largely be determined by the underlying cause and can range from oral prescriptions, direct injections to the penis, psychological counseling, mechanical sex aids or surgery.

What many impotent men are unaware of is that their weight can be a factor in their condition. Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health has concluded that obesity and a sedentary lifestyle can be one of the reasons for impotence. In the study, obesity was defined as a body mass index of more than 30 kilograms in weight divided by the square of height in meters. Of the men in the study who reported having impotence, a staggering 80% of those were also obese or overweight.

Some of those obese men were also diagnosed with illnesses such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease, which also contributed to their becoming impotent. These and other medical conditions have been known to cause impotence in men mostly because there is a failure in the body’s blood circulation. This is a problem because in order to achieve an erection, the relaxed shaft needs to fill with blood. If something interferes with the blood supply then the erection will surely deflate or will not rise at all, which can be attributed to hardened arteries, high blood sugar levels or high blood pressure. Even if an obese man does not have any of these conditions, the sheer weight of their paunches would constrict the blood flow to their extremities.

Poor dietary choices and a sedentary lifestyle sets the stage for impotence. The popularity of convenience and fast food means that many men are not getting the right nutrients into their bodies and instead are ingesting junk. The build up of this junk becomes fat when the excess calories are not burnt off during physical exertion. During the study, some men were advised to undertake a regular diet and exercise regimen. Some of those who followed reported a resurgence in their erectile function. Exercise also raises the body’s level of endorphins, which gives men more energy to become active. Obesity has also been linked with depression, so in cases of psychologically-caused impotence improving their general feeling of well-being and helps combat the blues.

Doctors believe that if men are told that their sexual health is at risk when they become obese, they are more likely to undergo a regular exercise and diet regimen. After all, they don’t want to be robbed of their manhood because they indulge themselves eating greasy burgers and never getting up from their couches. For impotent men, winning the fight against obesity means they can once again raise their staffs with pride.

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