It has been known for several years now, that erectile dysfunction (ED) is often a harbinger of serious medical issues for men. But in the Mayo Clinic Olmstead County Study published in the American Heart Journal (August 2012), it was found that men with ED, aged 40-49, were fifty times more likely to have a heart attack than their peers who had no ED.
FIFTY times! That’s incredible! This means that having ED figures more into the risk of heart failure than obesity, smoking, cholesterol and family history! In other words, the younger you are, if you have ED, the greater the need for you to go to your doctor.
The problem is, you still have a major hurdle to overcome: Your doctor. Believe it or not, 86% of doctors never ask their patients about their erections. Many doctors are simply uncomfortable with the topic themselves – remember, they are just people too.
So, there you are, in the doctor’s office. You’re there for a physical – or some made up excuse since you did not want to tell the receptionist why you were really there. As the doctor leaves, you mention “things aren’t going so well in the bedroom.” Whether or not this person remains your doctor is going to be decided in the response. If he says, “At your age? You’re working too hard. You’re stressed out. Take some Viagra,” you really need to think about looking for a new doctor.
The doctor you want to work with should say something like, “At your age? We need to talk.” He then should ask you a whole bunch of questions and then schedule you for some blood tests, listen to your heart, listen to your lungs, and ask even more questions. If your internist can’t figure out the problem, he should send you to a urologist who specializes in sexual medicine. Eventually, you should have an answer to your ED and a plan of action to work on it.
Older men were let off the hook in this study. The Olmstead County Study found that as men age, ED becomes less of an indicator of heart disease. So, if a 75 year old man has ED, it could be from a number of different causes – heart disease is simply part of that mix.
There are several red flags that every man needs to recognize. Erectile Dysfunction is a big red flag that should motivate a man to seek medical help. It can save his life (and his sex life too)!