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Erectile dysfunction: Sex therapist reveals how to avoid it

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It’s perfectly normal to occasionally fail to get or keep an erection. But if the problem is persistent, it could signal you have erectile dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction is often attributable to unhealthy lifestyle decisions, such as a poor diet.

Certain dietary choices can certainly increase the risk of men getting erectile dysfunction.

Lloyds Pharmacy explains: “As erectile dysfunction is a blood flow related problem, your blood vessels need to be in good health, therefore by eating healthy foods, it reduces your risk of common vascular problems caused by high cholesterol, high blood sugar, high triglyceride levels and obesity.”

According to the health body, you should try to “limit” your intake of red meat, celexa vs paxil weight gain full fat dairy, sugary food or drink and food with excessively unhealthy fats.

Conversely, a Mediterranean diet low in red meat may help to ward off erectile dysfunction.

That’s the conclusion of a recent study published in the journal Jama Network Open.

The study sought to assess the association between adherence to a diet quality index based on healthy dietary patterns and erectile dysfunction in men.

Researchers focussed on 21,469 men in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, which was set up to evaluate a series of hypotheses about men’s health relating nutritional factors to the incidence of serious illnesses, such as cancer, heart disease, and other vascular diseases.

The researchers found a higher diet quality, based on adherence to either a Mediterranean or Alternative Healthy Eating Index 2010 diet, was associated with lower levels of erectile dysfunction.

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This dietary pattern emphasises the consumption of vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes, and fish or other sources of long-chain fats, as well as avoidance of red and processed meats.

The researchers concluded: “This cohort study found that adherence to healthy dietary patterns was associated with a lower risk for erectile dysfunction, suggesting that a healthy dietary pattern may play a role in maintaining erectile health.”

I’ve changed my diet – how long until I see results?

Seeing a change after altering your diet depends entirely on the individual.

Lloyds Pharmacy explains: “The severity of erectile dysfunction prior to changing your diet and other major health problems will affect this.”

The health body continues: “If you don’t see a change, perhaps consider other lifestyle factors that might also be affecting it such as, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption or drug use.

“Make an appointment with your GP to discuss investigation and treatment.”

If simple changes do not remedy the problem, your doctor may recommend a more specialist intervention.

According to the NHS, medicine such as sildenafil (sold as Viagra) is also often used by doctors to treat erectile dysfunction. It’s also available from pharmacies.

Because of changes in regulations, you no longer need a prescription to get sildenafil, explains the NHS.

“But you’ll have to have a consultation with the pharmacist to make sure it’s safe for you to take it,” says the health body.

There are other similar medicines called tadalafil (Cialis), vardenafil (Levitra) and avanafil (Spedra) that work in a similar way.

“You’ll still need a prescription to get these medicines,” says the NHS.

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