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Obesity and Erectile Dysfunction: What Is the Connection?

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Being obese can increase your risks of developing certain conditions including heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. And, while the above conditions may not be news to anyone, you may not be aware that obesity can also be related to an increased risk of erectile dysfunction.

Below, we will cover just how obesity and ED are related, including if obesity increases your risk of ED, just what is happening in the body to cause changes to your erection, and if losing excess weight can help improve erectile dysfunction.

Does obesity increase your risk of developing ED?

Yes, being overweight or obese as a man makes it more likely that you will deal with ED. One estimate is that overweight or obese men may be 30-90% more likely to have erectile dysfunction as compared to normal-weight subjects.

The amount of extra weight that you have on you may also play a role in increasing the risk for ED. For instance, if your BMI (body mass index) is between 25-30 kg/mthis puts you at 1.5 times the risk of developing ED, and if your BMI is over 30 kg/mthis means you may have 3 times greater risk of sexual dysfunction as compared to men in a normal BMI range.

How does being overweight have a negative effect on your erection?

There may be a few things happening that cause carrying extra weight to have a negative effect on your sexual functioning. 

Below, are just a few things that could be part of the mechanism behind obesity and the increased risk of ED.:

  1. Obesity can lead to lowered testosterone levels and increased estrogen levels - Having testosterone levels below the average range and estrogen in an elevated range can lead to reduced sexual desire and erectile dysfunction in men.

  1. Obesity can increase oxidative and inflammatory activity in the body - Inflammation and oxidative stress can have a negative effect on your blood vessels and lead to endothelial dysfunction. When the endothelium in your vessels is not functioning properly, dilation and constriction to achieve adequate blood flow to the penis may be interrupted.

  1. Obesity is a risk factor for developing other conditions known to contribute to ED - While obesity is an independent risk factor for ED even if you have no other conditions, it can also increase your risk of developing other contributing factors. Diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart disease can all develop along with increased weight, and they may also contribute to worsening erectile function.

  1. Obesity may contribute to psychological causes of erectile dysfunction - If you are not happy or comfortable in your body, it may make it more difficult to feel in the mood with your partner and this mental factor may make it more difficult to perform. Feeling more confident in your body may help you regain some erectile function and improve your sex life if the root cause is psychological.

Can losing weight help improve erectile dysfunction?

Luckily, studies have shown that losing weight if you are overweight or obese can help to improve erectile dysfunction symptoms in some men. 

In one study, 110 obese men with ED were randomized into two groups for a two-year-long trial. In one group, the men were put on a reduced-calorie diet, met with a nutritionist, given dietary and exercise advice, and worked with a physical trainer to help lose weight, in the second group, the men were just given general oral advice on weight loss and exercise. After 2 years, the men in the exercise and diet groups lost on average about 15% body weight, their endothelial and inflammatory markers were all reduced, and 31% had their erectile function restored. Of the more sedentary group, only 5% had restored erectile functioning at the end of 2 years.

Obesity and ED: Bottom line

Obesity can be an independent risk factor for erectile dysfunction, and 79% of men with ED present with an overweight or obese BMI over 25 kg/m2.

The connection between ED and being obese may have to do with a few factors including lowered testosterone levels, increase endothelial dysfunction, increased baseline inflammation in the body, increased risks of having other weight-related conditions that negatively affect erectile function, and psychological ED due to body image and confidence levels.

Studies have shown that losing weight to get closer to a normal range can help improve erectile dysfunction symptoms in some men.

If you are dealing with ED and you think that it may stem from your weight, it may be a good idea to see if losing weight through diet and exercise can help you reduce your erectile dysfunction symptoms. Always be sure to speak with your doctor before starting a workout routine to select one that fits your lifestyle and current fitness level.

Strut Health ED medications prescribed online & shipped free

Getting to a healthier weight range is a great starting point for helping to address your ED symptoms. But, some men may need some additional help while they are on their journey to improved health.

Here at Strut, we offer the most commonly prescribed ED medications Sildenafil (generic Viagra) and Tadalafil (generic Cialis) through a quick telemedicine visit. 

If you are interested in seeing if a prescription ED medication can help you with your erectile dysfunction, you can have a free online questionnaire-based consultation with our U.S. licensed doctors in about 15 minutes.

If you are a good fit for treatment, your medication can be shipped to your front door with our free shipping.

If you have questions during your treatment, or need dosing adjustments on your next refill, our team and doctors are available for free unlimited follow-ups.

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