Now accepting Telehealth appointments. Schedule a virtual visit.

The Link Between Your Diet and Erectile Dysfunction

The Link Between Your Diet and Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a condition in which a man has trouble achieving or maintaining an erection. ED is fairly common, affecting about 30 million American men.

A long list of medical and lifestyle factors can contribute to ED. For example, it’s more prevalent in smokers and men living with Type 2 diabetes or vascular disease. Certain medications can also cause or worsen the condition. 

To learn more from the National Institutes of Health about the many possible causes of ED, click here.

As with so many other medical issues, there may also be a link between diet and ED. No food magically cures ED, of course, but certain types of eating patterns may increase or decrease your risk.

At Encino Park Family Health & Wellness Clinic in San Antonio, Texas, our care providers recognize how frustrating ED can be for men and their sexual partners. Our team is fully committed to helping patients manage this condition. Here, our providers offer some insight into potential links between ED and diet.

ED and excess weight

One of the clearest diet-related links is between ED and excess weight. Men who are overweight or obese experience ED at higher rates than men who are at normal weight.

Why does this happen? There are a few possible reasons. First, excess weight can have an impact on your testosterone levels. Because testosterone plays an important role in mental and physical sexual responsiveness, having low testosterone can interfere with sexual pleasure.

In addition, men who are overweight or obese are more likely than normal-weight men to have medical conditions that contribute to ED, such as Type 2 diabetes and heart or vascular disease. They’re also more likely to take medications (such as the ones listed here) that increase the risk of ED.

If your provider has told you that your weight may be contributing to your ED, a weight loss regimen that includes healthy eating and moderate exercise can help you lose weight and manage conditions such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease.

ED and vascular disease

Vascular disease can develop when cholesterol builds up in blood vessels. Although you may think of vascular disease as affecting the heart or brain, it can also affect other parts of your body, such as your penis. When your blood isn’t flowing properly throughout your body or in your penis, you may experience ED.

If your provider has told you that vascular disease may be contributing to your ED, be sure to follow all of their treatment recommendations, including taking prescribed medications. And if you’re overweight or obese, talk with your provider about making a plan to lose weight.

Eating for ED

No individual food can eliminate ED. However, eating a Mediterranean-style diet may help with ED, according to a 2020 study published in the journal JAMA Network Open. 

The study found that men who most closely followed a Mediterranean-style eating plan had a 7-22% lower risk of ED (depending on their age) than those who were least likely to follow that style of eating.

A Mediterranean-style eating plan is built around healthy amounts of fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and fish, as well as avoiding red meats and processed meats.

Have your ED evaluated

If you’re experiencing ED or other types of sexual dysfunction, our providers invite you to schedule an evaluation to determine what may be causing it and how it can best be treated. ED is nothing to be ashamed of, and it has a range of safe, effective treatments.

To schedule a consultation at Encino Park Family Health & Wellness Clinic, call 210-568-5816 or request an appointment here on our website.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Is Heartburn Ever a Serious Health Problem?

Most people have occasional bouts of heartburn. But frequent heartburn can lead to potentially serious medical complications. Learn about how chronic heartburn could impact your health.

When to Consider a Botox Touch-Up

Do you want to improve your appearance, erase lines and wrinkles, and present your best self to the world? Botox® touch-ups can minimize the lines and wrinkles that make you appear older than you wish to look.

Fillers for Smoother Lips After You Quit Smoking

Congratulations on quitting smoking! That’s one of the best things you can do for your health and your appearance. Why not celebrate with lip fillers, which can give your smoke-free lips a chance to shine?

What to do About Sagging Skin After 50

Don’t let that sagging skin get you down. Our aesthetic care providers offer a full range of safe, effective, nonsurgical treatments that can help you look as young as you feel.

4 Important Benefits of Laser Acne Reduction

Tired of looking in the mirror and seeing acne-damaged skin? Feeling like your self-confidence could use a boost? Consider a safe, gentle laser treatment that could deliver these life-improving benefits.