Obese Men Might Not Be Able To Revive Their Sex Lives
Jan 06, 2009 15:12
How can obese men revive their sex lives? Exercise more and eat less.
A new study reports that one third of obese men with erectile
dysfunction, or ED, regained sexual function after two years of
treatment at a weight loss clinic.
Some experts say the finding is yet another reason to encourage
their patients to lose weight and take on healthy habits. A healthy
lifestyle will not only improve sexual function, but also provide
myriad other benefits to the patient.
And the results are tangible, not only during the patient's physical exam, but also in the bedroom.
"If a patient is obese and has erectile dysfunction, losing
weight has a positive effect of regaining sexual function in one in
three patients," says Christopher S. Saigal, a urologist at the David
Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California at Los
According to Ira Sharlip, assistant clinical professor of urology at
the University of California at San Francisco, and spokesman for the
American Urological Association, "There is increasing evidence that
erectile dysfunction is not just a separate condition in itself, but is
a marker of endothelial function (how well the cells that line blood
vessels work) and cardiovascular disease in general."
Other experts also agree the risk factors associated with
erectile dysfunction, including obesity, are similar to the risk
factors for heart disease.
"From a clinical point of view it makes sense to say that
erectile function can either be prevented or delayed or reduced by
avoiding risk factors that include diabetes, smoking, high blood
pressure, and obesity. It makes sense to say to patients, 'your choice
for developing erectile function is reduced if you avoid these risk
factors,' " says Sharlip.
Little Blue Pill or Lose Weight?
For some experts, this study suggests diagnosing Viagra is not the only
— or the best — way to treat obese men with erectile dysfunction.
"So many men are reaching for instant solutions to their medical
problems rather than making the harder and long term changes which lead
to health promotion," says Eli Coleman, director, Program in Human
Sexuality at the University of Minnesota Medical School. "Why lose
weight when you can just take a pill to lower your cholesterol, blood
pressure, increase your erectile capacity?"
Coleman has this recommendation for obese men with erectile
dysfunction: "Lose weight and exercise. Not only will it possibly help
their erections (unless there are other contributing factors), but will
increase their chances of living healthier longer — thus retaining
their sexual capacity till older age."
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