Cardiac conditions, such as heart disease, can lead to high blood pressure and directly cause the development of erectile dysfunction. It’s important to understand the signs of heart disease in men, and how that can be linked to erectile dysfunction. As high blood pressure develops, the lining of blood vessels and arteries harden and narrow. As this hardening of arteries (atherosclerosis) sets in, a man may not notice that blood flow throughout the body is decreasing until he begins to experience erectile dysfunction. The lasting impact on blood pressure and flow changes is the active reduction of the body’s ability to engorge the erectile tissues with adequate blood to maintain an erection.
As a result of the hardening of arteries and high blood pressure, a man’s ability to experience engorgement of the penis or erectile tissues may be one of the first signs of heart problems in men. Approximately 75% of men never return to prior levels of sexual activity after experiencing the signs of cardiovascular disease.
For more information, check out our “Guide to Erectile Dysfunction“.
Signs of Heart Disease in Men
Erectile dysfunction is often one of the first signs of developing cardiovascular conditions, such as heart disease. There are many other common signs of heart disease to watch for, including:
Many patients tend to initially brush off these symptoms as heartburn, indigestion or other gastric conditions. These symptoms may also mimic the signs of anxiety or panic attacks. Unfortunately, the risk of complications increases the longer you wait to acquire medical care after experiencing the symptoms of heart disease. Therefore, when you notice the any of the common signs of heart problems, it is of utmost importance to seek immediate medical care.
Acquiring Medical Care for Heart Disease
If your general practitioner cannot see you right away, you can acquire care at your local emergency department. At the hospital, your medical providers will perform diagnostic tests to assess the condition of your cardiovascular system.
You will likely have blood drawn and an electrocardiogram, or EKG, performed upon arrival. If these tests point to a potential cardiovascular issue, you may also need to undergo cardiac scans in an MRI or CT machine to acquire a positive diagnosis of heart disease.
If the initial tests indicate the development of heart disease, you will receive a referral to a cardiac specialist. The specialist may perform a chest x-ray and electrocardiogram, or echo, to identify and pinpoint damage to your heart and blood vessels. You may also need to have a stress test performed to assess your cardiovascular function under demanding conditions.
Heart Disease Treatments and Erectile Dysfunction
When treating heart disease, your doctor will likely prescribe medications that are intended to keep your blood pressure in the healthy range. Common blood pressure medications include:
- Loop, potassium-sparing or normal diuretics
- ACE inhibitors
- Alpha blockers
- Calcium channel blockers
- Blood vessel dilators
Many medications prescribed, including several above, cause erectile dysfunction while others, in particular blood vessel dilators, may improve erectile dysfunction. This fact complicates the treatment of erectile dysfunction and heart disease at the same time.
Blood Pressure and Erectile Dysfunction Medications Combined
Many of the most common and effective drugs for controlling high blood pressure dilate or widen arteries and blood vessels to increase blood flow in order to bring blood pressure to a safe level. The most common and effective drugs for erectile dysfunction are known as PDE-5 inhibitors and they also increase blood flow by dilating blood vessels.
Men can experience health risks by taking high blood pressure medications and erectile dysfunction drugs at the same time, a contributing factor is that in many cases both drugs work by dilating blood vessels. The medical term for this phenomenon is known as “contraindication.” The combination can present health risks such as hypotension or death. However, some of the most common side effects are:
- Nasal Congestions
Erectile Dysfunction Pump and Heart Disease
If you are one of the hundreds of thousands of men who experience heart disease or if you are taking high blood pressure mediations it is important to realize there are ways to treat erectile dysfunction without drugs. Blood Pressure medications and erectile dysfunction pumps are not contraindicated and are commonly used at the same time very safely. In a survey of 20,000 men who successfully use Soma Therapy ED to treat erectile dysfunction without drugs, 51% are either taking blood pressure medications or experience some form of heart disease.
Please consult your physician before beginning any erectile dysfunction treatment and thoroughly review any and all drugs that you are taking as well as existing medical conditions.