Men's HealthBy Onlymyhealth editorial teamMay 17, 2021

Erectile or sexual dysfunction is quite common today. Onlymyhealth editorial team spoke to Dr. Vasan SS, Andrologist about the relation between hypertension or high blood pressure and erectile dysfunction. According to him, usually, it is either caused by physical defects of blood flow to the penis or sometimes because of psychological causes. Consequent to high incidences of conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol and obesity, the physical defects which cause blood flow problems to the penis, causing erectile dysfunction are more common nowadays. Hypertension is quite common in India, many Indian men are even undetected. Those who are diagnosed with hypertension, are treated with medications that can lead to erectile dysfunction. 

Uncontrolled hypertensives can also suffer from erectile dysfunction as high blood pressure can lead to stiffening of the arteries leading to improper blood flow and reduced relaxation. Penile blood flow passes through a very narrow artery in the penis, and in people suffering from hypertension, this artery can be even further narrowed down, leading to an even more reduced blood flow to the penis, which results in erectile dysfunction. To reduce the risk of erectile dysfunction or to facilitate a better erection, some lifestyle and dietary changes can be implemented.

Cessation of smoking, limiting alcohol consumption, keeping obesity under control, maintaining a healthy basal metabolic index by taking a balanced, healthy diet, and having regular physical activity can help with erectile dysfunction. Additionally, certain dietary supplements or prescription pills that contain anti-oxidants, known to increase nitric oxide (the primary medium to facilitate an erection) in the body, can also help in maintaining healthy levels of nitric oxide. Foods such as spinach, carrots, chilies can provide a good amount of antioxidants, and foods that contain flavonoids can help increase oxygen levels in the blood, which can help in reversing the erectile dysfunction in the body.

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