When talking about obesity, it’s common to concentrate on the well-known conditions often caused by being overweight. Most often, we hear of people with obesity who also have high cholesterol, diabetes, hypertension, or cardiovascular disease. But we rarely hear Erectile Dysfunction (ED) being discussed openly.
Obesity is a known risk factor for erectile dysfunction, especially through its connection to heart problems and diabetes. ED can be very frustrating and can contribute to issues such as anxiety and depression.
This article will explore the link between erectile dysfunction and obesity, lifestyle changes, and how our experienced Family Nurse Practitioner, Kara De La Pena, and the NP2GO team can help with erectile dysfunction in Oklahoma.
What Is Erectile Dysfunction?
Erectile Dysfunction (ED), commonly referred to as impotence, is the persistent inability to achieve or maintain an erection firm enough to satisfy sexual performance. ED can affect men of all ages, but it’s more prevalent in men between the ages of 40 to 79.
While E.D. is not considered dangerous, it is linked to more serious conditions such as depression, prostate cancer, heart problems, renal failure, and systemic vascular disease.
Therefore, experts recommend that men experiencing erectile dysfunction consult a medical professional to help identify and evaluate the underlying cause of their problem and develop an effective treatment plan.
ED can be a symptom of an underlying health condition, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or obesity, but other emotional and physical problems can lead to chronic erectile dysfunction, including:
- Alcohol abuse
- Hormonal imbalance
- Physical injury
- High cholesterol
- Some medications
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction?
The primary symptoms of erectile dysfunction are:
- Difficulty achieving erection
- Reduced sexual desire
- Premature or delayed ejaculation
- Changes in erection firmness
How Does Obesity Affect ED?
Obesity can cause ED by affecting various physiological, hormonal, and psychological mechanisms.
Obesity is linked to chronic low-level inflammation. Inflammation can damage blood vessels and impair endothelial function, affecting the dilation of blood vessels necessary for achieving and maintaining an erection.
Being overweight is also associated with hormonal imbalances, including reduced levels of testosterone. Testosterone is crucial for maintaining healthy sexual function, and its decrease can contribute to ED.
Apart from being a risk factor on its own, overweight/obesity often coexists with conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. These conditions contribute to atherosclerosis–the narrowing and hardening of arteries. This can obstruct blood flow to the pelvic region, including the arteries supplying the penis, leading to ED.
Obesity can also impact mental health issues such as depression and anxiety, which can cause sexual dysfunction. It can also affect body image and self-esteem, leading to psychological stressors that cause sexual performance anxiety and ED.
Can Weight Loss Help with Erectile Dysfunction?
Weight loss can reduce, if not entirely cure, erectile dysfunction. Losing weight can be the most effective way to regain good erectile function.
In one study that looked into the link between erectile dysfunction and weight loss, more than 30% of men in the weight loss trial reported being able to resume their regular sexual function.
They also exhibited lower levels of oxidative and inflammatory indicators, which can also affect the ability to achieve and sustain an erection.
The study further showed that men with ED can lose weight without committing to extreme means. All the participants did was cut their daily caloric intake by 300 and increase their weekly physical activity. The best strategies for losing extra weight and belly fat are eating less and exercising more.
Losing weight is beneficial in several ways. It may enhance your physical health, improving conditions like hypertension that can lead to ED. Losing weight through a diet change will keep your arteries from further narrowing and clogging, allowing blood to flow more effectively.
Losing weight also increases self-esteem and a feeling of confidence. It’s much easier to leave bedroom anxieties behind when feeling and looking your best. Feeling good about yourself and having a positive self-image might play a greater role in your sexual performance and stamina.
How to Lose Weight to Help Erectile Dysfunction
To lose weight to help erectile dysfunction, you need to adopt a few changes to your lifestyle. There’s no shortcut to losing weight and regaining control over your health. Losing weight and keeping it off needs long-term lifestyle adjustments to benefit you now and in the future.
Some of the best ways to lose weight include:
Regular exercise is a major component of weight loss. There isn’t always a one-size-fits-all strategy regarding how much exercise you do and how you choose to stay in shape.
However, you should strive for 30 minutes a day of moderate-intensity exercise. This might be any activity that increases your heart rate, such as walking, swimming, bike riding, skipping rope, taking a fitness class, or attending a gym session.
Simple lifestyle changes are another easy way to promote your weight loss efforts. Some suggestions are using the stairs instead of the elevator, taking a stroll during your lunch break, walking to work one day a week, and occasionally standing while working.
2. A healthy diet
Diet is another important factor in losing weight. It includes what you drink and eat, when you eat, and how much you drink.
Try increasing the amount of whole grains, lean protein, healthy fats, and fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet. Restrict your intake of snacks, soft drinks, and sweets.
Limit your portion sizes and ensure you’re drinking enough water. Water is healthier than juice and soft drinks and can help reduce food cravings.
Consider tracking your food and beverages in a food diary to evaluate your eating habits. You might observe a pattern of picking foods heavy in fat and salt or unconsciously snacking habits throughout the afternoon.
Logging everything you eat and drink can make it much easier to track your calorie intake and reduce it when needed.
You can use a calorie calculator to determine how many calories you should eat daily to lose weight.
3. Medicated weight loss
When exercise and diet plans fail, weight loss medications can help you succeed in shedding pounds. At NP2GO weight loss clinic of Oklahoma, we offer FDA-approved prescription medications that, when combined with exercise and diet, can help you lose weight. You can choose between injectables or orals.
Weight loss medications work by suppressing appetite or keeping the body from absorbing and storing energy from food as body fat. It’s beneficial to suppress appetite, particularly if you find delicious foods that make you feel hungry even when you are not.
We offer several weight loss injections (pens), including Wegovy, Mounjaro, Retatrutide, and Zepbound. These injectable weight loss medications are for overweight adults or adults with obesity. They’re injected once a week and work by mimicking hormones that target areas of the brain that regulate appetite.
They make you feel full for less food to help you lose weight.
We can prescribe these medications virtually. Simply book a virtual appointment and complete the medical consultation. We’ll review your medical history and use this information to give you a personalized weight loss treatment to improve your ED.
Our telemedicine service can also deliver your order to your home or address. We’ll be following up on you and sending you email reminders to reorder your medication. And we’ll want you to update us on your progress at every stage of your treatment.
Can losing weight help with erectile dysfunction?
Losing weight may help with erectile dysfunction. In one study, those who followed a strict diet and exercise regimen saw significant improvements in erectile performance and decreased inflammatory marker levels
Can belly fat cause erectile dysfunction?
Yes, excess belly fat can cause erectile dysfunction. Belly fat, especially visceral fat, is linked to inflammation, hormonal imbalances, and conditions like insulin resistance. These factors can disrupt vascular health, affecting blood flow to the pelvic region and leading to difficulties in achieving and maintaining erections.
Does weight affect penis size?
While weight can influence the perception of penis size, it doesn’t directly affect the actual size of the penis. Excess weight can lead to a pad of fatty tissue around the pubic area, which may make the penis appear smaller
Manage Weight Loss With NP2GO Clinic and Regain Control of Your Sexual Health
If you or your partner are experiencing ED, help is available. While talking with a healthcare professional about ED can be uncomfortable, it’s necessary to preserve your great quality of life and close relationships with your spouse.
At NP2GO Clinic, we understand that ED is a sensitive and private issue, and we work hard to create a secure, comfortable environment.
We start with an initial evaluation conducted by a practitioner to determine the most effective course of action to help you lose weight, a customized weight loss plan supported with medication, and ongoing support from a health coach and weight loss team to ensure you stay on track.
Losing weight can help with the plumbing component of ED, enhance your ego, and improve your performance in the bedroom. You need to feel good about yourself to overcome performance anxiety and other issues in the sex arena. It’s as simple as getting into shape.
If you’re having erectile dysfunction problems and are seeking ED treatment in Oklahoma, schedule an appointment to have a consultation with an experienced and specially trained medical staff. You can also call the team at 405-696-7003.