4 Things That Make Men Less Virile
When it comes to protecting their health, many men tend to look the other way, especially if it means giving up things they love, such as alcohol, cigarettes, red meat and fatty foods. Unfortunately, when they disregard their overall health, men tend to endure an unexpected consequence. If you’re a man, you should know four things that can compromise sexual function.
Most men know that too much alcohol can inhibit their ability to perform sexually; however, few realize that it also poses long-term risk to their sexual function. In fact, a study published in the Indian Journal of Psychiatry found that 72 percent of subjects who engaged in chronic and persistent alcohol-use experienced some level of sexual dysfunction. If you’re having unexplained sexual problems, take a hard look at your drinking habits and try to cut back to see if alcohol is the cause.
A recent study out of the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research found that prescription painkillers have the ability to promote erectile dysfunction. In fact, the effects are so powerful, they can occur after only three months of taking oxycodone, hydrocodone and other opioid pain medications. While disturbing to most any man, this news is especially bad for men who suffer from chronic pain. According to Dr. Ken Collins, many patients arrive in his office due to concerns about the long-term effects of pain medications.
“Prescription painkillers aren’t the only medications that come with risk,” he said. “Over-the-counter drugs, such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen and other NSAIDs have been linked with an increased risk of heart failure, liver problems and gastrointestinal bleeding. Many of my temporomandibular joint disorder patients arrive in my office, because they’re tired of having to rely on pain medications to relieve their daily symptoms. They also don’t want to trade temporary relief for long-term health problems.”
These days, virtually everyone knows that smoking is linked with some deadly health problems, including emphysema, diabetes and lung and throat cancer. That said, numerous studies have shown that cigarette smoking can also cause erectile dysfunction. What’s not clear is whether the damage remains permanent after smokers quit their habits. Because smoking hardens blood vessels, it can wreak havoc on a man’s ability to perform sexually. If you smoke, you may want to ditch your cigarettes before you suffer potentially irreversible consequences.
We generally equate fatty foods with heart problems; however, they also play a part in harming a man’s ability to perform. Because their sexual abilities depend on good cardiovascular health, men need to eat heart-healthy foods to maintain healthy sexual function. In the end, you should avoid red meat, fried foods and salty snacks if you want to ward off erectile dysfunction.
Contrary to popular belief, diminished sexual function isn’t an inevitable part of aging. By maintaining good cardiovascular health, you can increase your chances of maintaining a healthy sex life. While many things can promote erectile dysfunction; one simple rule will usually guide you in the right direction: if it’s good for the heart, it’s also good for your sexual health and, vice versa.
- NCBI: Prevalence of sexual dysfunction in male subjects with alcohol dependence
- WTVR CBS: STUDY: Pain killers linked to sexual problems in men
- NCBI: Do cigarette smokers with erectile dysfunction benefit from stopping?
Ryan Lawrence writes for Off-Topic Media. Thanks to Dr. Ken Collins for contributing to this story.