Thu, May 18, 2017 - Page 4 News List

Erectile dysfunction associated with poor dietary habits

By Fang Chi-hsien and William Hetherington  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

One of the risks associated with high-cholesterol foods is erectile dysfunction caused by a poor diet, a doctor said.

Urologist Chen Yu-tien (陳育典) at Yuan’s General Hospital in Kaoshuing cited the case of a 35-year-old man who had low levels of aldosterone — the hormone that regulates salt and water in the body.

The man had developed high cholesterol from his daily consumption of fried chicken, tea eggs and soda, Chen said, adding that use of herbal medicine high in sodium exacerbated his condition.

“His mother gave him medicinal soup made with chicken innards, thinking he had kidney problems. It made his cholesterol worse,” Chen said.

The issues that lead to erectile dysfunction are similar to the causes of cardiovascular disease, Chen said, adding that diabetes, high blood pressure, hypertriglyceridemia and obesity are all related to heart health.

Depression might also be brought on by cardiovascular problems, Chen said.

“Erectile function is often the first thing to be affected in a patient with a cardiovascular condition, since the arteries in the penis are smaller than those in the heart and brain,” Chen said.

For this reason, doctors often treat erectile dysfunction in patients under 40 years old as an early indication that more serious heart-related problems might be developing, Chen said.

Foods that can cause high cholesterol are those high in saturated fats, including butter, fatty meat and meat products such as sausages, full-fat cheese, milk, cream, yogurt and coconut-oil derived products.

Foods that can help lower cholesterol levels are vegetables and other plant-based foods including barley, soyabran products, beans, pulses, nuts and seeds.

The man is being treated with medication and extracorporeal shock wave therapy and is showing improvement after four sessions, Chen said.

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