Erectile dysfunction (ED), also called impotence, is the type of sexual dysfunction in which the penis fails to become or stay erect during sexual activity. It is the most common sexual problem in men. Through its connection to self-image and to problems in sexual relationships, erectile dysfunction can cause psychological harm.
Loading the player...Erectile Dysfunction, Diabetes and Related Risk Factors - Endocrinologist Richard Bebb, MD, ABIM, FRCPC, discusses Erectile Dysfunction, Diabetes and Related Risk Factors - Endocrinologist
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Loading the player...The Symptoms of Low Testosterone Dr. Loren Grossman, MD, FRCPC, FACP, Endocrinologist, talks about the potential symptoms that men can experience if they have low testosterone levels.
Loading the player...Diagnosing Low Testosterone Dr. Loren Grossman, MD, FRCPC, FACP, Endocrinologist, goes over what tests need to be done in order to diagnose low testosterone accurately.
As a patient, you have a lot of power to decrease your personal risk of erectile dysfunction. And at the same time, you’re actually decreasing your risk of heart attack and stroke, because it’s the same risk factors, again the blood pressure, the diabetes, the cholesterol, smoking, and to a certain degree, your local family Physician history and certain medications that may increase your risk.
So it’s been said – and it’s an important concept – that the penis in many ways is an early warning device that you’re at risk for a heart attack. If you’ve developed erectile dysfunction or you’re starting to lose your erectile function, yes there are medications to treat that and we want the public to partake of that if they wish to do so.
But at the same time you’ve always got to ask “Why is this happening to me? What is it about my body that has allowed the erections to stop being reliable?” And the answer may be “I’ve got to stop smoking. I’ve had high blood pressure that I’m thinking of taking pills and I haven’t yet.”
The fact that you’re losing your erection is a warning that it’s hurting your vascular system. It’s damaging those blood vessels inside the penis. Perhaps you have high cholesterol you weren’t aware of. Perhaps you haven’t seen a physician for many years and you’ve got high blood sugars – you’ve actually got diabetes. And the fact that your erections aren’t working is a clue.
So in addition to those other risk factors for erectile dysfunction include some metabolic causes such as low testosterone, which is an uncommon but significant issue. Depression can be an issue, drug side effects can be an issue, so again, you know, go in and address these issues with your primary care practitioner.
Get therapy for it but also ask “Why is it that this is developed and is there something that I should be doing with my lifestyle to help improve my health?”
Local Practitioners: Endocrinologist
Typical symptoms of low testosterone are actually very non-specific. Symptoms can include just general lethargy, not feeling themselves, depression, low energy. There can be increased weight, particularly increased abdominal obesity.
More specific things can include low libido or erectile dysfunction. But many of these symptoms are actually quite non-specific, so it’s important for men who have these to not only look for a low testosterone as a possible cause, but for other possible causes as well.
Men will often present to their doctor with concerns about erectile dysfunction, low libido, thinking it might be a problem with low testosterone. And while it may be, and it’s important to test for that, it’s also important to remember that there are many other causes for low libido and erectile dysfunction outside of low testosterone. So generally speaking we should test for that and make sure that’s either a problem or if it’s not a problem that men seek other potential causes for their symptoms.
So for more information about the proper assessment of low testosterone, men can see their family doctor, get the appropriate testing as we’ve discussed or perhaps refer to an endocrinologist if deemed necessary.