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Specialist: The penis as a parameter for male health

Specialist: The penis as a parameter for male health


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Erectile dysfunction often indicates kidney, brain or heart problems

Erectile dysfunction in men is not uncommon. Despite the frequency, men are extremely reluctant to speak on the subject. Erectile dysfunction can have not only psychological but also physical causes and can indicate serious illnesses. A specialist explains why the tissue in the penis can indicate problems with the kidneys, brain and heart.

Dr. Landon Trost is a urology specialist at the Mayo Clinic (USA). In a current message, the urologist points out that despite the uncomfortable topic, erectile dysfunction should not be concealed. Because erectile dysfunction is often a harbinger of serious problems of the heart, brain or kidneys.

Why Erectile Dysfunction Indicates Health Problems

Dr. Consolation explains that there are so-called endothelial cells in the penis, which give the member strength when erect. Erectile dysfunction is therefore often an indication that these endothelial cells no longer function properly. But the penis is not the only place where such cells are. All vessels of the cardiovascular system are lined with a single-cell layer of endothelial cells. Erectile dysfunction can therefore be an early symptom of general vascular disease, which in the worst case can lead to a heart attack or stroke even a few years later if the problems are ignored.

Risks to heart disease, stroke and diabetes

"The same cell types can also be found in other organs of the body - in your heart, in your brain and in your kidneys," emphasizes the specialist. An erectile dysfunction can thus be a clear warning of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. "So it gives you an early warning indicator," says Dr. Consolation. In many cases, it is worthwhile to have the symptoms examined.

Risk factors for erectile dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction and cardiovascular disease have similar risk factors. Lack of exercise, stress, smoking, sleep disorders, overweight (obesity), diabetes, fat metabolism disorders, hormonal disorders and high blood pressure can promote erectile dysfunction. (vb)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Graduate editor (FH) Volker Blasek

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  • Erectile dysfunction can signal other problems



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