New research adds an overactive thyroid to the list of conditions which cause erectile dysfunction.
Found in the neck behind your throat, the thyroid is a crucial gland. It releases the hormones thyroxine and triiodothyronine, which control heart rate and many other functions in the body. When too much of these hormones are produced, it can cause a health condition known as hyperthyroidism.
Two universities in Europe hooked up to conduct this study, The University of Manchester in England and the University of Florence in Italy, the first study to show that hyperthyroidism could interfere with a man’s ability to create and sustain an erection. They found that six out of ten men with the condition experience erectile dysfunction.
6,573 European men from various countries in Europe took part in this study, published in the International Journal of Andrology. Participants were tested for thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). TSH controls how much thyroxine and triiodothyronine is produced in the body. From this test, 16 patients were found to have hyperthyroidism. These were split into two groups and tested for ED. In one group, those with this condition were 14 times more likely to develop erectile dysfunction. In the other group, participants were 16 times more likely.
Though hyperthyroidism can cause erectile dysfunction, those men who have ED are not at risk for developing hyperthyroidism. The University of Florence’s Dr. Giovanni Corona told WebMD that this study clearly shows hyperthyroidism can cause ED “and not indirect action due to tiredness or other symptoms associated with the condition”.
Tremors, hair loss, shortness of breath, increased heart rate and nervousness are some of the symptoms associated with hyperthyroidism. It is not a common problem. But if you think you may have it, seek out a physician. You may need to be referred to a specialist such as an endocrinologist if you are suspected of having hyperthyroidism.