Erectile dysfunction is more common than you think. About half of men ages 40 to 70 are prone to developing the condition. The chances of doing so increase as one ages. Though not an inevitable part of aging, ED is more likely to affect us when we grow older. That’s because it is a symptom of conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, and cancer which tend to affect older men. Living a healthy lifestyle is one way to avoid it. But there are certain other conditions that researchers are now finding, aren’t necessarily causing the condition, but seem to be associated with it. One is inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
In one recent study including 1,845 patients and taking place over 12 years, researchers discovered that those with ulcerative colitis were over two times more likely to develop ED, than those who didn’t have IBD. Another study published in the International Journal of Impotence Research, found a link between the chronic skin condition psoriasis and ED. This is an autoimmune disorder where dry, flaky patches of skin appear on different areas of the body periodically.
In this study, 191 men with psoriasis and 191 healthy controls were utilized. All were evaluated for high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, and their risk of ED. 52.9% of patients with psoriasis were likely to develop sexual dysfunction, compared with three percent in the control group. Those who had signs of depression were at risk for moderate to severe ED. Researchers say this finding could help ease the discomfort men feel about sexual dysfunction. It could also help identify possible areas of intervention.
Most often ED is a result of cardiovascular disease. But these are reversible risk factors. Knowing that those with IBD and psoriasis are prone to ED could increase screening as part of routine care and management. More research must be done before we know how these conditions are connected. Any man experiencing ED should seek out a doctor or urologist and get checked out. Those who have IBD or psoriasis should be extra vigilant, and may even consider preventative screened.