By DR GREGGORY PINTO
Japanese researchers have concluded that men who take shorter strides when walking are 40 percent more likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction than men who walk with long strides. The study conducted at Hirosaki University in Japan determined that both erectile dysfunction and short strides when walking correlated strongly with men having weak pelvic muscles.
The findings were recently published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine and the study involved 324 male participants. The men in the study had their gait measured by the length of their step and the height of their foot while walking.
Participants with small steps had an average step score of 153cm (60.2 inches) and those with large walking steps were found to have an average score of 163cm (64.1 inches).
Erectile dysfunction was assessed using the five question International Index of Erectile Dysfunction test. These findings are not surprising and support the link between physical inactivity and erectile dysfunction.
The strength of the pelvic muscles and the flexibility of the pelvis and legs are important determinants in erectile function. Improved strength of the pelvic muscles improves erectile function by enhancing the ability to achieve and maintain an erection.
This study should be motivation for Bahamian men to maintain an active lifestyle with exercise at least three times a week, as there are proven benefits for improved erectile function.
Shocking treatment for erectile dysfunction
Low-intensity shock wave therapy is a novel mode of therapy for erectile dysfunction related to impaired blood supply to the penis.
The therapy involves applying a conducting gel to the penis and a wave generating probe onto the gel, with a painless transmission of sound waves to the penis in a 20-minute session twice a week. The acoustic waves trigger a process of neovascularization, new blood vessel formation in the penis and helps clear out plaque from penile blood vessels; both aid in the treatment of erectile dysfunction related to poor blood supply.
Blood flow is imperative for good erectile function and many men have impaired penile blood supply, particularly those with diabetes, hypertension or atherosclerosis.
According to a study published in The Journal of Urology, shock wave therapy is effective for the short-term treatment of erectile dysfunction.
Researchers found that the treatment was successful in 63.5 percent of patients after one month. Milder forms of erectile dysfunction with patients who were not diabetic, showed 76 percent of participants had maintained an improvement in erectile function after two years.
There are 12 other scientific studies involving low intensity shockwave therapy for erectile dysfunction and all but one showed beneficial results in regards to improved erectile function. The one Danish study that did not show improvement in erectile function, only used shockwave treatment once a week instead of the recommended twice a week treatment regime.
Erectile dysfunction may predict heart attacks and strokes
Men with erectile dysfunction may have as high as a 59 percent higher risk of heart disease and a 34 percent higher risk of having a stroke.
Studies involving more than 150 thousand men were published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, showing that erectile dysfunction was an important indicator in a man potentially having a heart attack or stroke later in life.
Erectile function usually presents itself many years before men have signs of cardiovascular disease.
Researchers found that it was advisable to abstain from nicotine smoking, lose weight and maintain a healthy diet and an active lifestyle so as to reduce the risk of future catastrophic cardiovascular disease events, once erectile dysfunction presents itself.
Erectile dysfunction is a relatively common problem faced by men of all ages. The potential causes of erectile dysfunction are numerous including cardiovascular disease, poorly controlled or undiagnosed diabetes or hypertension, low testosterone, high cholesterol and obesity among many others.
Bahamian men must discontinue the dangerous practice of self-medicating with unregulated sexual enhancers. Management of erectile dysfunction involves identifying the cause and treating the cause and not simply treating the symptoms.
Bahamian men, you are far from alone if you suffer from erectile dysfunction. The real tragedy is continuing to suffer needlessly in silence when highly effective solutions are readily available. Seek confidential, comprehensive and compassionate care for any form of erectile dysfunction, which includes premature ejaculation. You can always rise again.
• Dr Greggory Pinto is a Bahamian urologist who has trained in South Africa, Germany, France and India. He is a member of the European Association of Urologists. Dr Pinto can be reached at Urology Care Bahamas at the Surgical Suite, Centreville Medical Centre, Collins Avenue and Sixth Terrace. Call 326 1929, e-mail email@example.com, or visit www.urologycarebahamas.com.