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Erectile Dysfunction In Young Men

We have all come to expect the arrival of erectile dysfunction as a natural and unavoidable side effect of growing old; however, most of us like to pretend that erectile dysfunction does not affect younger men with some degree of regularity. Younger men can be affected by various forms of sexual dysfunction such as low libido, delayed orgasm, premature ejaculation, and of course erectile dysfunction.

Erectile dysfunction is a field that has been studied thoroughly over the past one hundred years, and advancements in medical knowledge have enabled a deeper understanding of the risk factors related to the sudden appearance of premature erectile dysfunction. Nevertheless, most of the previous clinical investigations have focused on patients of advanced age with specific cardiovascular illness. However, the incidence of erectile dysfunction in young men who do not have a clinical cardiovascular disease has not been entirely explained.

In a recent study published in the International Journal of Impotence Research, the role of dietary factors concerning erectile dysfunction was addressed. In this study, a total of 100 young men with confirmed erectile dysfunction were compared with 100 young men without erectile dysfunction. The prevalence of known risk factors such as hypertension and hypercholesterolemia was adjusted for so that only individual dietary intake was measured against the incidence of erectile dysfunction.

Dietary intake was assessed and calculated with regard to the consumption of approximately 140 foods and beverages. The study concluded that subjects who were heavier and had a higher body mass index were more likely to develop erectile dysfunction prematurely. It was also observed that the intake of vegetables, fruits, nuts, and healthy fats was significantly lower in patients who presented erectile dysfunction. Thus the study concluded that young men with erectile dysfunction often lead lives rife with unhealthy dietary patterns.

Doctor Andre Guay published a study in 1998 that concluded that stopping cigarette smoking significantly improved men’s ability to attain and retain erections. According to the data released, a marked improvement was seen in the tumescence and rigidity of the subjects’ penises as promptly as 24 hours after the cessation of tobacco inhalation. Smoking is thought to induce erectile dysfunction by affecting arteriosclerotic vascular integrity. The fact that millions of men between the ages of 20 and 40 smoke regularly is statistically significant to the incidence of erectile dysfunction in younger men.

Another critical risk factor to consider regarding the prevalence of erectile dysfunction in young men is the generalized levels of stress and anxiety that run rampant in today’s society. Work commitments, familial responsibilities, and of course sexual performance anxiety are constant sources of stress and have been demonstrated to increase erectile dysfunction. Stress has long been known to cause an uptick in the production of cortisol, and increased levels of cortisol are known to reduce blood testosterone levels in men significantly. Reduced testosterone has the unfortunate side effect of lowering libido and increasing the probability of developing sexual dysfunction.

Thankfully, experiencing a bout of erectile dysfunction is not without solution, especially in younger men. By adopting specific lifestyle habits such as a modified diet, a reduction in the consumption of tobacco products, and appropriate stress management young men can go a long way in treating and curing erectile dysfunction.


Esposito, K., et al. “Dietary factors in erectile dysfunction.” International journal of impotence research 18.4 (2006): 370.
Guay, MD, FACE, André T., Jesus B. Perez, MD, and Gerald J. Heatley, MS. “Cessation of smoking rapidly decreases erectile dysfunction.” Endocrine Practice 4.1 (1998): 23-26.
Tengs, Tammy O., and Nathaniel D. Osgood. “The link between smoking and impotence: two decades of evidence.” Preventive medicine 32.6 (2001): 447-452.
Esposito, Katherine, et al. “Effect of lifestyle changes on erectile dysfunction in obese men: a randomized controlled trial.” Jama 291.24 (2004): 2978-2984.
Laumann, Edward O., Anthony Paik, and Raymond C. Rosen. “Sexual dysfunction in the United States: prevalence and predictors.” Jama 281.6 (1999): 537-544.
Barlow, David H. “Causes of sexual dysfunction: The role of anxiety and cognitive interference.” Journal of consulting and clinical psychology 54.2 (1986): 140.
Beck, J. Gayle, and David H. Barlow. “The effects of anxiety and attentional focus on sexual responding—II: cognitive and affective patterns in erectile dysfunction.” Behaviour research and therapy 24.1 (1986): 19-26.
Lue, Tom F. “Erectile dysfunction.” New England Journal of Medicine 342.24 (2000): 1802-1813.
Traish, Abdulmaged M., et al. “The dark side of testosterone deficiency: I. Metabolic syndrome and erectile dysfunction.” Journal of andrology 30.1 (2009): 10-22.

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