The kidneys are critical in transporting waste, filtering out toxins, and regulating hormones. If neglected, kidney disease can cause a myriad of issues, including erectile dysfunction (ED). In fact, 70% of men diagnosed with chronic kidney disease (CKD) have ED.
To lower the risks of experiencing ED, it’s important to take care of kidney function. This article looks closely at kidney diseases and how they can affect men's sexual health.
Understanding Kidney Diseases
According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), kidney disease is when a person has damaged or deteriorating kidneys, preventing proper blood filtration. When the kidneys are not functioning as they should, fluids and waste products can build up in the body. This causes swelling or edema, weakness, nausea, poor sleep, urination problems, and other symptoms.
Kidney disease is widespread, affecting up to 10% of the world's population. Worse, up to 90% of people with kidney disease don't even know they have it. This is why this condition is also called a silent killer. Additionally, the risk of chronic kidney disease significantly increases for men with underlying health conditions, particularly diabetes.
5 Ways Kidney Disease Contributes to Erectile Dysfunction
A functional problem in the kidney can impact many bodily functions and affect one’s sexual health. Here are some ways kidney disease causes influence erectile function:
1. Damaging Nerves and Blood Vessels
Kidney disease can cause blood vessels to contract, preventing proper flow throughout the body. This poor circulation can prevent an erection. In addition, too little blood flow in the kidneys can signal the brain to retain water and sodium in the blood. This can trigger an increase in blood pressure and lead to nerve damage. Prolonged nerve damage can cause atherosclerosis or the thickening of arterial walls, further blocking blood flow. When this occurs, achieving an erection becomes even more challenging.
2. Experiencing Negative Side Effects From Kidney Medications
Medications that help support kidney function don't necessarily benefit the penis. Some medicines — including diuretics, alpha-2 agonists, and beta-blockers — can cause or worsen ED. In such cases, it's best to talk to your doctor to find the best kidney treatment that won’t harm erectile function.
3. Messing With Your Hormones
Since these organs regulate several hormones in the body, kidney deterioration can mess with your hormonal levels. For instance, it may cause changes in your testosterone (the male sex hormone) and renin (a hormone regulating blood pressure). These may cause a weak or no erection.
4. Increasing Psychological Distress
The physical symptoms of kidney disease can lead to mental distress, including stress, depression, and anxiety. In turn, these psychological issues increase the risk of developing ED. In one study, researchers found that depressed patients have lower levels of testosterone, which is often associated with erectile dysfunction. Stress and anxiety may also cause sleep deprivation and lifestyle changes that can affect your sexual health.
5. Lowering Energy Levels
Generally, people suffering from kidney issues may become lethargic and easily exhausted. This is particularly true for patients undergoing dialysis, which can cause extreme fatigue. Low energy levels can disrupt sexual excitement in the brain, impacting sexual function and performance.
Boost Your Sexual Confidence With Steel Man Pills
Kidney disease can be frustrating, especially if it causes problems in your sex life. Hence, taking care of your kidney not only promises good sexual performance but also contributes to your overall well-being.
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