High cholesterol levels can be troublesome as it means there is too much ‘bad’ cholesterol floating in the blood and this could pose serious health complications. Knowing the warning signs and correcting one’s diet are some ways to reduce your risk and if you suffer with erectile dysfunction it could be due to high levels of cholesterol.
Shamir Patel, founder of Chemist 4 U said: “A symptom of high cholesterol can be erectile dysfunction, caused by the lack of blood flow.
“Another symptom may be yellowy growths under the skin of their eyelids – called xanthelasma.
“This is fatty material containing lipids, or fats, including cholesterol, and usually appear symmetrically between your eyes and nose.
“However, each of these symptoms can be other health conditions, which is why it’s so important to test your cholesterol on a regular basis.
“Call your GP if you are concerned, who can discuss your concerns.
“There are also home testing kits if you would prefer.”
Too much bad cholesterol (also known as LDL) in the bloodstream creates arterial plaque that damages and blocks blood flow, said Boston Medical Group.
It added: “These blockages will result in inadequate circulation of blood throughout the system including the penis and genital area.
“As a result, erection problems occur.
“The side effects of high cholesterol in men can lead to erectile dysfunction.
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“The higher your LDL levels the more likely to develop erection problems and severe cases lead to impotence.
“Also, high cholesterol can make the body more difficult to produce the necessary chemicals to create an erection.
“High cholesterol affects the body’s ability to properly release nitric oxide into the bloodstream.
“This prevents the proper relaxation of penile tissues to cause erectile engorgement.”
High cholesterol and erectile dysfunction could be an underlying cause of another health problem.
However, these problems are reversible.
High cholesterol affects testosterone production.
Testosterone is a hormone responsible for the secondary sex characteristics of men.
High cholesterol limits blood flow to the testicles and as a result, may damage their ability to produce testosterone.
Patel added: “People with high cholesterol often don’t realise that they have it, as there are no glaringly obvious symptoms.
“However, it can be a serious health condition, because it can block your blood vessels and put you at risk of heart problems and strokes.
“Therefore, it’s important to understand and recognise the warning signs that your cholesterol may be too high.
“Firstly, consider the main risk factors: do you do little exercise, smoke, eat fatty food and drink alcohol?
“Does your family have a history of high cholesterol? If you tick a number of these factors, it puts you in the risk category, and you should keep an eye on yourself.”
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