Disease Causes of Erectile Dysfunction: Kidney Disease
Erectile dysfunction is a very common problem. Almost all men will experience a few episodes of erectile dysfunction at some point in their life, which is totally normal. However, frequent or recurring erectile dysfunction, or the complete inability to obtain an erection, is not normal. There are many factors that can contribute to erectile dysfunction. Usually a patient will have a combination of factors that is causing their erectile dysfunction. Some common causes of erectile dysfunction are:
- Psychological distress
- Fatigue or anxiety
- Negative lifestyle choices
- Smoking, using illegal drugs, or excessive use of alcohol
- weight gain or lack of exercise
Kidney disease has been shown to be closely associated with erectile dysfunction. Between 21% and 43% of patients with kidney disease who are on dialysis or have received a transplant experience erectile dysfunction. Kidney disease refers to any of the following conditions:
- Acute kidney failure
- Renal disease
- Kidney infection
- Acute nephritic syndrome
- Kidney damage
How Does Kidney Disease Cause Erectile Dysfunction?
Since kidney disease can refer to may different kidney-related conditions, causes of erectile dysfunction related to kidney disease may vary.
- Two important parts of achieving a successful erection are: Proper communication between the brain and penis and sufficient hormone levels.
- Several types of kidney disease can disrupt both of these processes.
- Kidney disease can also reduce blood flow and energy levels, which are important to sexual health.
- Additionally, many types of medication that are prescribed to treat kidney diseases have been associated with erectile dysfunction.
Preventing Erectile Dysfunction in Kidney Disease Patients
Since there are many risk factors that contribute to erectile dysfunction, it is important to try to eliminate as many as possible. The following actions can be taken in order to minimize your risk of developing erectile dysfunction:
- Stop smoking. Smoking can also reduce blood flow, further complicating erectile dysfunction.
- Exercise regularly
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Avoid using illegal drugs
- Drink no more than two alcoholic drinks per day. Eliminate alcohol completely if possible.
- Talk to your doctor about your kidney disease medications. It may be possible to switch to drugs that have a lower risk of causing erectile dysfunction.
Treating Erectile Dysfunction in Kidney Disease Patients
Even if you take all the precautions you can, you may still develop erectile dysfunction. There are many treatments available for erectile dysfunction. You should talk to your doctor about which ones may be right for you to be sure an erectile dysfunction treatment does not interfere with any other medications you might be taking.
- Vacuum devices, or penis pumps, are also very common and have no dangers of chemical side effects.
- Injectable medications have been on the market a long time. These medications are injected directly into the penis and can help to achieve erection. Although the pain associated with the injection site is usually mild, this method is not for everyone.
- Prosthetic implants are also available, but require surgery and may cause complications.
- All-natural herbal supplements have helped some men with their erectile dysfunction.