Expanded Waistline Can Affect Sexual Function

Expanded Waistline Can Affect Sexual Function

For men, expanding their waistline could mean constricting activities in the bedroom, according to a new study. Men who are excessively overweight not only raise their risk for heart disease and trouble with their metabolism, but they may also boost their odds for sexual dysfunction and frequent urination, according to the latest research.

Up to 30-40% of American men over 50 may experience some level of erectile dysfunction. Both obesity and lack of physical activity can increase their risk. The build-up of plaque in the arteries of overweight men can damage the lining of the arteries and contribute to high blood pressure. In addition to atherosclerosis, the hormonal changes that accompany obesity, including lower testosterone, increase the risk of ED. During one study, the degree of obesity correlated with decrease in testosterone level. Among study participants, the more the severe the obesity, the lower the level of testosterone.

The modifiable risk factors for heart disease, such as excess weight, diabetes, and hypertension, are generally the same as those for ED. Studies have shown that weight loss and increased physical activity can improve ED.

Researchers looked at over 400 men with lower urinary tract symptoms, like more frequent urination. The subjects ranged from 40 to 91 years of age. Of this group, 37.5% had a waist circumference of less than 36 inches, about a third had waists that measured between 36 and 40 inches and 29% had waists over 40 inches.

Surveying the men, the researchers found that about 3/4 of those with the largest waists experienced erectile dysfunction and about 2/3 had problems with ejaculation.

However, with smaller waistlines, sexual function improved. Erectile dysfunction was reported in only about half of the men with 36 to 40 inch waists, and only 40% of the men in this group also experienced problems with ejaculation.

Of the men with the smallest waists, 32 percent reported erectile dysfunction and 21 percent had problems ejaculating, the survey indicated.

They also noted that the men with larger waists were affected by more frequent urination. Almost 60% of men with the largest waist measurements urinated more than eight times in 24 hours. By comparison, this was true for only 27% of men with waistlines measuring between 36 and 40 inches and just 16% of men with the smallest waistlines.

Although the researchers are uncertain about why obesity is linked to sexual and urinary problems, they suggested changes in blood flow to the pelvis may be a contributing factor. They also speculated that changes in hormone levels due to obesity could also play a role.

The researchers added that losing weight could improve men's sexual and urinary health. They noted that after their study was completed, additional research also revealed that trimming just 2 1/2 inches from the waistline could dramatically improve men's sexual dysfunction and frequent urination.

The findings offer doctors a simple way to determine which men may be at greater risk for sexual dysfunction or urinary problems. Measuring a man's waistline is easy, noninvasive and does not require extensive testing. In addition to urinary and sexual dysfunction, men with larger waists are also more likely to be affected by coronary artery disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol, the study authors found.

Weight and Prostate

You may have more influence over your prostate health than you think. Recent studies suggest that excess body weight and poor blood sugar control may contribute to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). The good news is that maintaining a healthy weight by eating right and exercising could put the odds of having a healthy prostate in your favor.

Research shows that as the pounds creep on, so does the size of your prostate.

Enlarged Prostate Symptoms

Many men with an enlarged prostate have no symptoms. If symptoms are present, they commonly include the following:

· A weak stream of urine;

· Difficulty starting urination;

· Dribbling of urine, especially after urinating;

· A sense of not fully emptying the bladder;

· Leaking of urine;

· More frequent urination and a strong, sudden desire to urinate, especially at night

· Blood in the urine

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