Tobacco’s role in lung cancer is well-known, but the multitude of chemicals in tobacco harm more than your lungs. For starters, smoking weakens your immune system.
Using tobacco products also leads to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, eye disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and at least ten types of cancer, including bladder and esophageal cancers.
You can add erectile dysfunction to the list. Smoking significantly increases your risk of developing erectile dysfunction, even in men younger than 40.
The experienced team at Infinity Regenerative and Neuropathy Center in Plano, Texas, specializes in treating erectile dysfunction. They identify all your possible risk factors, including tobacco products, and provide holistic care that helps you regain a healthy and satisfying sex life.
If you smoke and have erectile dysfunction, there’s a good chance the two are related. Let’s explore their connection.
Tobacco damages blood vessels
Tobacco contains hundreds of chemicals, including toxins that damage your blood vessels. When you inhale tobacco, its chemicals injure the tissues lining your arteries, affecting their ability to function properly.
Tobacco-induced changes thicken and narrow your arteries and raise blood levels of cholesterol and other fats (triglycerides). As a result, fatty plaque builds up in your arteries and restricts blood flow, causing an atherosclerosis condition. This arterial disease then leads to erectile dysfunction.
How tobacco causes erectile dysfunction
When men become sexually aroused, their brain sends messages through their nerves to their penis. The nerve signals tell the muscles in your penis to relax. As the muscles relax, more blood flows into your penis. The extra blood creates pressure that causes an erection.
Since you need a good blood supply to have an erection, it’s easy to see how narrowed blocked arteries interfere with the process. Blood vessel disease is one of the top causes of erectile dysfunction.
Beyond arterial disease, tobacco may directly impact your ability to have an erection. Some chemicals inhaled may disrupt the cellular reactions responsible for relaxing muscles and expanding the penile arteries.
Tobacco, erectile dysfunction, and other health concerns
Though you’re understandably concerned and distressed about your sex life, you also need to be aware that tobacco affects all the arteries throughout your body.
Erectile dysfunction is often a red flag alerting you to the risk of other cardiovascular conditions. If you have erectile dysfunction and smoke, there’s a good chance you have one or more of the following:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Coronary artery disease
- Peripheral artery disease
It turns out that 40% of men with erectile dysfunction have high blood pressure and hyperlipidemia (high blood levels of fats).
If you need help with erectile dysfunction or want a checkup to evaluate your overall cardiovascular health, call Infinity Regenerative and Neuropathy Center or request an appointment online today.