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Lifestyle Changes to Treat Impotence

by Dr. Gabe Mirkin, M.D.

An article in European Heart Journal showed that inability to achieve or sustain an erection in middle-aged men often precedes a heart attack by about three years (European Heart Journal, published online April 24, 2013). Another review of six clinical studies in four countries showed that avoiding lifestyle factors that cause heart attacks helps men to regain their ability to achieve and maintain erections. (JAMA Internal Medicine, November 15, 2011).

The Same Factors That Cause Impotence also Cause Heart Attacks

Impotence and heart attacks share many of the same risk factors as the most common cause of both is damage to the inner lining of arteries (Rev Med Brux, 2007 Sep;28(4):360-6). Most men who become impotent as they age suffer from arteriosclerosis, and have high blood sugar and cholesterol and high blood pressure, and are at increased risk for diabetes and heart attacks (J. Sex Med, 2005 Jan;2(1):40-52).

If You Cannot Sustain an Erection

Check with your doctor and get the usual tests for the hormones testosterone and prolactin. Chances are high that your hormone levels are normal and that sloppy lifestyle habits are the cause of your impotence now and a heart attack in the future. If arteriosclerosis is the cause of your impotence, you need to follow every lifestyle change recommended for people who are at increased risk for heart attacks.

Impotence (and high risk for heart attacks) can be caused by:
  • any chronic disease, particularly diabetes or metabolic syndrome;
  • smoking cigarettes, drinking too much alcohol, abusing any drug, being overweight, not exercising, breathing polluted air;
  • poor dietary habits, such as eating too much red meat, fried foods and sugar added foods, drinking sugared liquids (including fruit juices), not eating large amounts of fruits and vegetables;
  • emotional diseases such as depression;
  • various medications (see complete list)


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