In men with low testosterone one of the first things to go is sex drive. Testosterone is the hormone that makes a man, a man. When levels of this natural hormone decline, libido decreases significantly and erectile problems often follow.
For you to achieve an erection, proper blood flow is necessary. If the arteries in your penis are already blocked by cholesterol deposits from a poor diet and high stress level, it’s even more difficult to get blood flowing into your penis—even if you have enough testosterone in your system. Imagine what would happen if you took several blood pressure medications at the same time. The effect would be like the toxicity from consuming too much alcohol.
If you have diabetes, you have an increased risk of erectile dysfunction and blockage of penile arteries. Your body cannot properly create nor utilize the insulin needed to metabolize glucose. As a result, high blood sugar is produced, which becomes toxic and eventually leads to damage within your circulatory system. This leads to poor circulation in your penis as well.
When cells in your body are damaged, they respond by calling for more testosterone because the hormone is needed to regenerate your cells. The more damaged cells you have, the greater the need for testosterone. However, when you have too little testosterone, the body cannot repair existing damage to cells and can’t produce new cells.
One of the first places that experience a testosterone deficiency is your brain. It is in your brain that testosterone levels are converted into a chemical messenger called nitric oxide (NO). NO travels through the bloodstream to the penis, inducing it to relax and fill with blood. This means that you can’t even get an erection if your brain isn’t producing enough NO.
If you have low testosterone, the cells in your body cannot receive enough of this hormone to function properly. Many men who have erectile dysfunction experience depression as well, and this is because their brains are not receiving the proper amounts of testosterone.
Testosterone plays a role in the neurotransmitter dopamine. There is some evidence that low levels of this hormone can result in insufficient dopamine, which can affect your ability to have an erection. The relationship between these two hormones may also play a role in the relationship between erectile dysfunction and heart disease. Low testosterone may result in low NO levels, which can increase your chance of developing cardiovascular problems.
Some men who take prescription medications for high blood pressure, depression or anxiety may experience erectile dysfunction as a side effect of their medications. If your medications are not giving you relief, talk to your doctor about ways that you can change your diet or lifestyle in order to reduce stress. This may be enough to avoid the adverse effects of high blood pressure medications and related erectile dysfunction.