Obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, and sleep apnea frequently “travel” together.  Any of these conditions can damage blood vessels.  Obesity makes all the others much more likely.

One of the first places that blood vessel damage shows up is in the small arteries of the penis.  Therefore, it’s not surprising to find in a new study that the presence of erectile dysfunction increases a man’s chances of death, heart attack, and stroke!  From the LA Times:

Existing guidelines for treating men with ED from the Princeton Consensus Conference already state that “a man with ED and no cardiac symptoms is a cardiac (or vascular) patient until proven otherwise.” Kloner, a coauthor of those guidelines, said that when the guidelines are updated this year, they will probably carry a stronger recommendation that a patient presenting with ED get a cardiovascular examination.

In addition, the extra body fat in obese men converts their testosterone into estrogen, “feminizing” them.  Low testosterone levels in men can contribute to depressed mood and less interest in sex.  Weight-lifting (resistance) training can raise metabolic rate by adding muscle, and burn fat.  Weight training also raises men’s level of testosterone, further helping to build muscle.

40% of obese non-diabetic and 50% of obese diabetic men above the age of 45 years have subnormal free testosterone concentrations.

If you want your “stuff” to keep working, work out, lose weight, and reduce saturated fats in your diet.  If your “stuff” is not cooperating, see your doctor to ask if you should be evaluated for high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease.

Dr John Ellis MD

Board-certified anesthesiologist, with expertise in cardiovascular anesthesia and the implications of obesity and sleep apnea in anesthesia. See for professional information. Dr. Ellis has used the strategies in here to: (1) lose 120 lbs over 18 months, (2) stop all antihypertensive medicines, and (3) no longer need CPAP treatment for sleep apnea.

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