Erectile dysfunction (ED) is often thought of as an age-related problem; unfortunately, men who are a little past their prime may be too quick to dismiss impotence issues as a natural side effect of the aging process. If they address the problem at all, they may focus only on its effects on their sexual performance and look for medications or other means that only target the immediate problem. On the other hand, ED can be an indicator of a more serious problem, so it is critical not to ignore this important symptom as only affecting penis health and performance.

Furthermore, ED does not only affect older men; guys who are much younger - even in their late teens and early 20s - have often reported erectile issues as having a negative effect on their sex lives. For these younger men, it can be even more difficult to see treatment, because what young guy wants to admit to a doctor that he is having trouble getting it up? But men who do seek appropriate medical attention often discover that the problem is related to a larger issue, and addressing problems with heart health can also improve their ability to perform sexually.

Here are just a few of the issues that relate heart function to erectile health:

1. Release of nitric oxide­ - Both the heart and the erectile tissue are lined with endothelium, a type of tissue that responds to the release of nitric oxide - a vital part of the chain reaction that signals an increase in blood flow. When this tissue is unhealthy, or insufficient levels of nitric oxide are unavailable, it does not function properly, and neither the heart nor the penis performs at a normal level. Therefore, signs of ED could also indicate a problem with the cardiovascular system.

2. Atherosclerosis - This condition, characterized by an accumulation of plaque in the arteries, effectively decreases blood flow to all parts of the body. Because the penis contains much smaller blood vessels than other parts of the body, poor performance in this area is often the first sign of dangerous clogging that can lead to heart attack or stroke if it is not addressed.

3. High blood pressure - This condition can be highly damaging to the cardiovascular system, and blood vessels that are not in good repair simply do not function as well when it comes to supplying the body with blood. Again, the penis may serve as an early warning sign for this potentially dangerous disease.

4. Diabetes­ - Diabetes is a systemic disease which affects many of the body’s normal processes and can cause severe damage if it is not well-controlled. Diabetes is most often seen in individuals who are severely overweight and can have a negative effect on cardiovascular and nerve health. Men with diabetes may experience diabetic neuropathy, which can cause numbness or tingling in the penis and other extremities; they may also experience numerous heart-related problems which translate to reduced erectile function, as well.

Clearly, all of these issues can have significant effect on a man’s well-being and quality of life. Therefore, ED is something that should not be ignored; consistent inability to get an erection or maintain it long enough to complete intercourse is a sign that a medical evaluation is needed.

Daily care for overall penis health

While treating erectile dysfunction can be a complex issue and requires the help of a knowledgeable medical professional, men can take some simple steps that can help to improve their overall health, and by extension, their penile performance.

First and foremost, men should follow an appropriate diet, following the daily recommendations for calories and nutrients for their age group. For overweight men, dropping the extra pounds can go a long way toward resolving many health problems. However, men should watch out for fad diets that limit certain nutrients or encourage rapid weight loss, because these can be damaging in their own right. Instead, eating sensibly, exercising regularly, and consulting with a nutritionist or doctor are the best steps to follow.

Another positive step is to use a target penis vitamin cream (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil) that contains vital nutrients needed to support the formation and repair of the skin, nerve cells, and above all, the circulatory tissue of the penis. Adding a penile cream to the daily personal care routine is not a cure for ED, but it can be a valuable addition when it comes to overall penis health care.