ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION: THE CANARY IN THE COAL MINE
June is the month we honor our dads with Father’s Day and the beginning of summer.
Our health is our greatest asset. Without good health, we cannot enjoy life or participate in activities with our kids or loved ones.
Cardiovascular disease remains the number one killer of men and women worldwide. In many Americans, the first sign and symptom of cardiovascular disease is a fatal heart attack. Obviously this is too late to take pre-cautions.
We have made enormous progress over the past few decades in understanding cardiovascular disease and recognizing early warning signs, biomarkers in blood and non-invasive imaging and functional medical devices that can determine if we have or are at risk for developing cardiovascular disease.
It is important to pay attention to signs and symptoms but also to get routine blood work performed by your primary care physician.
The onset and progression of cardiovascular disease is sometimes mirrored by the appearance of select and specific biomarkers in blood. See Figure 1 below.
For example, inflammatory markers such as high sensitivity C-reactive product demonstrate moderate risk and actions should be taken to change your diet and lifestyle. More advance stages of CVD and high risk of having a heart attack is mirrored by the appearance of myeloperoxidase (MPO) and lipoprotein particle PLA2.
This reveals that you have unstable plaque and a heart attack may be imminent. In fact you may or may not show any symptoms.
As shown in Figure 2, it is the loss of nitric oxide production that is responsible for the increased inflammation, oxidative stress and immune dysfunction that occurs in the progression of cardiovascular disease.
If your body is able to produce sufficient nitric oxide, it completely inhibits the onset and progression of cardiovascular disease.
Although these are important labs and biomarkers, many physicians do not order these advanced labs and therefore many of these important biomarkers are not tested.
Functional Signs of Cardiovascular Disease
What is more important are the functional signs of cardiovascular disease. The number one risk factor and sign of vascular problems is erectile dysfunction in both men and women. In order to get an erection, in both men and women, you have to have an increase in blood flow. We call this engorgement.
The increased blood flow is what is responsible for penile and clitoral erections. It is the production of nitric oxide that allows for vasodilation or opening of the blood vessels that allows blood to rush into the sex organs. If your body cannot produce nitric oxide, then you cannot and will not get increased blood flow and as a result, you cannot get an erection sufficient for penetration or orgasm.
We call this endothelial dysfunction.
If you have endothelial dysfunction in the blood vessels of your sex organs, then you have endothelial dysfunction in your coronary arteries that feed your heart, you have endothelial dysfunction in the cerebral arteries that feed your brain and every other organ throughout your body.
The key is to be able to increase blood flow upon demand, whether when we are sexually aroused or when we begin to exercise. Nitric oxide is what signals specific vascular beds to increase blood flow. Without nitric oxide, we lose the regulation of blood flow upon demand. Bad things happen when this occurs.
With over 50% of men over the age of 40 self-reporting some degree of erectile dysfunction, this is a major problem. Most men will not self-report erectile dysfunction due to pride or embarrassment issues so I think the number is much higher.
Women show similar numbers.
Erectile Dysfunction Is an Early Sign of the Loss of Nitric Oxide…and the Onset of Cardiovascular Disease
It is important and critical to report if you have erectile dysfunction. It is the earliest sign and symptom of the loss of nitric oxide and the onset and progression of cardiovascular disease. That is why erectile dysfunction is considered the canary in the coal mine.
It is the first signs of danger. If not corrected, then you are certain to develop cardiovascular disease and become another statistics as the number one killer of men and women.
The fact that cardiovascular disease remains the number one killer of men and women worldwide is simply unacceptable from a scientific perspective. We know what causes cardiovascular disease, the loss of nitric oxide production.
We have biomarkers that can detect cardiovascular disease. We have signs and symptoms that clearly reveal early stages of cardiovascular disease. Most importantly, we have the technology and means to improve nitric oxide production and even reverse cardiovascular disease.
Tips to Combat Cardiovascular Disease
Below are a few tips to combat erectile dysfunction and vascular disease:
1. Stop using mouthwash and fluoride toothpaste. This kills the good nitric oxide producing bacteria in your mouth.
2. Stop using antacids. We need stomach acid to produce nitric oxide.
3. Eat more green leafy vegetables that contain nitrate.
4. Get moderate physical exercise to help promote blood flow and improve endothelial function.
5. Consider an active, clinically proven nitric oxide supplement.
Life is precious and each second counts. Many people do not realize this until they encounter a health crisis and then it is too late.
This month take some simple steps to improve your health. Ask you dad or your colleagues about their health and inform them on these simple steps that can make a huge difference in their health and their ability to enjoy each day with friends and family.
What you don’t know certainly can kill you. My job is to properly inform you so there are no excuses. Now you know!