As the saying goes, “Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common goal,” is very applicable in medicine. Unfortunately, for men experiencing erectile dysfunction (ED), it may take more than one health care professional to solve the issue.
Every man deserves the best in terms of which medical professionals to seek out discovering the cause and ideal treatment for this condition. Since ED can be multifactorial depending on the underlying cause, it will determine which healthcare professional are best suited for each man. Once a man can assemble a competent health care and support team for his ED, he will have a better chance of successfully correcting the situation.
The first healthcare professional men should consult with is their primary care physician or family doctor. Usually, they will be familiar with his health history and possible underlying health conditions contributing to ED. After performing a physical examination, reviewing medications, and ordering blood tests, he will likely ask questions such as when the ED started, level of sexual desire, are there morning erections, and if the man is using illegal drugs or alcohol or smoking.
Depending on the findings, they may treat ED initially with oral medications, and if those don’t work, refer a man to a specialist.
The second most logical health care professional to visit for ED is a urologist. Urologists specialize in treating problems with the urinary tract and male reproductive systems. They are well-trained and experienced in evaluating ED and prostate problems such as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), premature ejaculation, and prostate cancer.
If a man’s ED is associated with underlying heart disease, their primary care physician may refer a man to a cardiologist for an evaluation. Adequate blood flow is vital for men to achieve an erection. Inadequate blood flow to the penis could be related to a cardiovascular condition such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, or diabetes. Since erections depend on the blood vessels that serve the penis, it is not surprising that vascular disease can be a leading cause of ED. A cardiologist can do a thorough check-up for signs of heart disease, which includes testing for high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
Endocrinologists specialize in disorders of the hormonal system. If the suspected cause is from a diagnosis of diabetes, low testosterone, thyroid disease, or prolactin levels, a visit to an endocrinologist can prescribe medications to treat low hormonal levels or thyroid issues. It is important to rule out if a man has diabetes as men with the disease are twice as likely to experience ED as men without the disease. Diabetes harms the nerves that instruct the penile arteries to dilate and can restrict blood flow to the penis by damaging blood vessels. Once a man can better control his blood sugar levels, this can help improve and prevent complications of ED.
Sometimes ED is due to a psychological issue such as depression, anxiety, or a relationship issue. By talking with a trained mental health professional, a man can learn coping skills to help improve his mental outlook and relationships, leading to less ED.
Working with a sex therapist is another approach a man can take for treating ED. These professionals can help men find new ways of enhancing their relationship with their partner, advising them to better meet one another’s sexual needs.
Any medication prescribed to a man for ED allows him an opportunity to talk with a pharmacist about possible side effects and how to take it. Pharmacists can also keep track of all medications a man is taking and alert him if the medications might have interactions.
One way to combat and correct ED is for a man to eat a well-balanced diet. To help him evaluate his current eating patterns, meeting with a registered dietitian can help provide men information on making healthy food choices.
Dr. David Samadi is the Director of Men’s Health and Urologic Oncology at St. Francis Hospital in Long Island. He’s a renowned and highly successful board certified Urologic Oncologist Expert and Robotic Surgeon in New York City, regarded as one of the leading prostate surgeons in the U.S., with a vast expertise in prostate cancer treatment and Robotic-Assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy. Dr. Samadi is a medical contributor to NewsMax TV and is also the author of The Ultimate MANual, Dr. Samadi’s Guide to Men’s Health and Wellness, available online both on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Visit Dr. Samadi’s websites at robotic oncology and prostate cancer 911.