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Alcohol & Substance Abuse : Does Alcohol Cause Erectile Dysfunction?
Alcohol abuse is a pattern of drinking that results in one or more of the following situations within a 12-month period:
- Failure to fulfill major work, school, or home responsibilities
- Drinking in situations that are physically dangerous, such as while driving a car or operating machinery
- Legal problems related to alcohol, such as being arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or for physically hurting someone while drunk
- Continued drinking despite having ongoing relationship problems that are caused or worsened by alcohol
Alcohol abuse can lead to alcoholism, which is a chronic, progressive disease that includes the following symptoms:
- A strong need, or compulsion, to drink
- Loss of control over alcohol consumption
- Physical dependence on alcohol, resulting in withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, sweating, trembling, and anxiety when alcohol use is stopped after a period of heavy drinking
- Tolerance to alcohol, meaning that more alcohol is required to feel the same effects
Alcoholism is a serious medical condition that requires treatment. People who suffer from alcoholism cannot safely stop drinking without help.
Does Alcohol Cause Erectile Dysfunction?
Alcohol abuse can cause erectile dysfunction, and erectile dysfunction can lead to alcohol abuse. It’s a vicious cycle, as each condition can worsen the other. Alcohol abuse can cause erectile dysfunction because it:
- Damages the nerves that control erections
- Reduces testosterone levels
- Causes dehydration, which can lead to decreased blood flow to the penis
- Increases the risk of developing heart disease, which can also lead to decreased blood flow to the penis
If you’re struggling with alcohol abuse and erectile dysfunction, it’s important to get help for both conditions. Treating one condition without addressing the other can lead to a relapse.