Ram Sadhwani* is a banker in his late 40s who spends at least two-three days a week travelling. His long hours at work and travel have had a negative impact on his marital life. A few months ago, while on a short vacation with his wife, Sadhwani found he couldn’t keep an erection firm enough for making love. His wife assured him the situation would resolve itself—after all it had been a while since they had had sex. But when the problem persisted, she suggested they visit a doctor.
The couple’s family doctor suggested he consult an endocrinologist for tests. The endocrinologist asked him to fill out a short questionnaire recommended by the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF). Sadhwani’s blood was tested for sex hormones, sugar, HDL (high-density lipoprotein), LDL (low-density lipoprotein) and triglyceride levels.
The doctor found his lipid profile to be on the higher side. Higher lipid profiles can lead to heart disease so, as a preventive measure, Sadhwani was prescribed 45-60 minutes of daily exercise and a diet low in fat and rich in fresh fruits and vegetables. He was also prescribed medication to help sustain an erection. In nine months, Sadhwani’s lipid profile was back in a heart-healthy zone and he no longer needed to take the medication.
Sujata Kelkar Shetty, PhD, writes on public health issues
and is a research scientist trained at the National Institutes of
Health in Bethesda, US