I rather like this study because it ties together two seemingly unrelated issues, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and erectile dysfunction (ED).
Although I’m a specialist in digestive problems, I frequently have patients who also have other problems. These range from headaches and sinusitis to eczema and joint pain, and everything in between. The common thread in all of these conditions is inflammation. And guess what? The same things that trigger inflammation in the digestive tract also have the potential to trigger inflammation other parts of the body. Thus, one of the beautiful things about my job is that my patients frequently report improvement in non-digestive problems such as the ones mentioned.
In adjusted analyses, men with IBS had a nearly 2.6 times increased risk of ED compared with controls, researchers reported in Andrology (2013;1:793-798). The risk increased with increasing age and number of comorbidities.
Erectile dysfunction is also about inflammation. So it shouldn’t be too surprising to see that an association has been found between IBS and ED.
It’s not that one is causing the other, it’s that people who have one are more likely to have both. It also raises the question, if we can cure IBS, then can we cure ED? I think it’s possible if, like with IBS, we focus on finding the cause of the inflammation.
Questions about IBS? Contact my office directly at Info@IBSTreatmentCenter.com or call us toll-free at 1.888.546.6283.
Dr. Stephen Wangen is the award winning author of two books on solving digestive disorders, and a nationally recognized speaker on IBS. He has been on ABC, NBC, and Fox as well as public radio. He was recently named one of Seattle’s Top Doctors by Seattle Magazine.