Erectile dysfunction or ED is the inability of a man to obtain an erection. There are times when an erection can be achieved, but the firmness of the penis may not be hard enough for sexual intercourse. Also known as impotence, ED can be a very embarrassing condition among males. It can easily rob them of their self-confidence and may even destroy relationships.
Having ED is very common. In fact, some men may suffer from it temporarily most especially during times of stress. Erectile dysfunction that lasts for weeks, however, may require the sufferer to consult a specialist to determine the root cause.
Health authorities say that older men are likelier to encounter ED. They add that about 50% of all men between the ages of 40 and 70 will suffer from erectile dysfunction to a certain degree. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases or NIDDK, as many as 30 millions Americans are suffering from ED.
There are different reasons — both physical and psychological — why erectile dysfunction takes place. There are also certain medical treatments available for ED as well as some all-natural remedies.
Various Reasons Why ED Happens
Some of the most common physical reasons why erectile dysfunction happens are as follows:
- Heart disease
- Atherosclerosis (clogging up of the blood vessels)
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- High cholesterol levels
- Multiple sclerosis (an autoimmune disease wherein the body attacks its own nervous system)
- Parkinson’s disease
- Metabolic syndrome (group of symptoms that can lead to diabetes and heart disease)
- Peyronie’s disease (scar tissue formation in the penis)
- Sleep disorders
- Hormonal problems
- Cigarette smoking
- The intake of certain prescription drugs
- Trauma to the pelvic area or spinal cord
The following are the usual psychological causes of erectile dysfunction:
- Mental health problems such as depression and anxiety
- Relationship issues
Medical Treatment for Erectile Dysfunction
In order to deal with ED, the primary cause of the condition should be tackled. For instance, a specialist may recommend the sufferer to lose weight and embrace certain dietary and lifestyle changes to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Drugs for lowering the blood pressure or cholesterol levels may be prescribed by a doctor if such is the root cause of ED.
At least 2/3 of all cases of ED may be managed with the intake of sildenafil citrate, a drug specifically formulated for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. There are times when the simple use of vacuum pumps that draw blood to the penis allows ED sufferers to attain much-needed erection.
When it comes to treating ED brought about by psychological reasons, sex therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT are commonly recommended by the experts. Drugs for mental health problems like depression and anxiety may be prescribed if such is the primary cause of the condition.
All-Natural Erectile Dysfunction Remedies
Several studies conducted recently revealed that it’s possible for some men to reverse ED through lifestyle changes. In addition, implementing certain lifestyle changes is said to even help make the intake of medications for the different causes of erectile dysfunction more effective. Here they are:
- Have a balanced diet. The consumption of fruits, vegetables, fish and whole grains can be helpful for sufferers of ED as well as keeping it at bay. Experts recommend a reduction in the intake of red meat, refined grains and processed food.
- Exercise regularly. A great way to improve blood circulation all over your body — including the penis — is by having your regular dose of exercise. High-impact exercises help in the production of testosterone, a hormone that contributes to a healthy sex drive and a strong erection.
- Quit smoking. One of the many problems cigarette smoking brings is the narrowing of the blood vessels. Ditching your habit helps in promoting healthier blood circulation, thus allowing you to obtain an erection.
- Have a regular sleep schedule. Experts say that having a particular sleep schedule allows the body to determine when to secrete certain hormones, including testosterone that has something to do with a male’s sexual health.
- Reduce intake of alcohol. Excessive consumption of alcohol is a no-no because the beverage is a depressant, something which can cause erectile dysfunction — both temporary and long-term.
- Take herbal remedies. Two of the most proven remedies for ED are pomegranate juice and red ginseng. However, make sure you inform your doctor about your plan on trying them especially if you are taking prescription drugs.