It’s Not Just Impotence – Get To The Underlying Cause
If you’ve suffered erectile dysfunction, (ED), you know the inability to get or keep an erection that is firm enough to have sexual intercourse can be a soul-crushing experience for you… and your partner. But do you have to accept that as an inevitability in your life? The short answer is, “no.”
Erectile dysfunction doesn’t have to be in the cards for you. Don’t assume the risk of ED increases as you age even though the inability to maintain and erection may be age-related. Aging may contribute to impotence, but there are more lifestyle factors that put you at risk than age.
What is ED?
Consider the male anatomy. Sexual arousal for a man doesn’t appear complex, but arousal does depend on a myriad of sequences within the body.
1. The brain activates nerves in the penis
2. Muscles in the spongy tissues that run the length of the penis relax
3. When the muscles relax, blood can then flow into the penis from the arteries
4. The blood fills the open spaces within the spongy tissue
5. The increase of blood pressure causes the penis to expand
6. The membranes in the spongy tissue sustain the erection
7. Intercourse can occur
Anything that interrupts this precise sequence of events, can result in an ability to get, or maintain, an erection.
Is there help for ED sufferers?
While there are medications that alleviate erectile dysfunction issues and allow you to maintain an erection, but before you turn to prescription medications which will offer a temporary solution to a potentially long-term health problem, look at your lifestyle and how that may be impacting your ability to get, and maintain, an erection.
Here are some underlying medical problems whose underlying causes or subsequent complication will causes impotence.
2. Heart disease
4. High blood pressure
5. High cholesterol
6. Enlarged prostate
7. Sleep disorders
8. Low testosterone
9. Parkinson’s disease
Testosterone impacts a man’s sex drive and energy levels; that combination governs the arousal impulses in the brain. Diabetes causes nerve damage to those nerves that signal increased blood flow to the penis. A man with type 2 diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association, is two times as likely to have low testosterone levels as compared to a man who doesn’t have diabetes.
Heart disease can lead to a constriction of blood flow and blockages in the arteries will hamper the ability to have an erection. In addition, is almost certainly related to low nitric oxide levels which impair blood flow.
Non-medical causes of erectile dysfunction include:
1. Tobacco use
2. Certain prescription medications including: calcium channel blockers, high blood pressure meds, antidepressants, antihistamines among others
5. Excessive alcohol consumption
Now let’s add to the mix the emotional and psychological stressors in a man’s life that can inhibit sexual arousal.
Outside influences and stressors include:
1. Being nervous about an upcoming presentation at work
2. Anger or hurt feelings because of a fight with your significant other
4. The anxiety that arises from an episode of having been unable to achieve or sustain an erection
What lifestyle changes can you implement to alleviate ED?
I always suggest looking at lifestyle changes before jumping into a drug-initiated fix. If you’re addressing the problem by taking medications, but not looking at how you’re living or eating or your physical activity, you’re just throwing a pill at the problem.
Look at changing your lifestyle and see if that doesn’t help address some of the impotence issues (or all of them) that you’re facing.
Here are some ways in which you can manage the emotional and physical causes of ED.
1. Quit smoking
2. Cut back on alcohol consumption
3. Lose weight
4. Find a way to better manage stress
5. Improve your relationship with your sexual partner and don’t be afraid to address the “elephant in the room”
It may take trial and error and you may need to change more than one area of your life in order to see a change in your sexual health.
Aging and ED
While marketing has led many people to now associate the naturally decreasing levels of testosterone with ED and age, these are by no means the sole factors in your ability to achieve and maintain an erection.
You will find most of the underlying causes of erectile dysfunction aren’t closely related to aging, but instead are tied to other underlying medical and lifestyle causes.
The cause of your ED can be determined through a blood test and through psychosocial and physical examinations. You may find you have more than one underlying issue that is leading to your impotence.
You’re not alone
Knowing that you’re not alone is a cold comfort, but it’s estimated that “50% of men aged 40-70 will experience ED at one time or another.”
Noticing changes in your body
As men we are not always as in tune with our bodies as women are, but if you’re not waking up with an early morning erection, it could be a sign of impotence ahead. You wake up with an erection because your brain is releasing a hormone called noradrenaline while you sleep and this keeps you from having erections, during the night, but not from having one upon waking.
Having frequent morning erections indicates you have good blood flow to your penis and that your penis is healthy. If you notice you’re not waking up with a morning erection, it could mean the blood vessels in your body and in your penis are not performing at the levels they once did and could be a precursor to ED.
What are some treatments for men suffering ED?
There are myriad treatments for men with impotence.
1. There is the prescription medicine routes (you know, the “little blue pill”).
2. Natural remedies that support high level of nitric oxide include premium beet and pomegranate juice powder, ginseng and citrulline.
3. Lifestyle changes can significantly reduce your struggle with impotence. We believe that natural supplements and lifestyle changes are your best bets for a healthful way to address ED.
4. And excitedly for many, a new therapy that uses ultrasonic shock waves is proving to be very beneficial in improving sexual function and pleasure. These low-intensity shock waves use about one-tenth of the energy of traditional shock wave machines for kidney stones. And rather than break something down, as is the case with stones, shock waves make the penis healthier by stimulating healing and improving blood flow. Gainswave Therapy and other similar technology are now becoming readily available all over the US.
Can you prevent ED?
Depending on the underlying cause of your ED, you may be able to prevent it. Living a healthy lifestyle, taking supplements, being physically active and eating healthy foods may help prevent your suffering from ED. The preventative measures you take to address the potential for ED will benefit you in all aspects of your life.