Impotence or erectile dysfunction are both terms referring to the inability of a man to develop or maintain an erection for sexual intercourse or activity. An erection actually begins with a thought or desire in the brain, that sends a chemical message to the penis, which then increases blood flow to the penis. That blood flow must be adequate and maintained in order to develop and sustain an erection.
Although most men will suffer from impotence from time to time in their life, erectile dysfunction occurs over a period of several weeks to several months. Erectile dysfunction is a relatively common condition and the incidences increase with age.
The Massachusetts Male Aging Study was conducted between 1987 and 1997 and found
- The combined incidences of minimal to complete impotence were 52% – over half of the subjects studied.
- Incidences of complete impotence increased from 5% to 15% between ages 40 and 70.
- Higher probability of erectile dysfunction correlated first with age, then heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and diabetes medications, anger and depression, and other factors.
- In men with heart disease, cigarette smoking correlated with a greater risk of complete impotence.
The fact that the incidence of impotence increases with age correlates with the fact that
levels of the male sex hormone, testosterone, decline with advancing age. In addition as can be seen in the statistics above, other factors affect the rates of erectile dysfunction.
Symptoms Of Erectile Dysfunction
The following symptoms are associated with erectile dysfunction whether caused by hormone imbalance or other factors:
- Inability to develop or maintain an erection
- Difficulty with ejaculation
- Difficulty experiencing an orgasm
- Low sex drive
- Painful erections
- Pain during intercourse
- Enlarged prostate
- Urinary problems
- Brain Fog
- Increased risk of stroke
- Rapid increase in weight
Causes of Erectile Dysfunction
Impotence can be caused by physical and emotional/psychological factors. One of the main physical causes of erectile dysfunction may be an imbalance of the ratio of estrogen to testosterone in the body. As a man ages, a point is reached when the levels of testosterone become so low that estrogen finally begins to dominate. This phase in a man’s life is often referred to as Andropause or The Male Menopause. When this occurs, many of the symptoms described above may begin to occur.
In addition, those suffering from physical health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease are at higher risk for erectile dysfunction as these and other diseases often affect the flow of blood and the ability of the blood vessels to work properly. Interestingly, the symptoms and causes may be intertwined as well and it is difficult to know whether one causes the other, or vice versa.
Here is a list of common causes of erectile dysfunction:
- Low testosterone
- Hormonal imbalance
- Diabetes medications
- Adrenal Fatigue
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure (Hypertension)
- Depression and other mood related issues
- High stress
- Lack of sleep
- Cigarette smoking
- Alcohol consumption
- Certain medications
- Poor diet
- Poor circulation
- A sedentary lifestyle
- Suffering from restless leg syndrome
- Heavy metal poisoning
- Undetected Infections
Self-care For Erectile Dysfunction
There are several self-care methods you can try to alleviate erectile dysfunction naturally:
- Eat a healthy diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, organic / free range meats, high fiber from nuts and seeds, and healthy fats
- Get regular exercise
- Reduce/eliminate stress
- Get more sleep/improve sleep quality
- Stop smoking
- Reduce or eliminate alcohol consumption
When it’s Time to Get Professional Help for Erectile Dysfunction
If you’ve tried to improve your health through diet, exercise, or any of the other self-care methods above and are still having problems with erectile dysfunction, it may be time to see a professional natural health doctor.
Using a variety of diagnostic methods, we can measure hormone levels and various other markers and use this to design a program that addresses the specific underlying causes for you. This may involve hormone tests and heavy metal tests. Treatments may include ozone therapy and IV therapy.
There is no need to suffer with erectile dysfunction. It is a common condition and nothing at all to be ashamed of. At LifeWorks Wellness Center, our doctors are discreet and professional. We will review your case, perform the necessary testing, and get you on a program to help restore proper functioning.
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We have helped many Tampa Bay men to overcome varying degrees of ED/impotence with swift natural solutions at our Clearwater clinic.