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Erectile Dysfunction: Everything You Need to Know

By August 30, 2015Sexual health

As primitive as it may seem, more often than not a man is still judged by his performance in the bedroom. Studies show that couples who reported a healthy sex life were happier overall. Being able to satisfy your lover has less to do with size and everything to do with performance. If you find that your lifelong buddy is not standing at attention or lasting as long as he should be, then there is a good chance you may be experiencing Erectile Dysfunction. Let’s review the signs to watch out for with Erectile Dysfunction and the ways you can rid yourself of this embarrassing and self-esteem crushing condition.

Erectile Dysfunction: Symptoms Explained

Put simply: Erectile Dysfunction is the inability to maintain a lasting erection during sexual activity. As mentioned below, not being able to get it up or keep it up once in a while is okay, especially during high stress situations. If you find yourself consistently struggling to get all hands on deck during sex, then there is a good chance you are one of the 30 million men who suffer from Erectile Dysfunction, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

As you would expect, Erectile Dysfunction becomes much more common as men age. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases took a survey in 2006 to discover the following populations are at the highest risk:

  • Age: 50s: 4% of men
  • Age: 60s: 17% of men
  • Age: 70s: 47% of men

Despite these being the primary ages at risk, Erectile Dysfunction can affect men of any age, especially if they suffer from one of the following causes of the condition.

Possible Causes of Erectile Dysfunction

Medication

It’s quite ironic that pills meant to help you in one way end up hurting you in another. Men experiencing symptoms for other conditions may find particular medication to be a direct cause of their Erectile Dysfunction. The best example is men who take prescription medication for hair loss. Researchers agree that there are a number of proven factors that contribute to hair loss. One of the most common is the abundance of DHT, or dihydrotestosterone, on the scalp. DHT is a hormone and a precursor to testosterone. It’s great for muscle building but terrible for your hair line. When men start to take a medication for hair loss, such as Propecia, it blocks the production and circulation of DHT. Hair may begin to grow back but at what cost? One of the primary side effects of a DHT blocker is Erectile Dysfunction. Before beginning any type of medication, check with your doctor about the side effects. Always try to go the natural route for a symptom before taking a medication with a laundry list of side effects (especially ones that ruin your bedroom performance).

High Blood Pressure

This one should be no surprise. What happens when you become aroused? Penile muscles relax and blood fills three large vessels in the shaft. This is Erection 101. Without healthy blood pressure, you are essentially choking off the life support to your sexual performance. Hypertension causes damage to important blood vessels that are needed for a healthy erection. Combat high blood pressure and save your health by sticking to an exercise program and healthy diet.

Stress and Other Psychological Triggers

Every guy who is sexually active has been there. We’ve all jumped into the sheets with a mind that was elsewhere. Whether you’re worried about someone hearing you or you just can’t stop thinking about that report that’s due tomorrow, your mind can quickly become your worst enemy during sex. Men with high anxiety often find themselves coming up short in the bedroom. Sex really is a mind to muscle connection. Both parties need to be present if you want to excel. Mild anxiety can be curbed by looking into meditation classes. Practice mindfulness and rid yourself of those negative thoughts so that you and your lover can have a positive experience. If you have severe anxiety, then it is highly recommended to talk with your doctor.

Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic syndrome is not just one condition but several that all affect your cardiovascular health. What’s more, each condition spurns on the others. When you have Metabolic Syndrome, you may suffer from one or more of the following: obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and high cholesterol. Men who were diagnosed with diabetes were two to three times more likely to also have Erectile Dysfunction, according to the National Institutes of Health. A study published in the Journal of Sexual Health demonstrated the correlation between obesity and metabolic syndrome with low levels of testosterone and erectile dysfunction. Metabolic syndrome is primarily the result of a lifestyle choice. Making conscious efforts towards eating healthy choices and exercising daily can make dramatic improvements for your sexual performance.

Common Myths About Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile Dysfunction is normal and it happens to every guy…

While occasional Erectile Dysfunction is normal; frequent occurrences are not. When a guy gets stressed during the heat of the moment, then it’s understandable when things start to not go as planned. For instance, if you are spooked about someone walking in on you and your lover during the act. That psychological stress is going to detract from your performance. If you experience erectile performance troubles under normal circumstances then this is going to be a sign of a bigger problem. For example, you two are alone, the door is locked, and the only thing you can think about is her… and you still can’t manage to get past half mast. This is not normal and it is a sign that you should take a trip to your doctor.

It’s embarrassing but it won’t kill me…

Can you die from a flaccid penis? No. However, Erectile Dysfunction may be the sign of a much bigger problem. For example, you may have hypertension, which is producing a number of different symptoms including Erectile Dysfunction. If you are overweight or obese and experiencing Erectile Dysfunction, you should visit your doctor immediately to ensure you do not have other conditions such as diabetes or high cholesterol.

Pills can cure everything…

As I alluded to before, medication can become more problematic than helpful. Prescriptions should be assisting you while you make efforts to improve your lifestyle, thereby weaning yourself from the medication. All too often, people will use prescription medication as a crutch. This is especially true for Erectile Dysfunction. Some men believe that Erectile Dysfunction is a condition that will not go away; therefore, medication is going to be needed each and every day. Over time, men build up a resistance to the medication, requiring a higher dosage. You can see how this vicious cycle will only perpetuate the condition and keep men trapped.

Once I start taking a medication, I’ll never be able to stop taking it…

To connect with the point above, for some reason, the majority of men believe that a prescription medication is a lifelong sentence. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Medications are a means to support you while you actively pursue a healthier mindset and lifestyle. Men who are successful in incorporating a healthy diet and exercise into their lives are the ones who find themselves throwing away that orange pill bottle and hopping back into bed with no need for assistance.

How to Get Rid of Erectile Dysfunction with Prescriptions

If you want to start out with the prescription route, then here is our list of the top three Erectile Dysfunction medications:

Cialis

  • Recommended dosage: 2.5 mg
  • Treats: Erectile Dysfunction and Male Impotence
  • Side effects: Upset stomach, headache, back pain, muscle pain, stuffy nose, flushing, or dizziness.

Levitra

  • Recommended dosage: 10 mg
  • Treats: Erectile Dysfunction and Male Impotence
  • Side effects: Headache, flushing, stuffy/runny nose, dizziness, vision changes, sensitivity to light, and blurred vision.

Viagra

  • Recommended dosage: 50 mg
  • Treats: Erectile Dysfunction and Male Impotence
  • Side effects: Warmth or redness in the face, neck, or chest, stuffy nose, headaches, stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea, loss of hearing, ringing in the ears and dizziness.

As always, please speak with your doctor if you believe you are suffering from Erectile Dysfunction and you want to pursue the prescription medication route.

How to Naturally Overcome Erectile Dysfunction

If you would rather try to conquer this problem on your own before venturing into the doctor’s office, then I say, “Congrats.” Let’s take a look at some of the safest and easiest ways to naturally stop Erectile Dysfunction.

Diet and Exercise

Eating a healthy diet and incorporating exercise into your daily routine are the top two ways to naturally combat Erectile Dysfunction. What’s more, adopting this new lifestyle will be extremely beneficial overall. You’ll notice a marked improvement in all areas of your doctor’s standard rap sheet review.

Diet: First things first, you’ll need to figure out your caloric intake before making the appropriate choices. It’s far easier than it seems with this caloric calculator.

Exercise: Beginning an exercise program doesn’t require an advanced knowledge of exercise science. It’s as simple as becoming more physically active during the day. If you’re just starting out, take little steps. Start by walking 30 minutes each day. Eventually, work your way up to a higher intensity activity such as jogging or cycling. Get yourself into the weight room for the best results. Performing resistance training three times per week will provide you with a huge caloric burn and better body composition.

Kegel Exercises

Your chest and legs don’t have to be the only muscle that you target. Your penile muscles can also be the focus of your workouts if you want to improve your bedroom performance and fight off Erectile Dysfunction. Check out this article on how to perform Kegel exercises.

Supplementation

The supplement industry has unlocked the key to a number of powerful herbal remedies, all with a specific purpose. You can find a non-prescription supplement for every condition out there, including Erectile Dysfunction. Here are several ingredients that are safe, all natural, and scientifically proven to boost sexual performance while warding off Erectile Dysfunction:

DHEA

According to a study published in Urology, DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone) was very effective in treating Erectile Dysfunction. (2)

Maca

Clinical trials were very promising in a recent study published in CNS Neuroscience & Therapeutics where subjects were given Maca root to alleviate sexual dysfunction. (3)

Korean Red Ginseng

The ancient root, Korean Red Ginseng, has been touted as a cure all for many ailments and research is finally adding Erectile Dysfunction to that list. A study published in Asian Journal of Andrology demonstrated that Korean Red Ginseng was a safe and recommended alternative to invasive procedures. (4)

Yohimbine

Placed in many thermogenic, or fat burning, supplements, Yohimbine was reported to have extra benefits for those taking the supplement: increased libido, sex drive, and bedroom performance. Studies, such as this one published in International Journal of Impotence Research, have confirmed that Yohimbine is an effective treatment for Erectile Dysfunction. (5)

Tribulus Terrestris

Tribulus Terrestris has been a hot supplement in the bodybuilding world for its reported effects on boosting testosterone levels. As it turns out, it’s also useful for combating Erectile Dysfunction. A study published in Phytomedicine demonstrated the effectiveness of the herbal remedy Tribulus Terrestris in treating moderate cases of Erectile Dysfunction. (6)

Tongkat ali

Tongkat ali is another well known supplement to boost testosterone, favorited among men in Asia but growing in popularity all over the world. This supplement has been proven to be a safe and natural alternative to testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) and therefore enhance the erection quality of men with lower testosterone levels due to ageing. (7)

CONCLUSION

While the aging process may be working against you, the majority of men suffering from Erectile Dysfunction do so by their own choices. Your lifestyle choices play one of the primary factors in the development of Erectile Dysfunction. If you are currently suffering from this condition, you may feel drawn to immediately take a pill that your doctor prescribes. Visit your doctor first and try out natural remedies before taking the prescription route. Making conscious healthy lifestyle decisions such as eating a nutritious diet and actively exercising each week will provide the most benefits when combating Erectile Dysfunction. If you have severe health issues such as metabolic syndrome, use the natural solution listed above in conjunction with medication until you’re well enough to fly on your own. Do you have questions? Can you make any suggestions on how you battled Erectile Dysfunction? Let us know in the comments below.

REFERENCES

1. Christina Wang, MD; Graham Jackson, MD; T. Hugh Jones, MD; Alvin M. Matsumoto, MD; Ajay Nehra, MD; Michael A. Perelman, PHD; Ronald S. Swerdloff, MD; Abdul Traish, PHD; Michael Zitzmann, MD; Glenn Cunningham, MD. Low Testosterone Associated With Obesity and the Metabolic Syndrome Contributes to Sexual Dysfunction and Cardiovascular Disease Risk in Men With Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetes Care July 2011 vol. 34 no. 7 1669-1675. Link

2. Reiter WJ, Pycha A, Schatzl G, Pokorny A, Gruber DM, Huber JC, Marberger M. Dehydroepiandrosterone in the treatment of erectile dysfunction: a prospective, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study. Urology. 1999 Mar;53(3):590-4; discussion 594-5. Link.

3. Dording CM, Fisher L, Papakostas G, Farabaugh A, Sonawalla S, Fava M, Mischoulon D. A double-blind, randomized, pilot dose-finding study of maca root (L. meyenii) for the management of SSRI-induced sexual dysfunction. CNS Neurosci Ther. 2008 Fall;14(3):182-91. doi: 10.1111/j.1755-5949.2008.00052.x. Link.

4. de Andrade E, de Mesquita AA, Claro Jde A, de Andrade PM, Ortiz V, Paranhos M, Srougi M. Study of the efficacy of Korean Red Ginseng in the treatment of erectile dysfunction. Asian J Androl. 2007 Mar;9(2):241-4. Epub 2006 Jul 11. Link.

5. Guay AT, Spark RF, Jacobson J, Murray FT, Geisser ME. Yohimbine treatment of organic erectile dysfunction in a dose-escalation trial. Int J Impot Res. 2002 Feb;14(1):25-31. Link.

6. Gauthaman K, Ganesan AP. The hormonal effects of Tribulus terrestris and its role in the management of male erectile dysfunction–an evaluation using primates, rabbit and rat. Phytomedicine. 2008 Jan;15(1-2):44-54. Link.

7. George A, Henkel R. Phytoandrogenic properties of Eurycoma longifolia as natural alternative to testosterone replacement therapy. Andrologia. 2014 Sep;46(7):708-21. Link.

About David Sautter

David is a Tampa, FL based NASM certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor and published fitness writer with over 10 years of successful industry experience. His featured articles have been published in Workout Labs, Miami Muscle, Men Daily, and GarageFit, just to name a few. He also teaches monthly health and fitness workshops. Topics include understanding nutrition and implementing it into your daily routine, correcting and preventing muscle imbalances, and exercising with hypertension. David is as dedicated to fitness as he is to writing. For more than 10 years, he has devoted himself to helping others change their physiques and, in turn, their quality of life. You can read his fitness blog and learn more about him at his website: WriteOnSautter.com

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