Erectile Dysfunction Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

Erecticle dysfunction (ED), commonly known as impotence, causes countless men a great deal of mental and emotional discomfort and humiliation. This condition prevents men from maintaining an erection.

Unfortunately, due to the nature of the condition, many men won’t talk with their physician about it, due to their feelings of embarrassment about it. However, it’s not just the men who suffer. Their partners do, too.

Health Issues and ED Symptoms

Further, it can actually be dangerous to ignore this problem because erectile dysfunction is often an indicator of other serious physical conditions, like cardiovascular disease or diabetes.

Between 30% and 50% of men who have hypertension and 35% and 90% of men who have diabetes will experience erectile dysfunction. Having high cholesterol can also cause this condition.

Erectile dysfunction indicates a restriction of the blood flow in the penis. However, when this happens, it often indicates a systemic blood flow issue that affects the whole body system. Erectile dysfunction is just one symptom of that.

As well, erectile dysfunction can also be an indicator of an emotional or psychological issue. This knowledge may cause the men suffering from ED for this reason to feel additional feelings of shame and guilt.

Men who do step forward and get help find that they are not alone. According to a Johns Hopkins study, more than 18 million American men 20 years or older indicated that they sometimes had trouble getting or maintaining an erection.

Additionally, as men get older, the likelihood that they face erectile dysfunction increases. By the age of 40, 40% of men will be challenged by it. By the age of 70, 70% of men will face this issue.

(ED) Erectile Dysfunction Causes

Many factors can cause erectile dysfunction. Below are some of the most common causes of ED.

Obesity

Excessive body fat can cause a drop in testosterone levels, as well as causing cardiovascular issues. Both of these conditions can cause erectile dysfunction. Maintaining an active lifestyle and a healthy diet can alleviate this issue, as well as mitigate the side effects that often come with it, like depression and anxiety.

Obesity can also be an indicator of metabolic syndrome, which is also marked by higher triglycerides, hypertension, hormonal imbalances and inflammation. This, too, can lead to ED.

Sleep and Breathing Issues

Anything that obstructs breathing, like sleep apnea or smoking, can lead to erectile dysfunction. Getting treated for sleep apnea and smoking cessation can alleviate the symptoms of ED as the flow of blood in the veins returns to normal.

Alcohol and Other Substances

Consuming too much alcohol isn’t just bad for the liver. It can lead to erectile dysfunction by lowering testosterone levels, which in turn, will decrease blood flow to the penis. Substances can also cause hormonal and nerve imbalances. Incidentally, as a man ages, ED becomes more of an issue because his hormonal levels will fluctuate, again causing a decrease in testosterone and increasing the likelihood of erectile dysfunction.

Physical Changes or Damage

Activities, like cycling or horseback riding, as well as Peyronie’s Disease, (which is a curvature in a man’s penis), are two physical causes of impotence. In the former case, damage may occur to the nerves or vascular region, causing ED. In the latter case, it’s actually a curve in the penile shaft coupled with scarring from the disease that can lead to erectile dysfunction.In some men, even periodontal disease, better known as gum disease, may be a cause of ED, though the reasons why are unclear.

Circulatory Issues

This is actually the most common cause of erectile dysfunction. When the blood veins in the body become filled with plaque, they become damaged and clogged. This clogging can cause erectile dysfunction.

However, it’s important to note that the vascular clogging isn’t usually isolated to one area of the body. It’s usually an indication of a systemic issue that needs to be addressed.

Indicators of ED

Although many, if not most men, occasionally face difficulties with erections, some men encountered the issue for an extended amount of time. This condition is marked by an inability to maintain an erection. It may also include an inability to maintain an erection firm enough to have sexual intercourse.

Treatments of Erectile Dysfunction

Many men will take medications to alleviate the symptoms of erectile dysfunction. Some of the most common ones are known by the over-the-counter names of Cialis, Viagra and Levitra.

These drugs do allow a man to maintain an erection, but they are temporary solutions at best. They are also inconvenient because many require that the man take these up to a half hour before having sexual intercourse. These drugs also can’t be taken if a man takes alpha-blockers or nitrate drugs. The side effects can also cause issues, like back pain, dizziness and headaches to name but a few.

On a more natural front, keeping an active lifestyle that includes a healthy diet and exercise is important. This diet should keep the person’s blood sugar down, reduce obesity and allow for healthier blood flow. Additionally, since ED is often an indicator of a poor vascular system, it’s also important to include exercise as a remedy.

Finally, some men are opting for a completely different approach: Shock Wave Therapy. This state-of-the-art, non-invasive treatment eliminates erectile dysfunction at the cause. A pulsating wave allows blood flow to improve as plaque and other debris are dissolved in the veins. Acoustic Wave therapy also causes a healing response, which causes dormant stem cells to activate, rejuvenating erectile tissues.

The result is more sustainable, firmer erections. No drugs are required nor is an invasive surgery. It’s even effective for men who aren’t candidates for ED medications, due to having conditions, like high blood pressure or diabetes.

A Recap

Erectile Dysfunction (or ED) may be more common than people may think: A full 52% of men may suffer from it at one time or another. Despite how common it is, it is a difficult evenuality for many men to deal with. This is due to societal expectations that are placed on men around sexual performance.

However, it is also important to note that ED isn’t just an issue that the men who have it face alone. Their partners are affected as well. This can lead to conflict and psychological issues, which may further exacerbate the problem.

Of more importance are the health issues: Impotence may indicate another serious problem, like cardiovascular disease. Many factors cause these health problems, including excessive alcohol consumption, obesity, breathing and dental issues and even physical injuries, resulting from cycling or horseback riding.

While there are many remedies for ED, many of them involve drugs. Aside from the fact that these don’t offer a permanent solution to erectile dysfunction, some men can’t take them.

Diet and lifestyle changes can help, though these changes can take time. Additionally, if erectile dysfunction has emotional or psychological causes, these lifestyle changes may not do enough to address the underlying causes of the issue.

Fortunately, some men are embracing alternative therapies, like Shock wave or Acoustic therapy which can even be used by men who cannot take anti-ED drugs. This therapy clears out the circulatory system, eliminating plaque in the veins and helping to revive the body’s natural healing systems. If you’d like to learn more about this treatment contact us.