This article discusses about the causes, diagnosis and treatment of erectile dysfunction. ED is mainly caused by diabetes, alcohol, and high blood pressure.
Chronic Health Conditions and ED
Chronic health conditions such as diabetes, alcohol, and high blood pressure can cause erectile dysfunction. They may be a leading cause of ED according to the National Institutes of Health.
Estimates vary, but about 5% of 40-year-old men and between 15% – 25% of 65-year-olds are affected from erectile dysfunction.
So a good guess would be that more than 10 million men in the US alone suffer from ED.
Erectile dysfunction (ED), also known as impotence, is the inability to get or maintain an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse and it can happen even when you are very excited and aroused. This can be for several reasons, either psychological or physical.
3 Top Erectile Dysfunction Causes
1. Erectile Dysfunction from Diabetes
Diabetes is one of the main causes of impotence. Over 90% of men with Type I Diabetes experience erectile dysfunction, whereas 40-70% of men who have Type II Diabetes also suffer from sexual dysfunction.
Diabetes can be a cause of erectile dysfunction, because it causes health problems in so many organs and tissues in the body, including nerves and blood vessels.
When you have diabetes, your nerve impulses may not pass along messages to the penis well enough. Erectile dysfunction is 1.5 times more common among men with diabetes.
2. Erectile Dysfunction from Alcohol
Alcohol can affect a man’s ability to get and maintain an erection. It may cause the veins in the penis to tighten, making it difficult for blood to flow into the penis. Erectile dysfunction is common in men who drink alcohol.
Those who drink alcohol are more likely to report problems with sexual function than light drinkers or non-drinkers.
Many heavy drinkers find they have less interest in sex when they are intoxicated, and some suffer from temporary impotence during the period of intercourse.
In fact, according to a review published in Pharmacology & Therapeutics, alcohol contributes to approximately 50% of all cases of erectile dysfunction.
3. Erectile Dysfunction from High Blood Pressure
Erectile Dysfunction is more common in men with high blood pressure than those who have normal blood pressure. Erectile dysfunction is common among men who have hypertension or high blood pressure.
Studies have shown that ED is three times more likely to develop among men who have high blood pressure. This is because the penis gets less oxygenated blood than it needs, so you will be unable to achieve or maintain an erection.
20 Additional Causes of ED
Anxiety can make it difficult to maintain an erection. You may feel anxious about your ability to perform sexually or you may be stressed about other aspects of your life. Both of these things can result in the inability to have an erection.
Erectile dysfunction often occurs as a side effect of depression and is particularly common in men with depression whose sexual function had previously been normal.
3. Hormonal Disorders
If your testicles don’t make enough Testosterone, you may experience erectile dysfunction. This happens when the muscles in the penis aren’t filled with blood.
Many drugs can interfere with sexual performance and fertility, especially medications that affect the central nervous system such as painkillers and psychiatric drugs. Erectile dysfunction is often a side effect of these medications.
Obesity may affect sexual health. One of the most common causes of erectile dysfunction (ED) is obesity. As recently as 2010, more than one-third of American adults were obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Obesity can be a major factor in ED because excess fat interferes with several factors that contribute to men’s sexual function. Obesity can change the body’s response to sex hormones because excessive fat cells convert testosterone into estrogen, which interferes with normal hormone balance.
6. High Cholesterol
Erectile Dysfunction, linked to high cholesterol is also a common side effect of poor diets and lack of exercise in modern societies.
The cells in the penis need a good blood supply to get enough oxygen and nutrients, but there is a big flow of blood away from the penis when you are sitting down. This has been shown by researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.
Erectile Dysfunction linked to high cholesterol can be reversed without drugs.
The researchers found that the increased level of LDL (bad cholesterol) may lead to impotency for men. Even moderate amounts of alcohol can affect testosterone levels and decrease sexual desire. Also, drinking too much may reduce the brain’s ability to be stimulated.
Alcohol also has a blood-pressure raising effect that can also contribute to erectile dysfunction.
7. Heart Diseases
Erectile Dysfunction is the main symptom of many dangerous heart diseases, including coronary artery disease. It is often the first sign of heart disease in younger men. If you have Erectile Dysfunction, it’s time to talk to your doctor about getting a comprehensive cardiac risk-factor evaluation.
Erectile Dysfunction is just the tip of the iceberg!
A wide range of heart problems, including chest pain (angina), high blood pressure in the arteries supplying the penis, and blockages in other vessels, can cause Erectile Dysfunction.
8. Drug Addiction
While unfortunately brain influencing substances are being portrayed in movies as a sex-stimulating and strength-empowering materials, but the fact it causes so much damage to the human brain and body!
Top 4 Addiction Drugs That Cause ED:
In a study, 28% of male drug users reported having problems getting or keeping an erection. The risk of erectile dysfunction was 4 times higher among cocaine users compared with nonusers. Cocaine’s effects on the central nervous system may be responsible.
Among men who use heroin, about one out of five report erection problems. The risk of impotence is 5 times higher among heroin users than nonusers. Heroin reduces the effects of some chemicals in the brain, which can affect sexual arousal and lead to erection problems.
In addition, some people who inject heroin have been known to share needles with others, increasing their risk for contracting a sexually transmitted infection or blood-borne diseases.
Men who smoked marijuana daily were less likely to have complete erections after being shown erotic movie clips, according to a study. It is believed that the drug affects estrogen levels in men, which affects erectile function.
Methamphetamine (named also Meth) is a street drug that is known for its strong stimulant effect on the central nervous system and its ability to induce euphoria. It’s highly addictive, and tolerance quickly builds up when using this drug regularly.
If users attempt to stop using methamphetamine after repeated use, withdrawal symptoms start within a few days, and they may last a month or more. Symptoms of methamphetamine withdrawal include fatigue, erectile dysfunction, anxiety, depression, and intense drug cravings.
Smoking is a risk factor for developing erectile dysfunction. Smoking is bad for your sex life! It decreases blood flow to the penis, making it harder to get and keep an erection.
Smoking narrows the arteries that carry blood to all parts of the body, including the penis. This means less oxygen reaches the penis, resulting in hardening of the arteries and erectile dysfunction over time.
10. Hair Loss Medicines
The FDA has announced that Propecia (Finasteride) and Avodart (Dutasteride), both hair loss medicines can cause side effects that may involve erectile dysfunction or ejaculation disorders. Both types of sexual function problems have been linked to the use of these hair loss medicines.
11. Seizures and Anxiety Medicines
Xanax, Ativan, and Klonopin are popular tranquilizers used in the treatment of anxiety. They often cause side effects that involve sexual function. Some possible problems include difficulty getting an erection (Erectile Dysfunction); inability to ejaculate (Retrograde Ejaculation); and reduced interest in sex (Libido).
12. High Blood Pressure Medicines
High blood pressure medicines including diuretics such as Hydrochlorothiazide, calcium channel blockers, alpha-blockers, and beta-blockers can make erection difficult because they reduce the flow of blood to the penis.
13. Anti Depressant Medicines
It was previously believed that anti-depressants are responsible for causing erectile dysfunction in men. However, it has been found that the problem is much more complex.
Medical practitioners have come to know about certain medications which can cause sexual problems in some individuals. These medicines include Valium, Prozac (Fluoxetine), Citalopram (Celexa), Dapoxetine (Priligy), Fluvoxamine (Luvox), and Clomipramine (Anafranil).
14. Parkinson’s Disease Medicines
Medicines used to treat Parkinson’s Disease include Pramipexole (Mirapex), Ropinirole (Requip), and Cabergoline (Caber). Erectile dysfunction is one of the side effects of these drugs.
Some antihistamines cause erectile dysfunction. The most common antihistamine known to cause sexual problems is Chlorpheniramine. Erectile dysfunction may occur in some men who take antihistamines, but not in all.
16. Cough and Cold Medicines
Several over-the-counter medications, including some cough and cold medicines, can contribute to erectile dysfunction (ED), new research suggests.
A study published in the January issue of The Journal of Urology found that prolonged use of medications like cough and cold medicines containing decongestants can lead to a temporary form of ED by restricting blood flow to the penis, which can damage penile tissue over time.
17. Steroid Medicines
Erectile dysfunction can also be caused by steroid medicines. The University of Maryland Medical Center cites anabolic steroids as a specific example. These are used to treat conditions associated with muscle loss, such as cancer and AIDS.
The National Institutes of Health reports that this type of steroid suppresses the production of testosterone in male users, which can lead to ED.
18. Painkiller Medicines
A different study published in the Canadian Journal of Erectile Dysfunction found that the use of painkillers such as codeine, morphine, and oxycodone may also damage penile tissue over time, resulting in ED.
Other types of drugs that can cause erectile dysfunction include tranquilizers. A study published in Psychosomatics found that people who used tranquilizers were more likely to experience ED and other forms of sexual dysfunction.
Chemotherapy is a common treatment for cancer, but one of the most common side effects is erectile dysfunction. Oncologists often prescribe Viagra to men undergoing chemotherapy, since it may not interfere with other drugs and chemotherapy usually causes no permanent damage to fertility.
Main 5 Erectile Dysfunction Diagnosis
1. Blood Test
The first test should be a blood test, to check for conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol levels, cardiovascular diseases, and the level of testosterone.
2. Physical Test
This is done by testing the sensation of the penis. The primary piece of equipment used for diagnosing erectile dysfunction is a penis ring. The ring allows the physician to detect the flow of blood through the arteries and veins in and around the penis. In addition to that, the testicles are checked too.
3. Ultrasound Test
A small probe is placed against the man’s scrotum and testicles, which emits inaudible sound waves that create a picture of the blood vessels within in a way similar to an ultrasound used in pregnancy. If there are no problems found in any of these tests, then an x-ray test can be used.
4. Psychological Test
This is done by assessing the sexual history of the patient and whether or not he has any performance anxiety or if there is any sign of depression.
5. Urine Sample Test
A urine sample is checked for the presence of blood. If the urine contains hemoglobin, then this would be a sign that there is severe damage to the arteries in the penis. Also, the urine sample helps in identifying if there is any sign of diabetes.
The majority of erectile dysfunction treatments are aimed at allowing the patient to achieve an erection sufficient for intercourse.
The treatments used are divided into two types: First, some were designed specifically for each type of disorder, depending on the cause which produces it. Second, some treatments are designed for all the causes of erectile dysfunction regardless of their origin.
Top 4 Erectile Dysfunction Treatment Options:
1. Medication (Viagra, Cialis, Levitra, Stendra)
All of these medications “Viagra, Cialis, Levitra, and Stendra” increase blood flow to the penis to treat erectile dysfunction, however, they have varying effects on an individual. Your doctor is the one to decide on the suitable medicine.
2. Shock Wave Therapy
For this treatment, a computer calculates the velocity of sound waves and decides which pressure level is required. The machine starts sending high-intensity shock waves to the penis. The shock waves stimulate the growth of new blood vessels in the penis and make them healthier.
In Australia, it has been approved by various medical organizations as a safe treatment for erectile dysfunction that can be resolved through so-called “shock wave” therapy. Through this method, the blood flow to the penis is activated with special shock waves.
3. Acupuncture Therapy
Acupuncture has been used to improve erectile dysfunction by increasing nitric oxide and circulation in the penile area and controlling the production of cortisol, a hormone associated with stress and anxiety. The success rate of acupuncture is still up for debate among researchers.
4. Penis Pump Therapy
Another way of therapy is by trying the penis pump, which is a device the man can use to place it on his penis and suck out the air. This process will increase the blood flow to the penis so an erection can be achieved.
Home Remedies and Prevention
Top 9 Erectile Dysfunction Natural Cure Home Remedies and Prevention Tips:
1. Healthy Diet
A healthy diet is one of the best ways to cut down your chances of suffering from diabetes, alcohol abuse, and high blood pressure. All these conditions are major causes of erectile dysfunction in men. You can include foods like fruits, veggies, whole grains, and nuts in your daily diet.
Remember to opt for low-fat protein sources like meat, poultry, fish, and eggs.
2. Routine Exercises
Exercise has many cardiovascular benefits that improve the overall health of the body. This includes keeping your blood pressure in check which helps prevent erectile dysfunction or impotence.
You should make sure that you exercise regularly to keep diabetes at bay. Try lowering your fat intake and doing some form of physical activity for thirty minutes daily, such as brisk walking, swimming, jogging, or cycling.
Meditation is a great tool that can help lower your stress levels which are another major factor for erectile dysfunction in men.
According to research, it has also been proven that meditation brings about improvement in the overall sexual activity levels of males suffering from ED. Yoga is one of the best forms of meditation that can help.
4. Zinc Supplement
Zinc supplements are known to help keep your testosterone levels high. The more the testosterone levels in the body, the greater is your sexual desire. Zinc also enhances the motility of sperm which helps improve fertility rates.
5. Magnesium Supplement
Magnesium helps maintain healthy cell function and aids in the relaxation of blood vessels. This means that your chances of suffering from ED will reduce significantly. You can get magnesium from supplements or through foods like green leafy veggies, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.
6. Maca Supplement
Maca has been used as an aphrodisiac for years. It is known to boost libido levels and treat sexual dysfunction among men. You can take maca supplements every day to improve your overall sex drive.
7. Ginger Supplement
Ginger contains gingerols which are powerful antioxidants that fight against free radicals in the body.
The high levels of antioxidants present in ginger help fight against the symptoms of diabetes, high blood pressure, and alcohol-induced erectile dysfunction.
8. L-Arginine Supplement
L-arginine is an amino acid that can be found in many food sources. It is converted to nitric oxide in the body which helps improve blood flow to the genital region, thus aiding better erections.
9. Herbal Supplements
Various herbal supplements are known to help improve sexual functions in men, such as:
- Green Tea Extract
- Muira Pauma
- Horny Goat Weed
These extracts contain libido enhancers that can be very effective if consumed regularly for prolonged periods.
Green tea is a great source of antioxidants that fight cellular damage in the body. It also helps reduce stress levels which are known to bring about sexual dysfunction in many men. You can add green tea leaves to your daily diet or opt for supplements every day.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Erectile Dysfunction From What Age?
ED is most often the result of an underlying condition found in middle or old age (40 – 50 years old and above). However, it can also be caused by diseases that usually strike at a younger age.
2. What Causes Erectile Dysfunction?
The three most common causes of ED are diabetes, low testosterone levels, cardiovascular diseases, mental and emotional stress, and side effects of some medications.
3. What’s the Relation Between Erectile Dysfunction and Low Testosterone?
ED is a common symptom of low testosterone levels. The vast majority of men with low testosterone cannot achieve or maintain an erection, even when they are sexually stimulated. This is because low testosterone impairs blood vessel function within the penis.
4. Does Flomax Help with Erectile Dysfunction?
No. Flomax is an alpha-blocker drug that can lead to ED in some men. Flomax is used to treat symptoms of an enlarged prostate, which include frequent urination and the inability to urinate at all. Read on for more information about Flomax and erectile dysfunction.”
5. What’s the Relation Between Erectile Dysfunction and Beta Blockers?
Beta-Blockers are a class of high blood pressure medications, which may cause ED as a side effect of hypertension medications.
6. Does Masturbation Cause Erectile Dysfunction?
Yes. Masturbation does cause ED on the long run. There are several studies refers to the negative side effects of masturbation, on both the physical and emotional fronts
7. How to Find Erectile Dysfunction Treatments Dr Near Me?
Simply go to Google Maps or Apple Maps on your computer or smart phone and type in the search keywords (Andrologist) or (Andrology Doctor) or (Andrology Clinic). Ensure your GPS location service is enabled beforehand so the system can determine the closes andrology doctor’s clinic or hospital to you.
Erectile dysfunction from diabetes, alcohol, and high blood pressure are major concerns that men face today.
While there are many treatments available, you should opt for natural cure home remedies that help improve your overall health and sexual functions.
If the problem is due to diabetes or high blood pressure, then maintaining a healthy diet is one of the best ways to cut down on the chances of suffering from erectile dysfunction in the future. You should also stop alcohol intake in case you are having trouble with ED.
Exercising also keeps blood pressure in check which prevents complications like ED.
Meditation helps lower stress levels which take their toll on sexual functions in men while zinc, magnesium, and other over-the-counter supplements can help boost testosterone levels in the body, thus improving your sex life.
Finally, before taking any medication, supplement, or considering any therapy to address your ED problem.. make sure to consult with your doctor to advise on the best course of treatment.
If you enjoyed reading this article related to men’s health, you may want to checkout Men’s Sports Over 40: Your Guide to Top Recommended Healthy Sports and Testosterone Health Benefits for Men.
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