I have erectile dysfunction. I was wondering if you could tell me what causes it. Also, are there any natural erectile dysfunction treatments?
Because testosterone is the driver of sexual desire, low levels of this hormone are intimately linked with loss of libido. However, it is not the primary cause of erectile dysfunction. More often than not, this vexing problem is related to vascular disease.
Erections occur when nitric oxide (NO), a messenger molecule in the endothelial cells lining the arteries, signals the smooth muscles of the penile arteries to dilate, which engorges the penis with blood. If blood flow is compromised—as it is in individuals with heart disease, hypertension, peripheral artery disease and diabetes—you’re obviously more likely to have problems.
Many prescription drugs make matters worse. For example, beta blockers and diuretics, often given to men with hypertension, can make achieving an erection difficult, and SSRI antidepressants cause erectile dysfunction in up to one-quarter of men who take them. Other popular drugs that impair sexual function include statins, antihistamines and tranquilizers.
Getting a handle on health challenges and replacing side effect–riddled drugs with natural erectile dysfunction treatments will improve not only your sex life but every aspect of your well-being.
Lifestyle Changes are Effective Erectile Dysfunction Treatments
Smoking is associated with a 50 percent increase in erectile dysfunction, and kicking the habit often gets things back on track. A Mediterranean diet is also linked with improvements in erectile function. Vegetables, fish and other healthy foods stimulate the release of NO and enhance vascular health, while excess fat, sugar and refined carbohydrates actually reduce production. Other lifestyle measures that boost NO synthesis include regular exercise and maintenance of normal weight.
It may take some time to see results with disease control and lifestyle changes, so I also suggest L-arginine supplements in erectile dysfunction treatments. This amino acid is a direct precursor to NO. Supplemental arginine has been an effective erectile dysfunction treatment in several clinical trials. The suggested dose is 1–2 g three times a day, taken on an empty stomach. Do not take arginine with Viagra-like drugs, nitroglycerin, or if you have herpes or low blood pressure.
If these natural erectile dysfunction treatments don’t help you, talk to your doctor about testing your total and free testosterone levels. If they’re in the low-normal range or below, consider a trial of injected or topical bioidentical testosterone.