Are There Any Natural Remedies for Erectile Dysfunction?
I have erectile dysfunction. I was wondering if you could tell me what causes it. Also, are there any natural ways to treat it?
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 therapies will improve not only your sex life but every aspect of your well-being.
How you live affects your sexual function as well.
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 supplementing with L-arginine. This amino acid is a direct precursor to NO. Supplemental arginine has been shown to improve erectile function 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 therapies 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.
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Meet Dr. Whitaker
For more than 30 years, Dr. Julian Whitaker has helped people regain their health with a combination of therapeutic lifestyle changes, targeted nutritional support, and other cutting-edge natural therapies. He is widely known for treating diabetes, but also routinely treats heart disease and other degenerative diseases. More About Dr. Whitaker
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