Nutrition and Erectile Dysfunction

My male clients are often hesitant to discuss their erectile dysfunction with me.  Turns out men are shy talking about this with their medical doctors too.  Symptoms of male sexual dysfunction can be related to a larger health concern – heart health issues, clogged blood vessels or even nerve damage from diabetes .  I have been told often that ED falls in the things we men don’t really want to know unless we have to category.

Truth is Erectile Dysfunction is often a complicated syndrome.

I can not claim to be an expert on this issue.  However I can report what my clients have tried nutritionally and found success with.  I can also share that it seems to take something for a guy to trust any practitioner, let alone one they have never met before.  Often my clients are someone’s husband,  a friend of a friend, or even someone who finds me through a google search.  It means a great deal to me  when a guy shares this concern with me.

The ED information below is sourced from MayoClinic.com - MANY sites share similar information.

Erectile dysfunction (impotence) is the inability to get and keep an erection firm enough for sex. Having erection trouble from time to time isn’t necessarily a cause for concern. But if erectile dysfunction is an ongoing problem, it may cause stress, cause relationship problems or affect your self-confidence.

Even though it may seem awkward to talk with your doctor about erectile dysfunction, go in for an evaluation. Problems getting or keeping an erection can be a sign of a health condition that needs treatment, such as heart disease or poorly controlled diabetes. Treating an underlying problem may be enough to reverse your erectile dysfunction.

If treating an underlying condition doesn’t help your erectile dysfunction, medications or other direct treatments may work.
Symptoms

Erectile dysfunction is the inability to maintain an erection firm enough for sex, on an ongoing basis. Symptoms related to erectile dysfunction may include:

* Trouble getting an erection
* Trouble keeping an erection
* Reduced sexual desire

See your doctor if:

* Erectile or other sexual problems are an issue for you or your partner
* You have diabetes, heart disease or another known health problem that may be linked to erectile dysfunction
* You have other symptoms along with erectile dysfunction that may not seem related

Male sexual arousal is a complex process that involves the brain, hormones, emotions, nerves, muscles and blood vessels. Erectile dysfunction can result from a problem with any of these. Likewise, stress and mental health problems can cause or worsen erectile dysfunction. Sometimes a combination of physical and psychological issues cause erectile dysfunction. For instance, a minor physical problem that slows your sexual response may cause anxiety about maintaining an erection. The resulting anxiety can lead to or worsen erectile dysfunction.

In most cases, erectile dysfunction is caused by something physical. Common causes include:

* Heart disease
* Clogged blood vessels (atherosclerosis)
* High blood pressure
* Diabetes
* Obesity
* Metabolic syndrome, a condition involving increased blood pressure, high insulin levels, body fat around the waist and high cholesterol
* Parkinson’s disease
* Multiple sclerosis
* Low testosterone
* Peyronie’s disease, development of scar tissue inside the penis
* Certain prescription medications
* Tobacco use
* Alcoholism and other forms of substance abuse
* Treatments for prostate cancer or enlarged prostate
* Surgeries or injuries that affect the pelvic area or spinal cord

The brain plays a key role in triggering the series of physical events that cause an erection, starting with feelings of sexual excitement. A number of things can interfere with sexual feelings and cause or worsen erectile dysfunction. These include:

* Depression, anxiety or other mental health conditions
* Stress
* Fatigue
* Relationship problems due to stress, poor communication or other concerns

Risk factors

As you get older, erections may take longer to develop and may not be as firm. You may need more direct touch to your penis to get and keep an erection. This isn’t a direct consequence of getting older. Usually it’s a result of underlying health problems or taking medications, which is more common as men age.

A variety of risk factors can contribute to erectile dysfunction. They include:

* Medical conditions, particularly diabetes or heart problems.
* Using tobacco, which restricts blood flow to veins and arteries. Over time tobacco use can cause chronic health problems that lead to erectile dysfunction.
* Being overweight, especially if you’re very overweight (obese).
* Certain medical treatments, such as prostate surgery or radiation treatment for cancer.
* Injuries, particularly if they damage the nerves that control erections.
* Medications, including antidepressants, antihistamines and medications to treat high blood pressure, pain or prostate cancer.
* Psychological conditions, such as stress, anxiety or depression.
* Drug and alcohol use, especially if you’re a long-term drug user or heavy drinker.
* Prolonged bicycling, which can compress nerves and affect blood flow to the penis — leading to temporary erectile dysfunction.

Complications resulting from erectile dysfunction can include:

* An unsatisfactory sex life
* Stress or anxiety
* Low self-esteem
* Marital or relationship problems
* The inability to get your partner pregnant

Most of the men who come to me are seeking information about nutrients that can assist them naturally with their heart health or diabetes.  Often men notice once they start taking medications for these health challenges their ED symptoms get worse.  We find consistantly if we get them off the medications;  manage their stress, lower their blood pressure, cholesterol and/or regulate their glucose via nutritional supplementation they see improved sexual function too.

Each case of course has it’s own unique set of circumstances.

Once we find stability with their overall health and well being my guys report that they  have found these additional nutrients to be a great combination to promote male vitality:

CoQ10

Ginkgo Biloba

Ginseng

and Saw Palmetto

flickr image credit

This entry was posted in Nutrition and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Nutrition and Erectile Dysfunction

  1. Tony says:

    Thank I needed that info but I was in an accident an I cracked my spine.I get erect an it will stay hard with peels but it goes soft an sometimes get rihgt back hard,crazy.I was jus wondering. Could it be wat I’m eating as well.thank you if you hav any input.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s