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Erectile Dysfunction

What Is Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction (ED) affects as many as 30 million men in the United States. Almost half of men over age 75 experience ED, according to the National Institutes of Health.
ED is commonly called “impotence.” It’s a condition in which a man can’t achieve or maintain an erection during sexual performance. Symptoms may also include reduced sexual desire or libido.
These kinds of issues can happen at any time and to any man. Causes mainly include:
  • fatigue
  • stress
  • relationship issues
  • performance anxiety
  • alcohol consumption
Your doctor is likely to diagnose you with ED if the condition lasts for more than a few weeks or months.
Standard treatments include pharmaceutical medications, vacuum pumps, implants, and surgery, but many men prefer natural options. Research has found that some natural options can improve your ED symptoms.

What Causes Erectile Dysfunction?

A number of factors can increase your risk of ED. Attaining an erection involves the brain, hormones, muscles, nerves, and blood vessels. A problem with any of these components can block the normal functioning of the penis.
Some common causes of ED include:
  • heart disease
  • diabetes
  • obesity
  • multiple sclerosis
  • tobacco use
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • enlarged prostate gland
  •   

    It’s important to check with your doctor because ED may be a sign of additional health problems. For example, if you have heart disease, you can take a number of steps that will likely improve both your heart health and your ED. This includes lowering your cholesterol, reducing your weight, or taking medications to unclog your blood vessels.
    Your doctor will likely prescribe some common treatments if other health issues aren’t found to be the cause of your ED. However, you may also choose natural options.

    Common Treatments for ED: Medications

    Standard treatments for ED include lifestyle changes, such as:
    • exercising
    • losing weight
    • stopping smoking
    • curbing alcohol intake
    Medications like Viagra, Cialis, or Levitra increase blood flow to the penis. But they can also cause side effects, including:
    • nasal congestion
    • headache
    • upset stomach
    • vision changes
    • facial flushing
    • dizziness
  • Why You Need to See Your Doctor
  • One study found that persistent alcohol use induced ED as well. Seventy-two percent of men diagnosed with alcohol dependence syndrome were diagnosed with sexual dysfunction. This includes premature ejaculation and ED. 

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