Got ED? Forget Viagra, Do This Instead

As a cardiologist, I typically wouldn’t be the doctor you’d consult for erectile dysfunction.   Yet, the underlying cause of erectile dysfunction can be related to your heart health.  In fact, it may be the first red flag warning symptom that you may have heart disease.   That’s why I’d like to talk to you about how certain lifestyle changes not only will help your ED, but your heart and the rest of you as well.

Conquer Your Erectile Dysfunction Without Drugs

Your heart health impacts every organ in your body as they receive oxygen and nourishment from your blood supply.  More and more recent research has shown the direct correlation of heart health to maintaining optimal brain, eyes, and kidney health.  If the blood supply to these organs is impaired through blockages in your vascular system, or the power of your heart to pump blood adequately to them, all your organs’ normal functions starts to suffer.  In short, they become dysfunctional and disease starts to set in.

The same is true with erectile dysfunction which simply means your erection capacity no longer functions correctly.  If there’s inadequate blood flow to your penis, you most certainly will have problems achieving and maintaining a useful erection.  While erectile dysfunction can have psychological, emotional issues as cause for ED that have nothing to do with blood flow, many other physical factors contribute to the lack of blood flow.

These include things like obesity, high level of alcohol usage, diabetes, smoking, lack of sleep/sleep apnea, and decreased testosterone as a man gets older.  Obesity creates higher levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol in your blood that harden into arterial plaques.  These can narrow arteries and decrease amount of blood supply to organs.  In addition, the accumulation of belly fat in the lower abdomen and pelvis can actually compress pelvic veins and prevent the smaller tributaries and capillaries in the penis from getting adequate blood to sustain an erection.

Smoking can seriously decrease the amount of oxygen and nitric oxide (helps achieve an erection) in your blood as well as constrict blood vessels, decreasing blood flow.  Lack of sleep, or problems with sleep apnea, can contribute to high blood pressure and damage to blood vessels.  In addition, high blood pressure medications often have the side effect of ED.

Diabetes can damage the nerves and small blood vessels in the penis that help create an erection. Heavy drinking can also contribute to the development of diabetes as well as be a cause of ED on its own as it decreases blood flow to the penis.   A recent study published in the Indian Journal of Psychiatry reported that 72% of men who drank large amounts of alcohol also had ED.  Another study out of the University of Wisconsin revealed that sober men were able to achieve an erection much more quickly than men who were drunk.  Many of the drinkers were not able to achieve an erection at all.

Prescription “love pills” work temporarily but they can have serious side effects too.  They can put you at higher risk for pulmonary arterial hypertension, a serious condition that can lead to heart failure.  A few years back the FDA called for the relabeling of PDE-5i drugs (Viagra, Cialis, Levitra) as a risk to sudden hearing loss.  Clearly, these drugs aren’t the long-term answer to erectile dysfunction.  Yet, making some important lifestyle changes can go a long way to preventing, or improving, ED.

What kind of lifestyle changes? I recommend the following to my patients:

1.  Stop smoking. Quitting smoking has an immediate positive effect on the oxygen and nitric oxide supply in your blood as well as throughout your body. Stopping the assault on your blood vessels from the numerous toxins and chemicals present in cigarettes and their smoke allows blood vessels to relax properly and blood to flow normally.

2.  Get to a normal weight.  This helps with the physical flow of blood as well as decreasing your risk of developing diabetes and hypertension that can damage blood vessels.

3.  Exercise.  The list of benefits of exercise to your health is a long one.  Ss far as your ED and your blood flow are concerned, it helps lower blood pressure, and bad LDL cholesterol, boosts oxygen and nitric oxide supply in your blood, decreases stress/tension, reduces overall fat, especially belly fat, and improves sleep.  Try to get 20-30 minutes active exercise every day and do several interval-training sessions per week to lower A1c (blood sugar) levels and prevent/improve diabetes.

4.  Decrease alcohol consumption. Moderate “social” consumption of alcohol is what I aim for in my patients.  This means no more than 2 drinks a day.

5.  Treat sleep problems.  Deal with physical or emotional factors causing sleep problems.  Obstructed airways, and obesity, can cause sleep apnea.  In addition, depression, anxiety, can lead to insomnia.

You might be wondering how well do these lifestyle changes work for ED. A recent study out of the University of Adelaide, Australia, Erectile Dysfunction Can Be Reversed without Drugs, revealed that the men they studied, ages 35-80, successfully improved, and/or reversed, their ED symptoms with lifestyle changes alone.  The remission (no symptoms) rate was fairly high at 29%. The researchers concluded that lifestyle changes offered men an effective option to reverse their ED without relying on drugs.

Maintaining healthy sexual relations, as you get older is important and that’s why it’s just as important for you to do everything possible to keep your sexual/love relationship – as well as the rest of you – healthy.  Making these lifestyle changes can go a long way to do both.

Stay Well,
Ron Blankstein, M.D.

 

Erectile Dysfunction Can Be Reversed Without Medication, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140328102907.htm

FDA Questions and Answers About Viagra, Cialis, Levitra and Sudden Hearing Loss, nformation, http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/PostmarketDrugSafetyInformationforPatientsandProviders/ucm106525.htm

Prevelance of alcoholism in male patients with erectile dysfunction, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2917074/

Why Booze Can Be Bad for Your Sex Life, http://www.everydayhealth.com/erectile-dysfunction/why-boozing-can-be-bad-for-your-sex-life.aspx

 

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  • wp socializer sprite mask 32px Got ED? Forget Viagra, Do This Instead
  • wp socializer sprite mask 32px Got ED? Forget Viagra, Do This Instead
  • wp socializer sprite mask 32px Got ED? Forget Viagra, Do This Instead
  • wp socializer sprite mask 32px Got ED? Forget Viagra, Do This Instead
  • wp socializer sprite mask 32px Got ED? Forget Viagra, Do This Instead
  • wp socializer sprite mask 32px Got ED? Forget Viagra, Do This Instead
  • wp socializer sprite mask 32px Got ED? Forget Viagra, Do This Instead
  • wp socializer sprite mask 32px Got ED? Forget Viagra, Do This Instead
  • wp socializer sprite mask 32px Got ED? Forget Viagra, Do This Instead
  • wp socializer sprite mask 32px Got ED? Forget Viagra, Do This Instead

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