One of the worst things facing adult males today is a topic that is so taboo in society that it’s often glossed over and not talked about. However, according to one study by Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health, 18 million men over the age of 20 in America are affected by erectile dysfunction (also known as E.D.). Yet, other studies indicate that only 25% of men afflicted by E.D. actually tell their doctors about it. If that’s the case, then it plagues nearly half of all men in the United States. If nearly half of the men in the United States over the age of 20 are impacted by E.D., the problem is far more prevalent than most people think.
That’s a staggering statistic when it comes to men’s health. And just think about the implications of that. Not only is E.D. bruising to the ego, but there are other repercussions as well. Men who can’t get an erection are incapable of reproducing unless treated. That affects their ability to become fathers and to revel in the joy of parenting. Think about the pain and the anguish suffered by men across the country, and across the world, who’re afflicted by something that’s not only physiologically debilitating, but also psychologically damaging.
Of course, in order to treat prolonged periods of impotence, many men turn to drugs like Cialis and Viagra. These drugs, concocted by now-household pharmaceutical companies, Lilly Medical and Pfizer, have infiltrated the hearts, minds, and bodies of men across the country. As a result, they’ve had astronomical sales figures. However, some men prefer not to use these costly drugs to help treat erectile dysfunction. Instead, they turn to natural ways to treat the problem. Yet, therein lies the problem. Sexual arousal in males isn’t always a clear process treatable through natural remedies since it involves the combination of so many factors.
What Is Erectile Dysfunction?
When a male is aroused, not only does the body rely on hormones, muscles and blood vessels, but it also relies on the central nervous system, human emotions, and even things like the subconscious mind. That’s why stress can often be a leading cause of E.D. Even when everything else is okay, when there’s an ample amount of stress, it inhibits the sex drive because of stress hormones like cortisol and adrenalin that are released into the body and mind. These impact things like digestion, blood-sugar levels, and of course, create a reduction in sex drive for males.
When you’re stressed out, or you’re dealing with trauma in any degree, it creates a significant impact on your body through your mind and central nervous system. That’s why treating E.D. isn’t always straightforward, especially when you try to treat it through natural remedies. Sure, there are natural ways you can fix impotence, but most males in America choose the pharmaceutical route. That’s the reason why most pharmaceutical companies have had a astronomical annual sales revenues in the past decade during patent lifecycles for drugs like Viagra and Cialias (both of which are now expired patents).
How To Treat E.D.
There are plenty of ways to treat E.D. However, keep in mind that not all ways are equal. Since the causes of E.D. are multi-faceted, ranging from your physiology to your psychology and environmental stress levels, treating it naturally isn’t always feasible. However, whether you choose natural treatment options or you elect to go the medicinal route, there are many ways to combat E.D.
Still, before you delve into treatment options, most men want to know whether or not they actually have E.D. To determine that, you often head to a urologist who will run a battery of tests. But don’t be alarmed. Most of these are non-intrusive. There are some slightly invasive tests, but they aren’t always performed.
They involve things like:
- Collecting your sexual history and history of any medical issues to collect information on things like past surgeries, sex drive, current medication you’re on, etc. to see if there might be some other issue aside from erectile dysfunction itself.
- Take a physical examination which includes things like your blood pressure, heartbeat rate, reflexes and so on.
- Take simple blood tests to determine if there are signs of diabetes, heart or kidney disease, or low testosterone levels, which are all signs of potential E.D. problems.
- Conduct an overnight erection test to determine how many erections you get during the night (men typically get anywhere between 3 to 5 erections every night) by placing a device on your penis that uses special plastic rings to measure erections.
- Doppler ultrasounds are often ordered to check the amount of blood flow that is running through your penis.
- Injection tests (also called intracavernosal tests) are the only slightly invasive test where a serum is injected into the base of your penis, which should give you an erection. If you don’t get an erection, it could be a clear indication of E.D.
When it comes to the treatment of E.D., there are several routes. Often, the less invasive (non-surgical) routes are routes are recommended before any invasive ones are suggested. However, depending on the severity of the problem, your doctor may recommend a different route. You should always consult with your physician first before trying to treat something serious like E.D. yourself.
Since the causes of E.D. are wide-ranging, and it can include physical, psychological and environmental causes, treating this disease is not always clear or straightforward. Plus, depending on your aversion to medicine and surgical procedures, you might find yourself choosing a safer, more homeopathic route first before resorting to something a little bit more severe such as drugs or surgeries.
1. Getting Therapy Or Counseling
Since E.D. can be brought on stress and anxiety and other psychological factors, getting therapy is one way to treat E.D. Remember that the human mind is the most complex organism in the known universe. We still don’t understand it. Considering there are 60,000 to 85,000 thoughts in a given day, and a large part occurs in the subconscious, getting to the proverbial root of the problem is not a simple or easy task.
Counseling is one way to deal with E.D. and treat it. Clearly, it is not a fast solution. But with effective therapy, you could ultimately resolve E.D. without having to resort to potentially harmful drugs or invasive surgical procedures. Sometimes, E.D. can even stem from sexual anxiety, or the the stress of having to perform, in the case of long-term relationships. It might also be a situation where the mind is literally causing a blockage towards erections. Be sure to seek professional counseling to determine whether this is the case.
2. Use Oral Medications Like Viagra Or Cialis For Treatment
Another option for treating your E.D. is to use something like Viagra (Sildenafil) or Cialis (Tadalafil) . These medications tackle a penile-specific enzyme that inhibits blood flow to the penis called phosphodiesterase 5. As a result, it allows nitric oxide to accumulate in the penis, therefore allowing the muscle to relax and fill with blood. This makes it easier to attain and keep an erection, but does not cause an erection in the first place since arousal typically requires both psycho-emotional and neural stimuli in order for the drugs to be effective int he first place.
These drugs have been incredibly popular over the years. Especially Viagra since it was the first such drug to be created to tackle the E.D. epidemic. With Viagra, it takes roughly 30 to 45 minutes to achieve the maximum concentration and it typically lasts anywhere from 5 to 10 hours to reach its half-life. Cialis is a bit different. It takes roughly 2 hours to reach maximum concentration, however it lasts far longer, typically in the rang of 17.5 hours for its half-life to be reached.
However, keep in mind that these medications do have a large list of side effects that include things like:
- Decreased blood pleasure
- Migraines & headaches
- Involuntary redness of the skin known as flushing (12%-16%)
- Nasal congestion (2%-4%)
- Nausea (5%-7%)
- Gastric reflux
- Painful and long-lasting erections also known as priaprisms (in rare cases)
- Leg-buttocks pain
- Visual abnormalities
3. Diet & Exercise Regimens
Research suggest that there are links between obesity and E.D. The study found that “79% of men presenting erectile disorders have BMI of 25 kg per square meter [[5.12 pounds per square foot] or greater. BMI in the range 25-30 kg/m2 is associated with 1.5 times, and in the range of over 30 kg/m2 with 3 times greater risk of sexual dysfunction.” Clearly, obesity is a factor. However, it’s also something that can’t be solved with a pill. And, losing excessive amounts of weight takes great effort over extended periods.
However, it does also go to say that men who are skinner are far less likely to experience erectile dysfunction disorders. To combat it, a strong regime of diet and exercise that includes raw foods and greens should become a primary part of the diet. If you’re eating fatty foods or fast food all the time, not only can it cause E.D., but it can also likely result in more serious diseases such as heart disease and diabetes, put you at serious risk of death.
4. Penile Injections
Okay. I’m not sure about you, but just the thought of this scares me. Yet, if the medicine doesn’t work and surgery is too frightening, then you’re stuck with no other alternatives but to try all other options to treat your E.D. One option that might help is an injection based serum of a drug called alprostadil, which helps to dilate blood vessels and increase blood flow in the body. This is often administered in the form of an injection. But it can also be administered as a suppository, which is simply another form of drug delivery. However, with suppositories, pellets are placed directly inside the penis, but it’s often less successful than injections.
Direct injections into the penis can deliver drugs directly to the afflicted area and are incredibly fast-acting. If you’re looking for an immediate solution, then this could be one that might work for you, albeit a painful approach to having to treat your E.D. on a regular basis. However, keep in mind that there are some adverse affects when injecting alprostadil such as apnea, bleeding, heart failure, edema, fever, diarrhea, seizures, sepsis, shock and more. Be sure to explore all other options as well when considering this as a treatment approach.
5. Vacuum Devices
Still other forms of treatment for E.D. are vacuum devices, which also work to boost firmness by increasing the blood-flow to the penis. Oftentimes, this is used after prostate surgery to rehabilitate the penis but it’s also effective in cases of erectile dysfunction, having a roughly 80% effectiveness. However, it takes months to see results with vacuum devices. It involves sliding a plastic tube over the penis and using a battery-operated device that sucks the air out of the cylinder. It helps to maintain firmness once an erection is attained, but it’s not the most glamorous or fast-acting solution.
One surprising remedy that some use who are afflicted with E.D. is acupuncture. Numerous studies indicate positive results when using acupuncture to treat ED. However, the percentile of effectiveness is far below that of other more invasive procedures. For example, one study found “an improvement of the quality of erection was experienced by 15% of patients, while 31% reported an increase in their sexual activity. No changes in the profiles of hormones were detected.” Whether that makes acupuncture an effective strategy for treating E.D. largely remains a tossup, but it is a less-invasive approach.
When all else fails, some resort to surgical procedures to fix their E.D. Yet, there are numerous variations of surgery for this problem that often involve either malleable or inflatable implants or vascular reconstruction in an effort to increase the blood flow to the penis. However, with surgery also comes the chance of complications. This is especially true when dealing with other prostate related diseases and illnesses.
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