Erectile dysfunction, which affects an estimated 30 percent of the total Adult Male population, is defined as the inability to achieve or maintain an erection adequate for sexual function. Erectile dysfunction (ED) is common in older men. But it should not be accepted as a normal part of aging. At AMI, we strongly recommend getting evaluated -if there is a persistent erectile issue that lasts for three months or longer.
Recent research has also shown that Erectile Dysfunction may be linked to diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension, as well as the early stages of heart disease, so encouraging your man to set up a check up with his doctor is a good starting point. The problem is, there are men who don’t come in because of embarrassment and denial. If a man develops erectile dysfunction, he has a window of opportunity to make some lifestyle changes that may reduce his risk of having a heart attack.
Symptoms and Causes of Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is one of those conditions that is very common among men, except nobody seems to be talking about it. We believe that having an open dialogue about ED is essential, so that if you are experiencing this condition that you can successfully address the issue and work towards a solution.
Here are some indicators of erectile dysfunction, and what the underlying causes of this condition may be. Note that these change from person to person.
Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction
The main symptom of erectile dysfunction is you or your partner not being able to successfully enjoy intercourse, due to the strength of your erection. This might mean that you cannot get an erection in the first place, you cannot get a strong enough erection for intercourse, or you lose your erection or become only semi-erect during intercourse.
This may lead to distress either for you or your partner. You may or may not experience these symptoms during oral sex, foreplay, or solo masturbation.
Causes of Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction may be from psychological causes, physiological causes, or even a combination of the two. Erectile dysfunction often arises as we age, due to some age-related physiological conditions.
Physiological causes of erectile dysfunction:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease, or other associated conditions such as high cholesterol
These are also certain medicines that can affect the erectile response. Make sure to ask your doctor about this. Since erections involve the flow of blood to the penis, anything that can affect blood flow may be an issue.
Psychological causes of erectile dysfunction:
- Issues within your relationship
- Stress, either in your relationship or other areas of your life
- Mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression
Determining the causes of your erectile dysfunction will guide towards the best options for you.
Things you can do to avoid Erectile Dysfunction
How can you avoid Erectile Dysfunction (ED)? Here’s what you can do.
1. Avoid high blood pressure and high cholesterol. More than 50% of adults with diabetes have high blood pressure or take blood pressure medication. The combination of high blood pressure and diabetes also increases the risk for blood vessel damage, further reducing blood flow. Eventually, this can lead to Erectile Dysfunction. Do regular check up with your doctor for your cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
2. Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight can bring many health problems, including type 2 diabetes, which can cause nerve damage throughout the body. If that affects the nerves affecting the penis, ED can result. Complicating matters further, the more body fat you have, the higher your level of SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin). The more testosterone that is bound to SHBG, the less there is available to stimulate desire. So lose a little weight, even 5 kg, can often free up testosterone and almost immediately give a boost to your love life.
3. Watch what you eat. A diet that’s bad for a man’s heart is also bad for his ability to have erections. If you eat a heart-healthy diet, the benefits to your heart will improve the blood flow to other organs in the body. And increasing the blood flow to sexual organs will increase desire and function. The same eating pattern that can cause heart attacks by impeding blood flow in the coronary arteries. Lots of fatty, fried, and processed foods can impede blood flow to and within the penis. That blood flow is needed for the penis to become erect. Eating the right kinds of foods are just the prescription for a healthier sex life. Anything that is bad for a man’s heart is also bad for his penis. Even simple diet modification such as following a low-fat diet and eating lots of fruit and vegetables that help get blood sugar and cholesterol under control can also help turn your sex drive around even if you don’t lose weight.
4. Drink alcohol in moderation or not at all. There is no evidence that mild or even moderate alcohol consumption is bad for erectile function. But chronic heavy drinking can cause liver damage, nerve damage, and other conditions that can lead to Erectile Dysfunction.
5. Do not take stress. Psychological stress boosts levels of the hormone adrenaline, which makes blood vessels contract. That can be bad news for an erection. Anything a man can do to ease tension and feel better emotionally is likely to give his sex life a big boost.
6. Keep tabs on testosterone. Even in healthy men, testosterone levels often begin falling sharply around age 50. Every year after age 50, a man’s testosterone level typically falls about 2.0%. Symptoms like a low sex drive, moodiness, lack of stamina, or trouble making decisions suggest a testosterone deficiency, as do spongy erections.
7. Avoid anabolic steroids. These drugs, which are often abused by athletes and bodybuilders, can shrink the testicles and sap their ability to make testosterone.
8. If you smoke, stop. Smoking cigarettes can harm blood vessels and curb blood flow to the penis. And nicotine makes blood vessels contract, which can hamper blood flow to the penis.
9. Steer clear of risky sex. Some cases of erectile dysfunction stem from penile injuries that occur during sex. To keep your penis from bending painfully, start thrusting only after making sure her vagina is well lubricated. And make sure your penis doesn’t slip out of the vagina while thrusting (so you won’t accidentally jam your penis against a hard part of her body). If she moves in such a way that hurts your penis – for instance, by bending it the wrong way – have her stop at once. If the woman is on top and comes down hard, and the penis does not enter the vagina, that is the equivalent of a big weight crashing down on the penis. No penis on earth can withstand that.
10. Exercise regularly. Getting regular physical activity is an easy way to boost your sexual prowess. Adults who exercise regularly not only have increased levels of desire, but also enhanced ability to perform sexually and greater sexual satisfaction, Strong evidence links a sedentary lifestyle to erectile dysfunction. Running, swimming, and other forms of aerobic exercise have been shown to help prevent Erectile Dysfunction. One exercise for women is the Kegel – the same exercise gynecologists recommend to keep the pelvic floor strong during pregnancy. These muscles can increase pleasure sensations during sex. They’re the same muscles you use to stop the flow of urine when you’re using the bathroom.
Just practice tightening them whenever you think about it during the day. A healthy diet, regular exercise, and a positive attitude are only the beginning. It also helps to get plenty of sleep, quit smoking, and control the stress in your life. Not only will you look better, you’ll feel good about yourself – a real boost in the between-the-sheets department. A dash of positive attitude ties it all together: You have to believe you’re hot if you want to make things sizzle in the bedroom. Being sexy and self-confident is just a state of mind. Remember, a lifestyle that’s healthy for you overall will be healthy for your sex life period. Boost your sexual potency naturally with a healthy diet, lots of physical activity, and an attitude that screams, ” worth it!”