Approximately 50% of men over the age of 40 experience some form of erectile dysfunction (ED). Experts consider this disorder as a contributor to poor quality of life. (1)
To achieve an erection, the body uses complex physiological processes, involving the central nervous system, peripheral nerves, hormones, and blood vessels. If a defect develops in any of these systems, erection, ejaculation, and the ability to perform sexual intercourse may get compromised.
The leading cause of ED is the partial narrowing of blood vessels in the penis. This is the result of elevated LDL, smoking, diabetes, and coronary artery disease. (2)
In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about erectile dysfunction, including its causes, symptoms, and how you can treat it naturally.
What causes erectile dysfunction?
The causes of erectile dysfunction are diverse; however, the final result is typically the same.
Patients all have abnormal blood flow to the penis, preventing erection and ejaculation.
Researchers identified numerous conditions and factors that could cause erectile dysfunction, including: (3)
- Increased age
- Cardiovascular disease
- High blood pressure
- Low testosterone levels
- Antihypertensive drugs
- Sleep disorders
- Drug abuse
- Alcohol abuse
- Using tobacco products
The signs and symptoms of erectile dysfunction
In order to assess a patient with erectile dysfunction, your doctor will conduct a comprehensive review of their medical and surgical history, physical examination findings, and test results.
Here is a breakdown of some common steps to understand the symptoms of ED:
Inquiring about the sexual history of patients can be uncomfortable, even for doctors. Usually, your doctor will ask you the following question:
How is your sexual life?
If you are dealing with trouble in bed, you need to inform your doctor regardless of how unpleasant the situation is. After all, it is always better to intervene early on in the disease process.
Once your doctor starts considering the possibility of an ED diagnosis, he/she will ask you follow-up questions to determine the characteristics of your disorder.
Medication and nonprescription drug history
It is vital to get a list of the drugs you are taking in order to assess the impact of these substances on your sexual function. Your doctor may ask you for a list of the vitamins, minerals, and supplements you took during the past year.
Here is a list of medications that may contribute to erectile dysfunction: (4)
- Antiulcer drugs (e.g., proton pump inhibitors, cimetidine)
- Antipsychotic drugs (risperidone)
- Lipid-lowering drugs (e.g., statins, fibrates)
- 5-Alpha reductase inhibitors (e.g., finasteride, dutasteride)
- Antihypertensive drugs
- Testosterone and anabolic steroids
Besides prescription drugs, the use of tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs may also be responsible for ED. By far, smoking remains the most important factor since it greatly impacts vascular function.
All stress-causing factors should get explored by your physician. Whether you are dealing with stress at work or home, your psychological status needs to get assessed.
Some of the points that your doctor may focus on include:
- Symptoms of depression
- Loss of libido
- Performance anxiety
- Stress from work or other sources
In reality, pure psychogenic impotence is relatively uncommon. Patients will report good nocturnal and morning erections, with negative findings on objective tests. However, we should not forget that many patients with organic ED have a psychogenic component.
Natural treatments for erectile dysfunction
Maca is a sweet root vegetable that comes with several health benefits.
In one study, researchers found that maca may be useful in reducing libido loss induced by antidepressant drugs. The typical dosage of maca in these studies ranged between 1.5 and 3.5 grams per day consumed over a period of 2–12 weeks.
There is evidence that mixing maca with L-arginine and other vasodilatory ingredients can be very effective in the management of ED.
Fortunately, you do not have to look further! Our Long & Firm supplement has maca, L-arginine, tongkat ali, ginseng, and more.
2. Ginkgo biloba
The effect of Ginkgo biloba on sexual function may be explained by its vasodilatory properties, which help in the relaxation of blood vessels to increase blood flow to the penis.
In one small study, researchers reported that ginkgo biloba reversed the loss of libido in 84% of patients who took antidepressants.
The study found similar results in both genders, manifesting as increased desire and ability to orgasm after the consumption of 60–240 mg of this supplement. However, researchers noted a more potent effect in female participants.
3. Red ginseng
Red ginseng may aid with a variety of disorders, including sexual dysfunction and low libido in both males and females.
Researchers confirmed the positive effect of this supplement by comparing the results to a group of participants who took a placebo.
Make sure to consult your doctor before taking red ginseng.
4. Pistachio nuts
Pistachio nuts are rich in protein, healthy fats, and fiber. They may help with lowering blood pressure, the risk of heart disease, obesity, and the symptoms of ED.
Taking 100 grams of pistachio nuts every day for 3 weeks can promote firmer erections.
Scientists suggested that these effects were the result of pistachios’ properties to improve blood flow throughout the body.
Saffron is originally from Southwest Asia. By all metrics, it is one of the priciest species by weight.
One study observed the effects of saffron on male participants who took 30 mg per day for 4 weeks. The results showed great improvement in erectile function relative to the placebo group.
Erectile dysfunction is a very prevalent disorder that affects a person’s sexual life and may precipitate mental issues.
We hope that this article helped you understand the ins and outs of erectile dysfunction, especially how to treat it naturally.
Speak with your doctor to get tailored medical advice about the best treatment for ED.
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