Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability to achieve and sustain an erection in order to have sexual intercourse, and it affects more men than you might think.
According to WebMD, a study by the National Institutes of Health found that around 5% of men aged 40, and as many as 25% of men aged 65 or over, suffer from erectile dysfunction on a long term basis. A new study reminds men with erectile dysfunction that there’s help out there that doesn’t require a prescription: diet, exercise and other lifestyle changes.
Losing weight, eating better, getting more active, drinking less alcohol and getting better sleep can all help reverse problems that contribute to impotence, according to a new study published recently in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.
Erectile dysfunction and low sexual desire are often linked to the development of heart disease. The researchers discovered that a large proportion of men were able to naturally overcome erectile dysfunction with heart-healthy changes — no pharmaceutical help necessary.
What’s more, focusing on lifestyle change helps ensure an overall healthier and longer life, the researchers added.
While one of the biggest factors contributing to impotence is advancing age, other factors seem to play an even greater role in the development of the problem, explained study lead author Dr. Gary Wittert. Besides, because a significant number of men maintain erectile function into advanced age, it’s unlikely that getting older, in and of itself, is the cause of sexual dysfunction, he said.
It is always worth reducing obesity, improving nutrition and getting more exercise — firstly, because health and well-being improve and overall cardiovascular risk and risk of diabetes will be reduced
What’s the connection between impotence and heart health? An erection is a hydraulic event dependent on the dilation of blood vessels that carry blood to the penis. These blood vessels are similar to those that supply blood to the heart muscle.
Although other issues such as nerve damage and hormone abnormalities can also lead to erectile dysfunction, the failure of the blood vessels to dilate properly is one of the more common causes. This is an early abnormality in the pathway to more serious heart disease.
Erectile function was also assessed using a standard scoring system. The researchers took factors such as height, weight, blood pressure, hand grip strength, amount of body fat, age, education, marital status, occupation and smoking behavior into account.
Depression, the probability of obstructive sleep apnea, medication usage, diet and alcohol consumption, and physical activity were also assessed, as were blood levels of glucose, triglycerides (an unhealthy blood fat) and cholesterol.
People whose health habits and lifestyle improved during the study period tended to see an improvement in sexual function. And the reverse was true: those whose health habits and lifestyle deteriorated during the five years were more likely to experience impotence.
Men can judge themselves pretty harshly when it comes to their performance in between the sheets. The unsettling fear of not being able to rise to the occasion becomes a recurring nightmare for men that is often equated with failure, loss of dignity, and masculinity. If you suffer from erectile dysfunction (ED), don’t be so hard on yourself, since impotence can almost always be improved with treatment, without having to rely on Viagra or other medications. Whether you suffer from ED, or hope to prevent the condition, here are six tips to overcome impotence without the side effects of the little blue pill.
When it comes to boosting sexual performance, many men will walk all over God’s green earth looking for ways to maintain a good sex life. Luckily men, all you have to do is walk — not run — 2 miles a day. This, along with other healthier lifestyle interventions can help obese men reduce their risk of ED, or even “reverse” current impotence, according to a 2005 study. This comes of importance, since maintaining a trim waistline is a good defense for ED, as men with a 42-inch waist are 50 percent more likely to have ED than those with a 32-inch waist. Getting to a healthy weight and maintaining it is a good strategy for preventing and treating ED.
The phrase “use it before you lose it” can be applied when it comes to helping men with ED regain normal erectile function. Pelvic exercises, more commonly known as kegel exercises, are used to promote urinary continence and sexual health. They help to strengthen the bulbocavernosus muscle, which does three things: allows the penis to engorge with blood during erection, it pumps during ejaculation, and it helps empty the urethra after urination, according to Healthline.
In a 2005 study, three months of twice-daily sets of kegel exercises combined with biofeedback and advice on lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking, losing weight, and limiting alcohol, worked far better than just giving the participants advice. Wearing tight pants will affect impotence along with some other medical conditions like diabetes and heart disease, which can also affect a man’s degree of impotence.
The art of acupuncture has become the new treatment for everything from back pain, depression, and even ED. Impotence could be more of a state of mind, and acupuncture may help. Through this alternative therapy, fine needles are placed in various parts of the body to relieve pain or stress. Although there are many mixed studies for acupuncture and ED, many tend to confirm positive results. A 1999 study found acupuncture improved the quality of erection and even restored sexual activity in 39 percent of participants.
Herbal Viagra that helps puts to rest men’s bedroom woes. Red ginseng is when the root has been steamed and then dried. The ginseng root is the part of the plant that is mostly used as a natural remedy when in its supplement form. However, the plant must be grown for a minimum of five years before it can be used. In a 2008 review, seven studies on red ginseng and ED, ranging in dosages from 600 to 1,000 milligrams three times a day, were found to provide evidence for the effectiveness of the herb in ED treatment.
L-arginine, an amino acid that is naturally present in the body and helps make nitric oxide, supports a successful erection. Nitric oxide is responsible for making the blood vessels relax, which helps sustain an erection for men. A 1999 study, observed the effects of six weeks of high-dose (5 grams/day) orally administered nitric oxide (NO) donor L-arginine on men with organic ED. Thirty-one percent of those who took 5 grams/day of L-arginine experienced significant improvements in sexual function. Burns told Medical Daily, “l-arginine and deer antler velvet” have been the most popular go-to natural treatments for men.
There are two juices that you can drink to help with erectile dysfunction: Watermelon and Pomegranate. A component of watermelon called citrulline, when eaten in high amounts, can increase blood flow to the penis. A cold slice of watermelon can do more than just satisfy thirst and hunger during the warm summer months; it can help with bedroom satisfaction. Citrulline, the amino acid found in high concentrations of watermelon, is found to improve blood flow to the penis. A 2011 study revealed men who suffered from mild to moderate ED and took L-citrulline supplementation showed an improvement with their erectile function and were very satisfied. Natural watermelon juice, or “nature’s Viagra,” can also be easier on the stomach, since taking pills like Viagra can cause nausea and diarrhea.
Burns cautions men and says, “Not all natural treatments are a safe alternative to Viagra. Like with everything herbs have side effects just like drugs do. Depending on the person there might be drug-herb interaction and sometimes people overdose thinking more is better.”
These natural ED treatments could potentially help to prevent and fix impotence in men, but it’s always best to check with your doctor first to see if these are safe for you.