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If you have erectile dysfunction or ED, you know how frustrating the problem can be.
Erectile dysfunction can cause many different issues and may be due both to physical and psychological causes.
It is, therefore, important that you understand what may be causing your impotence, as well as the treatments that are most effective at helping you deal with ED.
Our guide shares with you helpful suggestions to help you cope with your ED, whether it be from low libido, impotence, or another problem.
Our natural impotence remedies are highly effective at helping restore vitality and your sexual health.
When you are ready to deal with your impotence, consider trying our recommended natural treatments.
When you are unable to sustain your erection long enough for sexual intercourse, you have erectile dysfunction or ED.
You may be able to get an erection but not sustain it, or you may not be able to achieve one at all.
Depending on whether your ED is caused by a physical problem, a psychological one, or both, your impotence can have lasting effects on your relationships and confidence if you do not deal with it.
What Causes an Erection?
A successful and lasting erection depends on a number of factors all working effectively together.
First, arousal begins with thoughts that inspire sexual desire.
Your brain then sends chemical messages to your penis, which induces blood flow to your genitals, increasing circulation and causing an erection.
Let’s look at this process a little more closely to determine the various mechanisms that can go wrong and cause impotence.
The muscles in the penis, in their flaccid state, are actually contracted, keeping blood flowing out.
These contracted muscles remain clenched because of high amounts of calcium in the body.
When you begin to have sexual thoughts or become sexually stimulated, your brain sends out dopamine, a neurotransmitter, and this chemical signals the penis to produce nitric oxide, which reduces calcium levels and allows the smooth muscles in the penis to relax.
Blood flows into the penis, and you have achieved an erection.
This entire process depends on dopamine, which begins the process and controls your sex drive.
Nitric oxide is also important since it lowers the calcium levels and allows the muscles to relax.
Nitric oxide also allows your blood vessels to expand, transporting more blood into the penis.
Throughout the entire process, testosterone is necessary for dopamine and nitric oxide to do their jobs, and without healthy levels, this process will not work effectively.
Getting and maintaining an erection, therefore, depends on your brain, circulatory system, hormones, chemical compounds, and genitals all working together.
When there is a problem in one or more of these areas, you have erectile dysfunction.
At some point in their lives, most men will likely experience some symptoms of ED.
As you age, impotence becomes more common, affecting nearly three-quarters of men over 70.
For younger men, some type of impotence occurs in nearly half of males between the ages of 40 and 70, making it a more common problem than most people imagine (1).
So, the good news is, if you are having trouble with impotence, you are not alone.
And there are many treatments that can be helpful to address your problem.
Erectile Dysfunction, Impotence, and Sexual Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction is often referred to as impotence.
The two terms are interchangeable, as they both relate to the inability to maintain a pain-free, normal erection.
A formal diagnosis of ED is likely to happen when symptoms last longer than several weeks.
Acute episodes of ED can be caused by fatigue, drinking too much alcohol, too much stress, and even some medications.
This means ED can affect most men occasionally.
These isolated episodes should not be cause for worry.
Sexual dysfunction is another term used to describe other physical or psychological problems that prevent you or your partner from achieving full sexual satisfaction.
Impotence is one type of sexual dysfunction, but other types include:
- Premature ejaculation, which means reaching an orgasm before you would like or intend.
- Delayed or inhibited ejaculation, which happens when you reach orgasm too slowly or not at all.
- Lowered libido, which is a reduced interest in sex.
Sexual dysfunction can happen to men or women, and these problems affect your own personal enjoyment of sex, as well as your partner’s.
Because sexual dysfunction affects both you and your partner, it often results in anxiety, shame, and embarrassment, as well.
Symptoms and Causes
Those living with ED may experience a variety of symptoms, including:
- The inability to achieve or maintain an erection
- Decreased sexual desire
- A difficulty with normal ejaculation
- Problems having a satisfying orgasm
- Pain during sex, or while having an erection
A painful erection is usually the result of problems with blood flow.
ED may also result in relationship difficulties.
Impotence can cause feelings of inadequacy, lack of understanding from your partner, or other intimacy issues.
When your partner demonstrates a lack of sexual desire, this can cause emotional as well as sexual separation, which is why being open and honest about your impotence can be helpful when dealing with the emotional and psychological effects of ED.
Impotence is caused by many different factors.
While the root of ED is generally a vascular problem that restricts or inhibits blood flow, it may occur due to neurological, mental health, and psychological factors, as well.
The most common type of physical conditions that lead to ED are atherosclerosis, diabetes, and hormone imbalances.
Other factors that lead to impotence include (2):
- Age: As you get older, changes in your hormones, heart health factors, and a decrease in sexual desire can cause impotence. Men over 50 are three times as likely to experience erectile difficulties and lowered sexual desire than those under 30 (3).
- Hormone levels: Lowered levels of testosterone and other reproductive hormones greatly impact sexual desire. Testosterone largely controls sexual interest in men, so lowered levels can have a profound impact on one’s ability to maintain an erection.
- Weight: Being obese causes other problems, and can make it difficult to sustain an erection or achieve one at all.
- Overall health: If you have chronic problems such as hypertension, diabetes, kidney or liver disease, heart disease, neurological problems, or vascular disease, you are more likely to experience sexual dysfunction (4).
- Prescription medications: Certain drugs can affect your libido and blood flow, which can lead to impotence. This is most common with psychotropic and anti-hypertensive medications.
- Inflammation: A poor diet can lead to increased levels of inflammation
- Inactivity: When you do not get enough exercise, you decrease your circulation, which can lead to problems with impotence.
- Mood disorders: Depression, anxiety, fatigue, stress, and other mood problems can lower your libido. Living with chronic stress, from marital problems, financial difficulties, or caring for an aging parent, can also significantly affect sexual function.
- Pollutants: The effects of heavy metal poisoning can lead to ED.
- Smoking: The nicotine and chemicals found in cigarette smoke increase your risk of health problems and heart disease, which can affect libido and sexual function.
- Alcohol: Drinking too much alcohol, which is a depressant, can lower libido and prevent you from achieving or maintaining an erection.
While other factors, such as genetics, may also play a role in impotence, lifestyle choices are the most significant contributors to sexual dysfunctions of all kinds.
For patients with erectile dysfunction, doctors often prescribe oral phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5) inhibitors.
These drugs enhance the blood supply to the penis by affecting the smooth muscle cells lining the blood vessels.
This makes maintaining an erection easier.
Certain prescription drugs can affect sexual function, so your doctor may alter your dose or change your medications.
Common medicines that cause erectile dysfunction include drugs for treating high blood pressure, insomnia, depression, anxiety, prostate problems, and seizures.
If you are taking a beta-blocker for high blood pressure, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) for depression, or benzodiazepines like Valium or Xanax, and are having trouble with impotence, talk with your doctor about alternative medications.
- Surgical Treatments
Surgical treatment of ED is usually a last-resort therapy.
Non-invasive natural and pharmaceutical measures are usually tried before opting for surgery.
When options have been exhausted, penile prosthesis implantation may be an option for treating ED.
Whether malleable or saline-filled, this device is implanted into the penis to provide an erection when needed.
Like all surgical procedures, the risk of infection or device failure should be considered, as well as risks associated with using anesthesia.
Before you opt for medications or surgery, though, you should consider using one or more of the following natural treatments, as they come with little risk and no adverse side effects.
The natural treatments described below can address the underlying cause of impotence, and help you restore your sexual desire and functioning.
Improve Your Diet
Your risk of developing ED is increased when you are overweight, have nutrient deficiencies, or eat a diet high in inflammatory foods.
Changing your diet can help your body’s systems operate more efficiently, lower your levels of inflammation that interfere with blood flow, and help you lose weight.
The following are guidelines for changing your diet to promote improved circulation, address chemical and nutritional imbalances, and help you enhance your mood.
1. Eat more fiber. Fiber promotes a better hormone balance, helps you regulate your weight, and improves your ability to absorb nutrients from the foods you eat. Good sources of fiber include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seeds, and nuts.
2. Eat more zinc. Testosterone levels can be improved when you include more zinc in your diet. Excellent sources of zinc include spinach, chia seeds, lamb, beef, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds.
3. Get plenty of Vitamin E. Vitamin E promotes improved blood flow. Green, leafy vegetables, seeds, and wheat germ are excellent sources of Vitamin E.
4. Eat more nuts and seeds. You will get lots of essential minerals and vitamins, including selenium, from protein-rich nuts and seeds.
5. Drink plenty of water. Dehydration can lower libido, increase fatigue, and keep all your systems working well. Being hydrated lowers inflammation and blood pressure, which can help circulation.
In addition to including more healthy foods in your diet, you can naturally improve your libido and decrease incidents of impotence by eliminating certain foods from your diet.
These foods increase levels of inflammation and can worsen mood disorders as well as interfere with nutrient absorption.
Avoiding these foods can improve your overall health, too.
1. Refined vegetable oils raise inflammation and can contribute to the underlying causes of ED.
2. Trans fats, found in fried foods and highly-processed foods, also raise inflammation and exacerbate the problems that cause impotence.
3. The chemicals found in highly-processed foods, including preservatives and synthetic nutrients, can also affect your sexual drive and performance.
4. Caffeine at excessive levels can lower libido and contribute to symptoms of sexual dysfunction.
Regular exercise has numerous health benefits, including helping with impotence.
When you exercise regularly, you improve your circulation and reduce your stress levels, which can improve your ability to maintain an erection.
Exercise helps promote healthy levels of hormones, including testosterone, which can lead to fewer incidents of ED.
In addition to getting regular cardio exercise, include weight training and other forms of high-intensity interval training in your exercise routine.
Exercise helps you maintain a healthy weight, which can improve ED symptoms, too.
When you are not getting the proper nutrients from your diet, taking supplements can help your body perform all the functions that are necessary for achieving and maintaining an erection.
Supplements can be helpful for helping you overcome impotence before it causes lasting psychological effects.
These supplements have been shown to produce the erection for many with ED.
- L-arginine: take 1,000 milligrams two times a day to help promote blood vessel dilation, which improves blood flow.
- Dehydroepiandrosterone, or DHEA: talk to your doctor before taking this supplement. Some people find that taking 25 to 50 milligrams a day can improve testosterone levels, which can help with ED.
- Maca root: take 500 milligrams three times a day of this adaptogen herb. Not only can maca root balance hormone levels, but it can also boost sexual desire.
- Vitamin B3, or niacin: taking 250 milligrams three times a day of this vasodilator can help improve blood flow. Niacin also supports enhanced energy levels.
- Ginkgo biloba: taking 120 milligrams two times a day can improve blood flow for those with ED.
Try Red Ginseng
Red ginseng is an herb that has been used to treat impotence for decades.
This adaptogenic herb can promote hormone production, as well as relax the smooth muscles.
In clinical trials, men with ED experienced moderate improvements when they took 900 milligrams three times a day (5).
Manage Your Stress
When you are under stress, your body releases adrenaline and cortisol, which are sometimes referred to as stress hormones.
These hormones can lower your sex drive, as well as influence your ability to get or maintain an erection.
Stress makes you fatigued, creates mental distractions that make sex difficult and can create inflammation that interferes with blood flow.
Find healthy ways to lower your stress and release healthier “feel good” hormones.
Yoga, meditation, exercise, spending time outdoors, hobbies, sports, and other leisure activities can help lower stress.
Get Plenty of Rest
Being exhausted can take its toll on your sex drive.
Without enough quality sleep, your body has difficulty maintaining critical functions, including hormone regulation and your libido.
Lack of sleep also affects your testosterone production, which your body makes while you are sleeping.
Be sure you are getting at least six to nine hours of quality, restful sleep per night.
Eliminate Bad Habits
Your habits may also be impacting your sexual functioning.
Using drugs, smoking marijuana, drinking alcohol, and smoking tobacco can all contribute to erectile dysfunction.
These habits increase inflammation, lower libido, and can contribute to the mental and physical fatigue that can cause impotence.
If you have depression or anxiety, neglecting these mental health disorders can also increase incidents of ED.
All of these bad habits affect testosterone levels, can lower your desire for sex, and may cause impotence.
Smoking impacts blood flow raises inflammation and affects your overall health as well as your sex drive.
In case you needed another reason to quit, smoking tobacco can decrease your libido as well as your overall sexual satisfaction.
Also, smokers report having sex half as often as non-smokers (6).
While the results of the research are mixed, some have experienced helpful results by using acupuncture to treat impotence.
This method of treatment for erectile dysfunction needs further study to validate these results.
Acupuncture should always be performed by a licensed practitioner.
Use Essential Oils
Some essential oils promote improved circulation, as well as increase sexual drive.
You can try diffusing sandalwood oil, rose oil, or ylang-ylang oil for aromatherapy.
You can also mix these oils with a neutral carrier oil, such as coconut oil, and apply directly to the skin.
Test your skin first in a small, inconspicuous area to be sure you do not have a reaction to the essential oils.
Many essential oils have aphrodisiac qualities that promote relaxation and help calm stressed nerves.
These essential oils also enhance mood, which is good for the libido.
If you have trouble getting or sustaining an erection in order to have sex, you have erectile dysfunction, also known as impotence.
Most men will experience some episode of impotence in their lives and the likelihood of this happening increases as you age.
The most common causes of impotence include lowered blood flow, inflammation, stress, mental health problems, changes in hormone levels, being overweight, and your overall health.
Other risk factors for impotence include smoking, drinking alcohol, using drugs, certain types of medications, and a poor diet.
If you are treating a lowered libido or impotence with the natural remedies suggested above but are not seeing any difference in your sexual experience, you should discuss your problems with your doctor.
You may have an underlying health issue that is contributing to a blood flow problem, lowered testosterone, problems with your mental health, or other disorders that should be treated medically.
Also, talk with your doctor about any medications or supplements you may be taking, as they could be playing a role in your inability to achieve or maintain an erection.
By addressing the cause of your impotence, you are more likely to see long-term results, versus medications that only treat the symptoms of ED.
Natural treatments are excellent options for helping relieve the underlying cause of impotence while also producing few or no side effects.
Do not ignore your continuing erectile dysfunction, as this can make the problem worse by contributing to psychological issues that stem from the ED.
The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body. We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. Information is shared for educational purposes only. You must consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition.
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