Erectile dysfunction (ED) refers to a man’s inability to have and maintain an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse. This is also known as impotence.
ED is not an uncommon occurrence as many men experience the condition at one point or the other in their lives. For some, it lasts for a certain period. But it can also be a life-long condition if not properly taken care of.
One of the biggest reasons it may go on to become a life-long problem is the fact that many men find the condition embarrassing to discuss hence will rather stay silent about it rather than seek help.
ED can severely affect a man’s sexual life. Sex is both a need and a natural desire for any normal human being to satisfy. A man becomes sexually aroused when stimulated by sexual thoughts or a touch. These thoughts lead to increased blood flow into the penis that results in an erection. This is vital to engage in sexual intercourse.
According to the national institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease, up to 30 million American men are affected by ED.
In Nigeria, over 1.5 million cases occur every year. A study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine in 2013 revealed that ED affects 26 percent of adult men under 40. Statistics from other sources show that ED affects over:
- 12 percent of men below 60
- 22 percent of men in their 60s
- 30 percent of men aged 70 and above
This shows that the likelihood of getting ED increases with age. But generally, it’s more a matter of your overall health situation. What that means is that as with most other health conditions, you can reduce your risk of developing the condition by adopting a healthy lifestyle.
Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction
ED is a physical condition that is easily observable. The most obvious symptom of the condition is not being able to get and sustain an erection.
Although it is seen as normal when some men occasionally have some difficulty maintaining an erection, it is considered a problem when it becomes frequent and long-lasting. Other symptoms of ED include:
- Reduced sex drive
- Trouble getting an erection
- Soft erections
- Difficulty keeping an erection
Causes of Erectile Dysfunction
Sexual arousal in men involves both physical and psychological factors. This is due to the complex nature of arousal. While it is sometimes caused by purely physical factors, at other times it can be a result of psychological issues or a combination of both.
Physical causes include obesity, tobacco use, heart disease, diabetes, clogged blood vessels also known as atherosclerosis, Parkinson disease, high blood pressure, Peyronie’s disease which involves the development of scar tissue inside the penis, multiple sclerosis, high cholesterol in the body, metabolic syndrome, substance abuse, surgeries, etc.
Psychological causes include mental health conditions such as stress, anxiety, depression, etc.
Natural Remedies for Erectile Dysfunction
Although medical treatment can be sought for ED, natural remedies can also be used to treat the condition. The best remedy is usually based on the cause.
For ED caused by physical factors, it is important to identify the cause and deal with it.
Most physical health conditions are caused by the food you eat or your lifestyle. In the same vein, solutions to most ailments come from food consumed.
Foods like carrot, garlic, onion, ginger and pomegranate juice all play a vital role in the treatment of erectile dysfunction. Korean Red Ginseng and L-arginine supplement in your diet can also help in restoring erection.
Where the causal factors are psychological, you may need to make some lifestyle changes. Some of these changes include engaging in activities that help to reduce stress, regular exercise, healthy eating, etc.
Some health conditions such as diabetes also cause ED. To get this type of ED treated, you should first battle such health condition. If your ED is caused by diabetes, you can get treated and cure your diabetes here.
Some medications also cause ED, for example, drugs used in controlling blood pressure. If you are suffering from high blood pressure, then you should treat your high blood pressure and your ED will get cured as well.
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