What Causes ED?
The causes of erectile dysfunction are many, including physical problems like diabetes, heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and even sleep disorders. Medication taken for health conditions can result in erectile dysfunction, as can alcohol and smoking.
But erectile dysfunction is also caused by mental health problems, such as anxiety, depression, stress, and trouble with relationships. That’s why visiting a medical doctor for erectile dysfunction treatment is so valuable.
What Can Help?
Fortunately, ED is pretty curable today. The first thing to do when spotting ED is, obviously, visiting your doctor. Often, men with erectile dysfunction suffer with diabetes or heart disease, or may be sedentary or obese, but they don’t realize the impact of these health conditions on sexual function. Along with erectile dysfunction treatment, the doctor may recommend managing the illness, being more physically active, or losing weight.
But erectile dysfunction is often self-diagnosed, with no need for expensive lab tests or an awkward conversation about sexual problems with your doctor. So, many individuals prefer to start by trying the range of natural treatment options that people with ED report as fast and effective. We’ve searched for them and highlighted the “Top 5 Natural Ways to Overcome ED”.
1. Healthy Diet
It sounds like obvious advice but it really works with ED. The first thing you need to fix is your diet. It must be rich in fruit, veggies, whole grains, and fish, and with fewer servings of red meat and refined grains to decrease the risk for ED.
Also, there are some foods believed to help erectile dysfunction (though it’s not scientifically proven). Among them there are:
- pomegranate juice - helps with heart diseases and high blood pressure
- dark chocolate - lowers blood pressure and decreases cholesterol
- pistachios - relax blood vessels, increase circulation to the penis
- oysters and shellfish - natural aphrodisiac
- watermelon, tomatoes and pink grapefruit - relax blood vessels
- leafy greens and beets - increase blood circulation
- caffeine - increases blood circulation
- eggs - boost Vitamin D
What you need to avoid is sugar, unhealthy fats, artificial sweeteners and diet soda.
2. Lifestyle Changes
You may think that your lifestyle is healthy but, to tell the truth, nowadays it’s almost impossible to follow a healthy lifestyle, especially living in big cities. Of course, the major things you should quit are bad habits, such as smoking, overdrinking, and too much stress. These habits affect not only erection but your whole body. Smoking narrows blood vessels and decreases circulation—in addition to its links with lung cancer and other health problems. Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, which can make it harder to achieve arousal.
Sleep hygiene is of the same importance. One explanation is that testosterone is produced while we sleep. Low testosterone results in low sexual performance. Lack of sleep is also associated with obesity, depression, anxiety, and cardiovascular disease—independent risk factors for ED. Sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea, insomnia, shift work disorder, and restless legs syndrome are common conditions associated with ED and other urological disorders.
Also, monitor the meds you take. Erectile dysfunction can occur as a side effect of medication taken for another health condition. Common culprits are high blood pressure meds, antidepressants, some diuretics, beta-blockers, heart medication, cholesterol meds, antipsychotic drugs, hormone drugs, corticosteroids, chemotherapy, and medication for male pattern baldness, among others.
3. Regular Exercises
Keeping up with a regular exercise routine is especially helpful for those whose ED is caused by inactivity, poor circulation, obesity, low testosterone, or cardiovascular disease. Exercise lowers blood pressure and blood sugar, increases blood circulation throughout the body, and improves heart health. It is also one of the best natural ways to raise testosterone levels. Burning fat also decreases the risk for vascular disease and diabetes—two major causes of ED.
There are special exercises called Kegels, and they are known as ladies’ exercises. You know what? Forget this stereotype. Doing Kegel exercises regularly will strengthen your pelvic floor and can improve ED as well as sexual performance. The exercises are fairly simple and you can find instructions online or ask your doctor for details. The typical regimen is to tighten the muscles at the bottom of your pelvic area, hold for 3 seconds and then release. Do this 10-15 times, 3 times a day for tip-top sexual fitness.
4. Reduced Stress
ED can be the symptom of an underlying condition. Oftentimes, conditions like depression, anxiety, and high blood pressure are brought about by stress at work or at home. While therapy or counseling is helpful, other stress-reducing therapies like acupuncture and exercise can help.
You can also help yourself with the help of meditation. Everyday meditation reduces stress, helps to concentrate and stables emotional condition. Try to start meditating for 5 minutes every day, and then prolong your practice. There are many apps to install on your phone to monitor your development and help meditate right.
If you feel like turning to a specialist, it’s a good solution. Sex therapy is especially helpful when psychological issues like stress or anxiety are playing a role. You may attend with your partner or choose to go alone, although couples therapy has the added benefit of helping your partner learn ways to support you
5. Natural Supplements
Natural supplements are not FDA approved for treating ED, although preliminary studies suggest that some may be helpful. The following dietary supplements and natural remedies are alternative—albeit scientifically unproven—treatments for erectile dysfunction and impotence:
- L-arginine - opens up the blood vessels, helping to increase blood flow to the penis
- Propionyl-L-carnitine - alongside Viagra could improve erectile function better than taking Viagra alone
- Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) - produces sex hormones like testosterone and estrogen
- Ginkgo - increases blood flow to the penis
- Ginseng - promotes the relaxation of the body’s smooth muscles and increases blood flow
- Yohimbine - a traditional aphrodisiac
- Horny goat weed - increases fertility
Remember that these substances should not replace standard care. Moreover, each of them may have mild to serious side effects, which means that you should take them carefully and responsibly.
All in all, natural remedies are highly sought after for many reasons, but few have scientifically proven success in treating ED. Healthy lifestyle and daily exercises are still the most safe and efficient way to stay healthy, as they have an overall effect on your body. Stay healthy and don’t be shy to turn to specialists. Good luck :)