What you can do to reverse erectile dysfunction and improve your life – read on.
Erectile dysfunction or ED is also known as impotence. This condition is characterized by a man’s inability to achieve and/or maintain an erection. While it is not a condition that is spoken about too freely, the truth is that it is widely prevalent. In fact, estimates show that about 50 percent of all men between the ages of 40 and 70 years suffer from erectile dysfunction to some extent. Of these, 5 percent of 40-year-olds, and approximately 15-25 percent of 65-year-olds, suffer from long-term ED. This condition can be caused by a number of underlying medical issues. From hormonal imbalances and nervous system problems, to blood flow issue and psychological causes, ED could be the result or the early warning sign for a number of medical problems.
When it comes to treating erectile dysfunction, most physicians jump straight to the little blue pill, aka Viagra, and other allopathic medical drugs that “solve” ED in a stop-gap way. On the other hand, many men choose not to approach their physician about what they see as a personal and embarrassing situation. Onscreen advertisement for erectile dysfunction medications and online stores that sell these drugs have made it easy for consumers to buy these “solutions” in an incognito mode. However, be warned, most online erectile dysfunction treatment medications are fake, and may actually do much more damage than good.
Erectile dysfunction is not really considered a diet-related condition that can be solved by a few important lifestyle changes. Of course, many men suffer from ED owing to aging or prostate conditions. But it is important to consider that erectile dysfunction is affected by and can be reversed by dietary changes. ED is an early warning sign for medical issues such as heart attacks or strokes, these conditions are also diet-related, and can be warded off with lifestyle changes.
How Do Diet and Lifestyle Choices Contribute to ED?
One of the most common underlying causes of ED is poor blood flow to the penis which hampers the process of getting and sustaining an erection. The blood vessels in the penis have flexible walls that dilate and contract based on sexual arousal. If these blood vessels lose their flexibility due to plaque buildup or hardening of the arteries, you will not be able to sustain an erection. Excessive plaque buildup is the direct result of long-term high cholesterol levels in the body. These high cholesterol levels instigate an inflammatory response from the immune system, which results in a plaque buildup. This process is very similar to the one that causes a hardening of the coronary arteries, leading to cardiovascular diseases and heart attacks. Indeed, erectile dysfunction is considered one of the early warning signs of these underlying conditions. The good news is that high cholesterol levels can be managed with dietary changes.
Another common cause of ED is the reduction of nitric oxide production by the blood vessels in the penis. Nitric oxide is a compound that is produced by the cells that line the blood vessels of the penis. This compound is necessary for the relaxation of the smooth muscles in the organ so that they can dilate to let in more blood flow, and thereby, achieve an erection. There are several factors that impede the production of nitric oxide in these blood vessels – the common factors are smoking, obesity, and plaque buildup. In order to get better erections, you need more nitric oxide, and for that, your blood vessels have to be functioning at optimum levels. Again, the good news is that nitric oxide levels in your body can be boosted by dietary changes and exercise.
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