Erectile dysfunction is a reproductive system condition that is becoming much more common in recent years. It is characterized in men as the inability to achieve or maintain an erection. Herbal remedies that have a beneficial result in combating erectile dysfunction have also become much more popular. Men who experience this medical condition might find it embarrassing because they are not able to successfully achieve sexual intercourse. Since erectile dysfunction is a highly personal condition that is quite embarrassing to bring up even with doctors, many men will opt for erectile dysfunction herbal remedies for help.
What is ED?
ED or erectile dysfunction which is also called “male impotence” is described as the inability to sustain a satisfactory erection to perform for sexual intercourse. ED differs from other male sexual conditions such as lacking libido (sexual desire), trouble with ejaculation and orgasm. Normally, an erection occurs when there is sexual stimulation. Sexual stimulation can start by touching the male penis or having mental sexual fantasies.
With the right stimulation, there are electrical impulses along the nerves of the penis that causes the release of nitric oxide which increases the production of cyclic GMP (cGMP) in the smooth muscle cells. Cyclic GMP make the smooth muscles relax and blood flow to the penis is rapid. The incoming blood flow make the penis expand thus erection occurs. Erection is maintained because veins in the penis help trap the blood.
Over the past number of years, impotence incidence rates have increased. In some cases of ED, an erection can still be achieved but not long enough to achieve or maintain satisfactory penetration. Severe cases could result in total inability to reach erection. Since erectile dysfunction is a highly personal and sometimes embarrassing matter many men choose to suffer in silence rather than discuss, even with their doctor. For this reason male impotence may be under-diagnosed in many men. Impotence is said to affect at least 30 million men in the United States alone and has been said to affect up to 40% of men over 40 at one time or other.
What are the risk factors of ED?
- Most common in the elderly (beginning at around the age 45)
- Heart diseases (problems with veins and arteries, hypertension, atherosclerosis)
- Diabetes Mellitus
- Nerve or spinal cord injuries
- Rising cholesterol
- Low testosterone levels (the primary sex hormone of men)
- Substance abuse (Heroin, cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamines, crystal meth and alcohol)
- Depression and anxiety
- Cigarette smoking
- Some psychiatric diseases
- Certain medications (medications that treat hypertension, antihistamines, antidepressants, tranquilizers, appetite suppressants)
How is ED diagnosed? When a patient goes in for professional help from their doctor they may expected to be asked about their history and erectile function over the past 3 months. The interview from the healthcare professional is vital to gain the necessary information needed to properly diagnose and recommend treatment for impotence. This information is essential in order that the doctor may be able to help with the diagnosis and treatment of this condition.
Your doctor will try to determine the factors that could be influencing problems with erection as to whether they are physical or psychological factors. Your healthcare professional may also be asking about your past medical history which may also have an impact on impotence. The doctor may also ask about daily routine and medications that you are taking that could also be a risk factor for ED. The doctor will likely do a physical examination to check out any potential physical causes of ED. This will include examination of the genital areas and often a rectal probe to check for prostate enlargement or abnormality.
The doctor may be looking for the following:
- Response of the penis to touching
- Smaller than normal testicles – hormonal imbalance
- Lack of facial hair – hormonal imbalance
- Gynecomastia (enlargement of breasts in males) –hormonal imbalance
- The reduction of the flow in blood which could indicate atherosclerosis (checking of pulse sites in the legs and the bruit sounds (the sound of blood flowing through the narrowed arteries) through a stethoscope)
The doctor may also run some necessary laboratory tests to rule out certain causes of impotence. The following are some tests that the doctor may require:
- Complete blood count
- Urinalysis – could rule out diabetes mellitus and damage to the kidneys
- Blood glucose levels –high levels of glucose may indicate diabetes mellitus
- Lipid profile – High levels of Low density lipoprotein (LDL), which is the bad cholesterol in the blood may indicate atherosclerosis
- Serum creatinine –the result of an abnormal serum creatinine reveals damage to the kidneys due to diabetes mellitus
- Total testosterone levels –blood samples are needed and should be obtained before 8 AM because testosterone levels fluctuate all throughout the day.
- Liver enzymes and liver function exams –this is for evaluation of liver disease that could contribute to impotence
- PSA levels (Prostate specific antigen) –to test the prostate gland to rule out if testosterone can aggravate ED
- Hormone levels – testing other hormones such as luteinizing hormone (LH), cortisol level and prolactin level may be necessary to rule out testosterone deficiency and erectile problems.
- Imaging exams – X-rays may be done to reveal bony abnormalities. Ultrasound of the penis and testicles may be done to check for structural abnormalities.
- Prostaglandin E1 Injection test –this test is done to determine penile blood flow. It could confirm normal and abnormal penile blood flow.
- Erectile Monitoring – monitoring erection during sleep (nocturnal penile tumescence) can help determine if impotence is physical or psychological in nature.
- Psychosocial examination – doctors may also interview you using a questionnaire that may reveal if ED is psychological in nature.
What are treatments for reversing impotence? Before actually trying out erectile dysfunction herbal remedies, it is best to check with your doctor if herbal therapies are indicated or recommended. Check out this link about proper medical treatment and herbal remedies and potential side effects that may result in worsening rather than treating the condition for improvement. Be cautious in using different erectile dysfunction natural remedies in combination with other medications! The drug sildenafil (Viagra) should be used cautiously and with a doctor’s prescription. Do not to take this medication without a doctor’s consultation. This drug, throughout the years, has proven to produce unwanted side effects to some users of the drug.
Here are the following treatments that your doctor will advise you to try out depending on the severity of the condition:
- Lifestyle changes such as quitting cigarette smoking and increasing exercise regimen
- Taking medications for ED such as vardenafil (Levitra), tadalafil (Cialis) and sildenafil (Viagra)
- Medications that may be inserted through the urethra
- Medications that may be inserted in the “corpora cavernosae”
- Vacuum constrictive devices for the penis
- Prostheses for the penis
Erectile Dysfunction Herbal Remedies
- Ginkgo biloba. This is an effective herbal cure for premature ejaculation. It is used in coordination with certain antidepressant drugs. Gingko biloba improves blood circulation which could increase blood flow in the penis. You can find ginkgo biloba in capsule form at herbal stores. Make sure NOT to take this herb if you are already taking medication that thins the blood.
- Korean red ginseng. This is one of the amazing premature ejaculation home remedies. Korean red ginseng can be found in herbal stores in capsule, tablet or extract form. This herb may enhance penile rigidity. Talk with your doctor before taking this herb because it could interact with other medications causing unwanted side effects.
- Pomegranate juice. This type of juice is an antioxidant and may reduce the risk of heart disease. If you have heart disease which is the underlying cause of ED then drinking this juice may prove helpful.
- Horny goat weed. This is one purported to be effective erectile dysfunction herbal remedies that is very well known. This herb has been said to help out with sexual dysfunction. Check out your nearest herbal store for this herb in capsule, teabag or extract form.
- Muira puama. This herb is said to be a natural PE cure since it increases erectile strength and libido. Combine this with another herb called Yohimbe Bark for maximum results. Try looking for “Nature’s Sunshine’s X-Action for men” because it contains both these herb to help out in impotence.
- Saw palmetto (serenoa repens). A herbal treatment for impotence because besides being one of the great natural remedies for frequent urination it also stimulates libido and increases sexual energy. Also found in herbal health stores in different forms (capsule, tablet, liquid)
- Damiana. This is one of many herbs that is a well known herbal remedies for impotence that is found in Mexico and is known as a male aphrodisiac (a certain material that could excite sexual desire) and recommended for ED. It is also available in herbal stores in liquid, capsule and teabag form.
- Acupuncture. This is a known premature ejaculation natural treatment. This is an ancient Chinese technique of healing and this uses needles at specific parts of the body to stimulate the imbalances. It is said that acupuncture has helped men with ED.
Although impotence is a little more complicated to treat especially when using erectile dysfunction herbal remedies, when your doctor approves of using herbal remedies with medical treatment then it may be worth the try. In some cases herbal treatments have been known to improve erections and are relatively inexpensive. Consider trying out herbal treatments in consultation with your doctor first, and hopefully you will achieve the results that erectile dysunction remedies could may produce.
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