What causes ED, what are the types and how to treat it. - Medshield Movement

What causes ED, what are the types and how to treat it.

June is Men’s Health Awareness Month – a call to create awareness about men’s specific health issues, from physical and emotional to mental health awareness. This month we’ll be shedding light on numerous different topics, including those like erectile dysfunction, otherwise known as ED.

Men’s Health Month was created to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of diseases among men and boys. It is also an opportunity to encourage men and boys to seek regular medical advice and check-ups. Here, we shine a light on what causes ED, what treatment options are available and how it can be prevented.

ED affects millions of men worldwide, yet many suffer in silence due to stigma and embarrassment. Erectile dysfunction is the inability to achieve or maintain an erection sufficient for satisfactory sexual performance. It’s a common problem, particularly as men age, but it’s not just an inevitable part of getting older. ED can significantly impact a man’s self-esteem, relationships and overall quality of life.

What Causes ED?

Symptoms are either physical or psychological. Here we look at what could be at the root of either:

Physical:

Cardiovascular Disease – conditions like hypertension and atherosclerosis can delay or obstruct blood flow to the penis.
Diabetes – high blood-sugar levels can damage nerves and blood vessels, affecting erectile function.
Obesity – excess weight can contribute to other health conditions that cause ED.
Hormonal Imbalances – low levels of testosterone or other hormonal issues can affect libido and erections.
Medication – certain drugs, including antidepressants and blood pressure medications, can have side effects that include ED.
Neurological Disorders – Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis can interfere with nerve signals required for an erection.

Psychological:

Stress and Anxiety – these can significantly affect sexual performance.
Depression – this can lead to a lack of interest in sex and erectile difficulties.
Emotional Abuse or Conflict – Poor communication, unresolved conflicts and other relationship problems can contribute to ED.

Treatment Options for ED

From lifestyle changes to medication and therapy, the good news is that ED is treatable at any age. Speak to your medical doctor about which options would work best for you.

Lifestyle changes include following a healthy, balanced diet, exercising regularly (a minimum of 150 minutes a week, ideally 300 a week), quitting smoking and limiting alcohol consumption.

From a medical perspective, there are a host of drugs called PDE5 inhibitors that are commonly prescribed to ED sufferers (such as Viagra) and help to increase blood flow to the penis. There are also a variety of medical treatments available, including hormone therapy and in some cases surgery.
Addressing psychological issues with treatments such as psychotherapy and counselling or even sex therapy could make a significant impact.

How to Prevent ED

While not all cases of ED can be prevented, here are some steps that men can take to reduce their risk of ED:

  1. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise, a balanced diet and a healthy weight, to help avoid conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. Also avoid illicit drug use, quit smoking and limit alcohol consumption.
  2. Going for regular check-ups to monitor health conditions such as blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar as well as managing any chronic conditions.
  3. Manage stress through mindfulness and well-being exercises, such as meditation, yoga and breathing exercises as well as journaling or going for regular therapy. Also seek help for anxiety or depression.

According to MensHealthNetwork.org, women are 100% more likely to visit the doctor for annual examinations and preventive services than men. Know that there is always help available. If you are a woman reading this, encourage your loved ones to get their regular health checks.

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DISCLAIMER: The information provided on this website is for educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This article may contain information related to exercise, fitness, diet, and nutrition, which is intended solely for your personal use and informational purposes. Before commencing any exercise, fitness, diet, or nutrition regimen, especially if you are pregnant or have pre-existing health conditions, you should consult with a physician. Nothing on this site should be construed as medical advice or diagnosis. For any symptoms or health concerns, please consult a healthcare professional.
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