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Lifestyle & Health
Dysfunction (ED) is when a man has trouble getting an erection,
difficulty keeping an erection and/or reduced sexual desire.
ED was formerly called impotence and affects 85% of men through
purely physical based reasons while 15% are psychological (often
based on stress) and only 5% are due to low testosterone levels.
About one in ten men has erectile dysfunction or some degree
of impotence at some point in their lives.
is not always considered a medical issue unless a man experiences
these issues 75% of the time he attempts to achieve an erection
for a minimum of 6 months. As most ED has a physical cause it
is important to examine the cause as it typically is a signal
that there are other physical issues that need to be addressed.
Diseases such as prostate cancer, diabetes and even prostate
enlargement can contribute to ED. In addition, certain drugs
can also prevent the proper blood flow to the penis as well
as impact the functioning of nerve endings and impulses.
Lisa S. Lawless, Ph.D.
Psychotherapist & Sexuality
CEO & Founder of
Holistic Wisdom, Inc. & NAASAS
Copyright © Holistic Wisdom, Inc.
are several studies that have shown that simple changes to
lifestyle can drastically decrease erectile dysfunction and
even completely reverse it. Remember that the body, mind and
spirit connection are all going to have impact on your health
and sexual functioning so address all aspects of your health
not just one for optimal sexual functioning. Below are ways
that you can improve your health and sexual functioning-
Smoking is certainly a contributor to issues of ED as
it negatively affects the nervous, vascular and endocrine
systems which affect the brain, spine, nerves, blood flow
and hormones. When these systems are in optimal condition
they all help to provide functioning to the penile tissues
through muscle control and blood engorgement. Men who
quit smoking that have health issues from their unhealthy
habit are often able to partially or fully restore their
ability to achieve an erection.
& Reverse Diabetes
Diabetes in most cases is reversible through changes in
nutritional intake, therefore, many men with diabetes
will find that simply eating healthier will help to control
their diabetes as well as any ED issues that arise from
complications due to this disease. Diabetes affects penile
functioning by causing harm to the nerve endings and arteries
that provide blood flow for erections. Men who have diabetes
are two to five times more likely to experience ED and
with 50% of men over the age of 70 receiving the diagnosis
of diabetes it is something that will be an issue for
many. Diet, exercise, and insulin therapy will be key
in treating diabetes as well as ED that is caused by it.
We highly recommend the book The End of Diabetes: The
Eat to Live Plan to Prevent and Reverse Diabetes by
Joel Fuhrman for more information.
Having high cholesterol puts a man at risk for a variety of
health issues and certainly can negatively impact erectile ability.
High cholesterol destroys the walls of your veins by making
the hardened, narrow and even blocking them. This is one of
the reasons that a man should always seek medical advice when
they have ongoing ED as it could be an indicator of a more pressing
health crisis that needs to be addressed right away due to the
life threatening complications that can arise.
Make sure to get a CRP test if this is of concern. Unlike other
heart tests, the C-reactive protein (CRP) test measures inflammation,
as opposed to fats or cholesterol and may be something to have
tested in addition to cholesterol testing. A CRP test can be
used to evaluate the risk of the arteries of your heart becoming
narrowed (coronary artery disease) which can eventually lead
to a heart attack.
prescription and illicit drugs can impact a man's ability to
achieve an erection. A staggering statistic is that 80% of men
who have chronic alcohol abuse issues also have ongoing issues
with ED. If you struggle with substance abuse or are concerned
about the contraindications of the prescriptions you are taking,
make sure to meet with your physician to review what options
and help is available to you. We recommend meeting with an integrative
(holistic) physician that may also be able to provide resources
such as acupuncture, massage and herbal remedies that will help
you address these issues.
contributor to ED is excess weight as it impacts a variety of
health issues. The American Urological Association found that
those men who were overweight and had a 42 inch waist had twice
as much chance as having ED as a man who had a 32 inch waist.
If you want to lose weight, eat healthy and not diet or count
calories, we recommend the books Eat For Health and The
End of Dieting by Dr. Joel Fuhrman for more information.
can dramatically improve issues with ED by allowing for improved
muscle control, blood flow and physical ability. Simply doing
more activity during a day is a great place to start with walks
and even yoga which helps to improve flexibility and cardiovascular
Stress & Anxiety
Stress and anxiety are two of the leading psychological causes
of temporary ED and finding ways to reduce stress are important.
Also, do not overlook the body and mind connection and realize
that nutritional deficiencies can contribute to anxiety. Supplements
like magnesium, amino acids such as L-Serine and L-Theanine can
be beneficial. One way to determine if you are nutritionally deficient
is to have a micronutrient panel done where your blood work is
examined for what you may not be getting enough of in your diet.
Also find ways to de-stress through meditation, get adequate sleep,
decrease caffeine consumption and even spend time outdoors in
nature away from emails, cell phones, etc. Another great way to
reduce stress is to have physical contact without sex. Human contact
provides an oxytocin release in the body so simple hugs and stroking
another person can be highly advantageous to stress reduction
and your health.
best way you can tackle any health issue is to start with nutrition.
Most people are nutritionally starving and ailments are likely to
follow, including psychological distress. A great book to start
with is Dr. Joel Fuhrman's Super Immunity for more information
on nutrition. Here are some basic tips below-
ginseng and parsley can help those with erectile dysfunction.
- When testosterone
is low, the sex drive is also generally low and can result in disorders
like inhibited ejaculation (or anorgasmia). Too many toxins can also
lead to imbalanced thyroxine and prolactin levels, which can also
lead to inhibited ejaculation. This is why a clean diet is so important.
- Watch your caffeine
intake as stimulants such as caffeine can cause the constriction of
the smooth muscle that must dilate before an erection can occur making
it more difficult to achieve an erection.
- Taking supplements
such as zinc, vitamin C, vitamin E, flaxseed, arginine, and bioflavonoids
can help address ED.
(DHEA) may promote increases in low testosterone.
For erectile dysfunction men are recommended energy tonics when
using Ayurvedic medicine which include Kapikacchu (Macuna pruriens)
as well as ashwaganda, shatavari bala, cuscuta and licorice.
Chinese herb for that aids with erectile dysfunction, increases
sex drive, prevents premature ejaculation and builds sperm is
called Kan Wei Ling (a.k.a.: Excessively Limp Efficacious Remedy).
It contains 30% of tang kuei, paeonia and licorice and 10% dried
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