Erectile Dysfunction: Medication and Natural Treatments

Erectile dysfunction is a condition that affects the ability to get or maintain an erection. It has long been thought to be the problem of just older men, but recent studies indicate that this is not the case with more men aged 40 and below seeking help for the condition. The Journal of Sexual Medicine published a study that showed that every one in four men under 40 who visits an outpatient clinic, suffer from erectile dysfunction. Additionally, the number of cases of severe ED among men rose to 48.8%.

This proves that impotence or inability to maintain a firm erection is not always an age-related issue although age really makes men more susceptible to the condition. Psychological factors such as performance anxiety and stress may also trigger an occasional case of ED, but this should not be something to worry about as it usually goes away once an emotional issue is resolved.

Other causes of ED, especially in men under the age of 40, include obesity, diabetes, low testosterone, sleep disorders, enlarged prostate, high blood pressure, heart disease, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis as well as poor lifestyle choices.

A large number of people suffering from ED are usually seeking the simplest ways to cope with the problem – which is the use of the well known ED drugs such as Generic Viagra, Generic Cialis, Generic Levitra, Kamagra and many others. Frankly speaking, these drugs are the most effective ED treatment option available nowadays. However, they have certain contraindications that disqualify some men from using this type of drugs. Besides, they can also cause some side effects, both mild and severe. Some common side effects include headaches, flushing, back and muscle pain, nausea, abnormal vision, upset stomach and stuffy or runny nose. With that in mind, it doesn’t come as a big surprise that some men opt for more natural methods of dealing with their ED.

Viagra (sildenafil) has unfortunately become one of the most abused drugs in the industry. It was the first treatment developed for ED, and has been effectively used for almost two decades now. It has become enormously popular, and now a lot of men who don’t have ED use the drug nevertheless, habitually calling it ‘the blue pill’. Sildenafil, the active ingredient in Viagra, has also been available as a generic ED drug, offering the similar quality, effectiveness, strength and stability at a lower cost.

When it comes to natural ways of dealing with ED, standard methods include healthier lifestyle choices such following a healthy diet, exercising, quitting smoking, limiting alcohol intake and losing weight. Additionally, homeopathic treatments come in plenty and include herbs and supplements.

For example, panax ginseng also known as red ginseng has been labeled as the herbal Viagra. It can be taken daily in a dosage of between 600 and 1000 mg. Rhodiola rosea has also shown some potential in improving sexual function when taking in a dosage of between 150 and 200 mg daily for three months. Ashwagandha and ginkgo have both provided some positive results with ED. The problem with all these natural remedies, however, is that none of them has been approved by the FDA, and too little research has been done to prove their effectiveness and safety in the long ran.

Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), a natural hormone usually produced in the adrenal glands is also replicated in a lab from soy and wild yams. Low levels of DHEA have been shown to have a causative effect on ED, and increasing the levels by supplementing will help patients suffering from ED to get and maintain an erection.

Another component also produced by the body, L-arginine, an amino acid, helps in the production of nitric oxide that relaxes blood vessels and helps improve blood flow to the penis. Taking 5 gm a day would improve sexual function, and combining it with pycnogenol helps restore sexual ability in two to three months. Pycnogenol is a plant product derived from tree bark. Research showed that 80% of users had improved their sexual ability in two months, and by the third month, 92% of the participants had restored their sexual function.

Zinc supplements have also been shown to help in regards to ED for men with low levels of zinc which can contribute to suffering from erectile dysfunction.

Another natural treatment for ED that doesn’t include herbs, supplements or hormones is acupuncture. Studies have showed positive results in using acupuncture to treat ED. A study done back in 1999, found that acupuncture could improve quality of erections and even restore sexual activity in more than 30% of the participants. In 2003, another study was published showing that 21% of patients improved their erections after receiving acupuncture.