Men with even mild erectile dysfunction who have no known heart disease – have a significant increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease and heart attack later.
A study published in the January 2015 journal PLoS Medicine, shows men aged 45 and up with moderate or severe erectile dysfunction and not diagnosed with heart disease, were up to 50 percent more likely to develop heart problems.
Coronary artery disease is caused by plaque, made up of calcium, fat, cholesterol, cellular waste, and fibrin which build up in the walls of your arteries over time. As plaque continues to build, it can actually narrow or begin to clog arteries decreasing circulation which increases risk of heart attack or stroke. Having high blood pressure increases the rate at which arterial plaque builds up and speed up hardening of clogged arteries. The same thing is going on in the genital area. ED is then like the canary in the coal mine!
Dr. Emily Banks, professor of epidemiology at the Australian National University's National Center for Epidemiology and Population Health says “The arteries of the penis are smaller than those of other parts of the body and may be more likely to reveal problems when their lining deteriorates.”
It is estimated that 70 percent of men with ED (Erectile Dysfunction / impotence) have medical causes and around 30 percent have psychological causes and often a combination of both.
ED is a complex health issue and can have many causes:
Stress, fatigue, lack of sleep, smoking and an over consumption of alcohol are also top of the list.
Medical Problems: diabetes, circulation problems, high blood pressure, low testosterone hormone, low DHEA hormone, thyroid problems, kidney issues, blood vessel damage, nerve damage, anxiety and depression.
Medications: Hypertension medications, anti-anxiety and anti-depression medication, pain medication, estrogen hormone replacement, anti-histamines, acid inhibitors, chemotherapy, radiation of Gonadal area.
Prostate Surgery: Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) is the most common form of surgery for BPH (Benign Prostate Hypertrophy / prostate enlargement), TURP is commonly referred to as the “Roto-Rooter” technique.
Prescription drugs (Viagra®, Cialis®, or Levitra®) are the go to medicine for medical doctors to treat patients suffering from mild erectile dysfunction. Dr. Ajay Nehra, Mayo Clinic professor of urology states, “The medications do not work for about half of the men with ED.”
Prescription drugs for ED can be costly and side effects range from indigestion, flushing, blurred vision, hearing loss, congestion, and headaches to more serious health problems, such as neurologic disorders and heart attacks. There are no proven benefits of ED medications for reducing the risk of heart attack or stroke.
Although it is best to discuss your ED concerns with your Holistic Practitioner and medical doctor, we have found these supplements combined together to be helpful for many of our patients. Remember these are not for quick fix occasional use. These supplements are for the long term to help improve body function.
- L-Arginine is an amino acid which improves blood flow not only to the heart, but to the penis too. It increases the body's natural supply of nitric oxide that opens up blood vessels, decreases blood pressure and therefore also helps to reduce medications for blood pressure which causes ED. Medical studies have demonstrated that oral l-arginine supplementation for 6 months improves coronary endothelial function in association with improvement in symptoms. This would apply to your nether regions as well!
Start with 1000 mg 2 x day for 2-3 weeks. Monitor your blood pressure weekly. If your blood pressure starts getting too low, talk to your doctor about reducing blood pressure medications. If you are not taking BP medication (s) then decrease the dosage of the L- Arginine. If you see no difference after 3 weeks increase dosage slowly. The maximum suggested dosage is 3000 mg 2 x a day. Also take L-Lysine 1000 mg daily when taking L-Arginine.
- Twist 25 DHEA bioidentical cream (Health 2 Go) (dehydroepiandrosterone) is the natural master hormone that the body uses to make the male hormone testosterone and other hormones. DHEA and testosterone decrease with age, just as ED increases with age. Medical research shows DHEA is best absorbed and processed in the skin as a bioidentical cream rather than as a pill or spray because the liver filters out most oral DHEA before it can do any good. Also DHEA pills provide DHEA-sulfate a metabolite of DHEA, not DHEA.
- Tribulus Complex (Jarrow Formulas) contains an Ayurveda herb Tribulus terrestris (45% steroidal saponins) known to enhance androgen receptor density in the brain. It has been shown to increase virility, vitality, muscle mass and libido (sex drive). Sensoril Ashwagandha and Rhodiola extracts, adaptogens that support endurance. Andrograph extract contains andrographolides, substances that support immune function and counter physical stress. Green Tea Extract (50% polyphenols) is added to support the strength of capillaries and other blood vessels.
Be Very Cautious of supplements often recommended for ED containing Yohimbe, Horny Goat Weed, Guarana, and Maca as they can increase blood pressure!
Remember Erectile Dysfunction can be a “Red Warning Light” telling you that a heart attack or stroke may be in your near future and time for a check-up! So don’t be shy to talk about it with your medical doctor and do not let he or she ignore it by just prescribing ED medication, it could save your life!
However as noted above there can additional or other causes for ED, so do some detective work to sort it out. Need Help? Appointments (telephone or in-office) with Holistic Practitioners Peter Morrell and Jane Jansen are available at the Tree of Life Wellness Center 508-336-4242.
Jane Jansen Holistic Practitioner Tree of Life Wellness Center
Host of Holistic Healthline Radio
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