WHEN I am asked by a man advancing in years what he can do to overcome erectile dysfunction, I counter reply with a counter question: Are you hypertensive and taking anti-hypertensive pharmaceutical drugs? Most of them reply that they are! I often ask this question because many anti-hypertensive drugs of pharmaceutical origin lower the heart rate to prevent the heart from overworking and injuring itself thereby, and a lowered heart rate means less blood pumped to the penis, and less blood delivery means reduced erection capacity which implies erectile dysfunction. The question which naturally follows when this explanation is made is: ‘what can I do to solve the problem? An Alternative Medicine practitioner is likely to advice that he continue to take his drugs, he simultaneously energize his heart and improve the health and function of his circulation system, he gradually reduce the dosages of the drugs as his blood pressure and the conditions of his heart and blood vessels improve. I would like to state from the onset that anti-hypertensive drugs are not the only or main culprits in erectile dysfunction problems. After all, there are men who are not hypertensive who cannot easily get themselves up and active in the other room, to the disgust of a flaming and roaring, waiting Juliet.
Mayo Clinic educates its patients that “male sexual arousal is a complex process that involves the brain, hormones, emotions, nerves, muscles and blood vessels.” It goes on to add that “erectile dysfunction can result from a problem with any of this” and that likewise, stress and mental health concerns can cause or worsen erectile dysfunction.
That isn’t all to this challenge, says Mayo Clinic. “Sometimes”, it adds, “a combination of physical and psychological issues causes erectile dysfunction. For instance, a minor physical condition that slows your sexual response might cause anxiety about maintaining an erection. The resulting anxiety can lead to or worsen erectile dysfunction.
“In most cases erectile dysfunction is caused by something physical. common causes include (1) heart disease (2) clogged blood vessels (atherosclerosis) (3) high cholesterol (4) high blood pressure (5) diabetes (6) obesity (7) metabolic syndrome, a condition involving increased blood pressure, high insulin levels, body fat around the waist and high cholesterol (8) Parkinson’s disease (9) multiple sclerosis (10) Peyronies disease…development of scar tissue inside the penis (11) certain prescription medications (12) tobacco use (13) alcoholic and other forms of substance abuse (14) sleep disorders (15) treatment for prostate cancer or enlarged prostate (16) surgeries or injuries that affect the pelvic area or spinal cord.”
We may obtain enrichment of this information from www.emedicinehealth.com which says:
“To understand what causes erectile dysfunction or ED, it is important to first review how an erection occurs. For a man to have an erection, a complex process takes place within the body. “ONE: an erection involves the Central Nervous System, the Peripheral nervous system, psychological factors, local factors with the erection bodies or the penis itself as well as hormonal and vascular (blood flow or circulation) components.
“The penile process leading to an erection represents only a single component of a very complex process.
“TWO: Erection occurs in response to touch, smell, auditory or visual stimuli that trigger pathways to the brain. Information travels from the brain to the nerve centers at the base of the spine where primary nerve fibers connect to the penis and regulate blood flow during erection and afterwards.
“THREE: Sexual stimulation causes the release of chemicals from the nerve endings in the penis that trigger a series of events that ultimately cause muscle relaxation in the erection bodies of the penis. The smooth muscles in the erection bodies control the flow of blood into the penis. When the smooth muscles relax, the blood flow dramatically increases, and the erection bodies become full and rigid, resulting in an erection. Venous drainage channels are compressed and close up as the erection bodies enlarge.
“FOUR: Detumescence (the process by which the penis becomes flaccid) results when muscles-relaxing chemicals are no longer released.”
The pictures painted here is of a multiple simultaneous event which men take for granted until an untoward event occurs. This shows why ED solution proprietary blends in herbal medicine are designed to address as many of these questions as are possible to handle. It should also address the question of why they are sometimes expensive, why some provide an almost immediate response which fades out soon, and others work gently, sometime too slowly for impatient solution-seekers, but gradually unties the knots to eventually prove a more-lasting solution.
A solution of ED will depend on the cause(s). Doctors see causes as either of psychological or physical organic origins. Psychological issues are straight-forward. A husband may not respond sexually to a wife he has caught red-handed in bed with his best friend. If a wife persistently tells her husband he is a cold fish, that is he is sexually inadequate, the fear of performance may impose ED on him. Couples may have other disturbing questions which they may resolve themselves or through a counsellor. Physical/organic disturbances relate to those described earlier which have to do with a malfunctioning of the “architectural” designed of the body. I will discuss a few of the causes frequently observed in health food stores, based on the diagnosis of the doctors of help-seeking men.
We cannot avoid or avert stress. It is a feature of earthly life. A noise down the road may cause stress for some people. The thought of a new bill or the loss of a beloved one can send some people off their rockers. Our bodies are designed to withstand stress up to a certain limits. For this reason, our bodies produce stress hormones. When the stress level is too high and the adrenal glands cannot produce enough stress hormones to overcome the stress, the body will convert sex hormones to stress hormones. This may be the beginning of such discomfitures as libido loss and erectile dysfunction. According to www.peaktestosterone.com:
“One European study puts elevated psychological stress right alongside high blood pressure as a risk factor. Still other studies have shown that men with erectile dysfunction have higher reported stress levels. So, why would stress be a risk factor for erectile dysfunction? It turns out that stress attacks almost all the key pathways that would build an erection and is definitely one of your strongest enemies in the bedroom. As you will see below, it attacks your erectile strength, both in the long and short terms:
“ONE: Testosterone. First of all, we have already covered how stress can whack testosterone. Remember: ‘Testosterone buildeth; cortisol; takes away. Lower testosterone is certainly not going to help your erections and, if it gets low enough, can cause erectile issues. How? Low testosterone damages internal penile tissue, decreases Nitric-oxide and can lead to arterial plaque-build-up in penile arteries.
“TWO: Penile arteries. There have been many studies showing that stress leads to heart disease and we all know that heart disease will directly affect your erectile strength. How does stress do its damage? One set of researchers looked into this and found that chronic work stress led to poor lifestyle choices and behaviours such as smoking, excessive drinking, lack of exercise and metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is deadly to both heart and penis.
“THREE: Cortisol. The same study above found that chronic work stress led to an increased morning rise in cortisol. Other studies have made a similar finding. This is bad for erection, because elevated cortisol is associated with insulin resistance and decreased nitric-oxide.
“FOUR: Visceral Fats. Cortisol and stress are also associated with increased visceral fat (“bear belly”, “gut”, “spare tyre”, etc), both of which are very-hand on erections. Visceral or abdominal fat, is considered the most deadly form of body fat as it rapidly accelerates the risk for cardiovascular disease, stroke and Alzheimer’s disease just for starters.
“FIVE: Weight gain. Researchers recently found out that chronic psychological stress resulted in greater weight gain, especially in sensitive individuals. The reason? The study authors noted that stressed people eat excessively whether hungry or not. The old expression “comfort foot” is apparently a very real crutch that most lean on.
“SIX: Noradrenaline (Norepinephrine) one little known fact about the penis is the fact that one of the stress hormones, Nor-adrenaline, is actually responsible for keeping you limp. Afterall, you don’t want to walk around with an erection at your next staff meeting eh? The job of nitric oxide is actually to overcome the effect of this stress hormone and relax your penile arteries enough to let blood to flow into the corpus cavernous for an erection to occur. However, too much stress and you are swimming upstream.” (The website has information on practical health solution).
REMEDIES FOR STRESS
Decades ago, Borage oil was popular for the revival of Adrenal glands weakened or burnt out by stress. So were the de-fatted Licorice DGL and Ginseng. Some therapists advise relocation from a stressor environment, even if it means taking a holiday, and sleep-enhancing foods and herbs and food supplements. To support restful sleep Valerian root and Vervain are good. So are Melatonin and Tryptophan. (Melatonin is not advisable for women who are trying to get pregnant). Tryptophan can be obtained from banana. Another good anti-stress agent is German Chamomile herb. To improve testosterone production, work should begin with the testes. The testes of many men are in a state of atrophy because of a dietary deficiency of Vitamin E. herbs such as Macca and Yohimbe support the production of hormones in men and women.
We cannot forget the combination of vitamin C, Zinc and L-Arginine. This combination actually promotes production of more sperm and erectile function. Many proprietary formulars parade as many as 20 ingredients, or more. These usually include Ashwangada, Honey goat weed, Ginkgo biloba (for blood flow to the penis) and Horse chestnut (for the same purpose) some of these proprietary blends include LIBIDO TONIGHT and STEEL LIBIDO. They are virtually now extinct on the Nigerian market. The new market raves include African Black Ant and Robust Roots.
If anti-hypertensive pharmaceutical drugs are the cause of erectile dysfunction, they can be eased off with a gradual replacement with natural food supplements which, as an added advantage, have no side effects. Pharmaceutical drugs slow down the heart, reducing blood flow. Some doctors may give STATIN drugs to lower cholesterol blood levels if cholesterol is implicated in the hypertension. These drugs prevents the production of CoQ10 (Co Enzyme Q10) in the body. Yet the largest amount of CoQ10 is found in the heart. And, according to studies by Dr. Karl Folkers, the father of CoQ10 research, the heart begins to develop problems if its store of CoQ10 falls by as little as 25 percent. Yet statin anti-cholesterol pharmaceutical drugs block the production of CoQ10 while doing their job. Conversely, the addition of CoQ10 to the diet energies the heart, enabling it to cope with the stress it is confronted with, from which anti-hypertensive, anti-erection function drugs try to rescue it. Many doctors in Nigeria do not know about CoQ10. But not all CoQ10 are CoQ10. By this I mean CoQ10 is in grades. The highest grade is UBIQUINOL. In Nigeria, it is common to find 100mg Ubiquinol. The one I have been taking lately is 300mg Ubiquinol which comes in addition, with Vitamin C (150mg), vitamin E (55i.u.) and Black Pepper (5mg). It is best taken with food with oil because it is best absorbed in an oil environment. Sometimes, I crush the tablets in the mouth and get it dissolved into 1 teaspoonful of Palm oil or one tablespoonful of coconut oil. 100mg is enough for mild hypertension, 200mg for serious cases and 300mg for conditions as bad as HIV and Cancer. It has been found that CoQ10 (Ubiquinol) helps the generation of energy. The heart never rests and is kept going by Ubiquinol. If the penis doesn’t get up, isn’t that because it is lazy and wouldn’t an infusion of energy help it? From the website http://articles.mercola.com, we learn from biologist Risa Schulman Ph.D., a functional food expert:
“Ubiquinol is the reduced version of Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) aka Ubiquinol. They are actually the same molecules. But when CoQ10 is reduced, it takes two electrons, which turn it into what we call Ubiquinol. In your body, this conversion occurs thousands of times every second inside your mitochondria “the engine” of each cell in which energy is produced.
“The reason it does this flipping back and forth between these two forms of the molecules is that this is part of the process that helps us to change our food into energy,” Schulman explains.
“This is very important to healthy functioning, and obviously important for all muscle, in particular your heart muscle which work hardest of all the muscles.”
“In addition to converting food into energy, Ubiquinol also has a number of additional functions. For starters, Ubiquinol is a lipid-soluble (fat-soluble) antioxidant, meaning it works in the lipid portions of your body such as your cell membranes. It is one of the very few antioxidants that are fat soluble. Ubiquinol is also the only fat soluble anti-oxidant that is actually generated within your body and does not have to be ingested from your food.
“Ubiquinol production ramps up from early childhood up until your mid-to late 20s. By the time you hit age of 30, it begins to decline. Young people are able to use CoQ10 supplements quite well, but older people do better with Ubiquinol as it is more readily absorbed. According to Schulman, some people cannot convert CoQ10 at all to Ubiquinol in their bodies, and they definitely need to use Ubiquinol or they won’t get any of the benefits. If someone takes a CoQ10 supplement, the body very quickly will convert it to Ubiquinol because that is the preferred form. It will transport that CoQ10 through the blood, as Ubiquinol, into the tissues and eventually into the mitochondria,” she explains.
We can go on and on and on about Ubiquinol. Let’s quickly recognize HAWTHORN BERRIES also for the heart, Lecithin to remove blockages of fat from the blood vessels, Vitamin E and Selenium for the same purpose, and Magnesium to remove Calcium infiltration of soft muscles of these vessels, which cause them to harden (arteriosclerosis) and elevate blood pressure. We cannot address today blockages in the liver and kidneys and other organs, all of which may elevate blood pressure.