Erectile dysfunction (ED) refers to the inability to achieve an erection. In addition, even if an erection is achieved, maintaining it may be problematic in those struggling with erectile dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction can be caused by several various factors, however, an erectile dysfunction doctor will need to determine the underlying cause before a treatment plan can be implemented. Here are some causes of ED and erectile dysfunction treatment options that may help improve your symptoms.
Certain Prescription Medications
One of the most common causes of erectile dysfunction is side effects from prescription medications. For example, medications used in treatment for high blood pressure may impair penile blood flow. Blood pressure medications that are more likely to affect penile blood flow and cause erectile dysfunction are those classified as loop diuretics, beta-blockers, and thiazide diuretics. If your physician determines that your erectile dysfunction is related to the aforementioned blood pressure medications, they may replace them with those less likely to impair blood flow to the penis.
Blood pressure medications that can less likely cause erectile dysfunction include those classified as ACE inhibitors and alpha-blockers. Other medications that can contribute to ED include antidepressants. Erectile dysfunction linked to antidepressants may be dose-dependent, which means that higher doses of the antidepressant drug may be more likely to cause ED. If your ED is caused by your antidepressant medication, a lower dose may improve your symptoms.
Heart Disease And Diabetes
Certain chronic health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes may also increase your risk for erectile dysfunction. These disorders can lead to arterial damage, blocked arteries, poor circulation, and blood flow to the penis. To help treat ED that is related to these conditions, your physician may recommend increasing your exercise routine, losing weight, not smoking, and consuming a nutrient-dense diet.
Foods that may help promote penile blood flow include spinach as it is a rich source of magnesium and folic acid, both of which help enhance penile circulation. In addition, keeping your blood sugar levels within normal limits may also help enhance blood vessel health and lower your risk for kidney disease, which can further increase your risk for erectile dysfunction. Your doctor may also refer you to a nutritionist or dietician who can help you make healthier food choices that may help reestablish healthy blood flow to the penile area.
If you have ED make an appointment with your doctor. After the cause of ED is uncovered, an effective erectile dysfunction treatment plan can then be implemented to help restore normal penile function.