Top 4 Reasons Why Men Have Erectile Dysfunction (ED)

There are multiple reasons why we guys suffer from ED at some point in our lives whether it is a temporary thing or something we have to treat and has lifelong implications. Here is a short list of the most common causes of ED.

  1. Hormones– There are 4 major hormones in the body that get their start in the brain. Thyroid, testosterone, cortisol and growth hormone (GH). Each of these play a part in the others whether directly or indirectly. A hormone imbalance of one may cause an imbalance in another. These can be caused by trauma, disease and aging just to name a few. Low testosterone levels are the most direct cause of ED in men. If you can correct the imbalance then you stand a good chance of being able to function normally. Not just talking about ED here. Most people think about testosterone as just a sex hormone. It is not. Only about 40% of its function is sexual in nature. That means the majority of its functions are outside of your private parts.
  2. Medications– There are many classes of medications that cause erectile dysfunction. A few of the better known classes of medications are blood pressure and anti-depressants. Perhaps some less well know classes are some BPH (enlarged prostate) meds and the “azoles”. These are drugs that fight fungal infections. Some of these types of drugs lower your testosterone levels directly or interrupt the hormone cascade somewhere. Yes. hormones start with cholesterol as a base compound and the body uses complicated mechanisms to produce all manner of hormones.
  3. Diseases– I’m talking about a lot of common chronic conditions. High blood pressure, sleep apnea, heart disease, lung disease, kidney disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, BPH, etc. These disease processes may either directly or indirectly affect a man’s ability to achieve a satisfactory erection. You can come to your own conclusions as to what satisfactory erection means. I recommend you think of satisfactory as meaning you AND your partner being happy with the outcome. I think most of us do. Anyway, the disease process and or the treatment may affect your erection quality. Ignoring your uncontrolled blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, etc. is NOT good idea. You will lose more than your ability to get a hard on if you don’t take care of these things. Fortunately, there are ways to treat these chronic problems. Here is an aside to treating chronic diseases. Most of these are for life. There are a few cases of people curing their heart disease, sleep apnea, diabetes, etc. Most do not and they undergo lifelong management of these conditions. This is opposite to having something temporary like an infection, taking an antibiotic and VOILA, no more infection.
  4. The Brain– Trauma, anxiety, depression, stress, etc. These are all factors that interrupt the brain’s ability to function properly whether it is a mechanical problem or a psychogenic one. Trauma (think TBI, concussion, etc.) will actually interrupt the hormone cascade mentioned above. Trauma can actually cause other problems like mood disorders, anxiety and depression by interrupting the normal hormonal patterns of the brain. Depression and anxiety can kill a sex life. There are times when sexual function is the last thing on our minds. For instance, we here in south Louisiana just went through Hurricane Ida. Sex probably wasn’t on the forefront of your mind. It doesn’t matter if you stayed or evacuated. Thinking about your home, family, possessions, finances, etc. are stressful. Some of you didn’t come back to much and that is a great loss. The stress and anxiety about your home, job, family can impact your thoughts and leave you with ED problems until those conditions resolve. I know that sex isn’t the only thing that matters…but this is a blog post about ED so go with me on this one. On another note, if you watch a lot of pornography then you aren’t doing yourself much good. Our brain is the biggest sex organ in the body. We guys are visual creatures. If the screen and the real thing don’t match up then there can be a problem. Talk about a killjoy. Talking to your partner or a counselor about this can help relieve or limit the problem.

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