Erectile dysfunction, otherwise known as ED, is a condition resulting in the inability to get or sustain an erection. While stress or anxiety can contribute to erectile dysfunction, you will need to make an appointment with your physician for a comprehensive examination to determine the cause. Your doctor will develop an ED treatment plan based on the findings of your examination and oral medical history. Here are some common causes of erectile dysfunction and how they are treated.
Peripheral vascular disease is one of the most common causes of erectile dysfunction. Peripheral vascular disease, or PVD, is a circulatory disorder that causes diminished blood flow to the vital organs. It may also lead to diminished blood flow to the genital region, causing erectile dysfunction.
Peripheral vascular disease can be caused by longstanding or poorly managed diabetes, smoking, obesity, and cardiovascular disease such as arteriosclerosis. Treatments for PVD may include smoking cessation, weight loss, lipid-lowering medication, and keeping blood glucose levels within normal limits. Your physician may also prescribe medication to enhance blood flow and lower blood pressure.
If conservative measures are ineffective in treating peripheral vascular disease and resultant erectile dysfunction, your doctor may recommend a venous grafting procedure to restore blood flow. Once your PVD has been effectively treated, your erectile dysfunction symptoms may improve.
Medication Side Effects
Another common cause of erectile dysfunction is medication side effects. Both over-the-counter and prescription medications can cause ED, however, once the medication is discontinued, erectile function often returns to normal.
While stopping the offending medication can improve your ED symptoms, do not stop taking them until your doctor tells you that it is safe to do so. Medications such as certain antihypertension drugs diminish blood flow to the penile area, making it more difficult to achieve or sustain an erection.
Certain blood pressure medications can also deplete your body of essential nutrients, which can affect your testosterone levels, further worsening erectile dysfunction symptoms. Getting regular exercise, not smoking, eating a healthy diet, and losing excess weight can decrease your blood pressure naturally so that you may not need antihypertension medications.
Once these medications have been discontinued, adequate blood flow will be reestablished to the genital area, which will restore penile function. Other medications that can lead to erectile dysfunction include anti-anxiety medications, antidepressants, and certain antihistamines.
If you suffer from erectile dysfunction, make an appointment with your physician. After the cause or your erectile dysfunction has been established, your doctor will then recommend appropriate ED treatment options.
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