It comes as no surprise that many men will experience erectile dysfunction (ED) in their lifetime. In fact, the National Institutes of Health states that an estimated 5% of 40 year old men suffer from ED on an ongoing basis. These numbers only grow as men age, with 15-25% of men experiencing regular erectile dysfunction at age 65.
While there are prescription treatment options available, some men prefer natural methods to improve erectile dysfunction. However, if you suffer from erectile dysfunction yourself, you may wonder if these are truly effective and what evidence can support the use of natural methods as an ED treatment.
On This Page You'll Find
The Risk Factors
According to one study, age is the most prevalent risk factor for predicting erectile dysfunction. In other words, you’re more likely to suffer from ED as you get older.
It is important to note that erectile dysfunction is scored on a sliding scale of severity, from minimal to total. In addition, even if you can still achieve an erection, it may not be as hard as it once was.
So with that being the case, when should you seek out treatment?
According to WebMD, being unable to achieve on erection 20% of the time is not considered ED. However, if you experience trouble 50% of the time or more, then erectile dysfunction is present.
Other risk factors for ED listed by the Mayo Clinic include heart disease, diabetes, smoking or using chewing tobacco, drinking, using illegal drugs, being overweight (with obesity causing a higher risk), injuries, certain medications with sexual side effects, and psychological factors like anxiety, depression, or stress.
See Your Doctor First
Before attempting to use natural methods to improve erectile dysfunction, you should always visit your doctor to discover if there is an underlying cause. Why? Because it is estimated that approximately 70% of erectile dysfunction cases are present due to a more serious health condition. The possibilities include diabetes, atherosclerosis, neurological conditions, vascular disease, or kidney disease.
Alternatively, you may be suffering from prescription drug side effects, an injury, depression, anxiety or excessive stress. Therefore, simply assuming that ED is the only issue can be dangerous if another more serious illness is at work.
Using Natural Treatments
Once your doctor has determined that another condition is not causing your ED, you may want to try some natural treatments. Cases of mild erectile dysfunction often respond best to these methods, with many different options being popular today.
The evidence to support the use of many of these supplements is equivocal at best, and more research is needed. However, at the present time, a few viable alternative treatments are available for you to try. Michael Steel’s ED Conqueror is one of the most popular due to its ease of implementation and overall effectiveness.
An Amino Acid
In terms of supplements with at least some research to justify their use, L-arginine is an amino acid which shows promise. One trial found that L-arginine did in fact help the sexual function of men who had trouble metabolizing nitric oxide.
This is commonly seen in cardiovascular disease, and L-Arginine helped to correct this issue. It is important to note that this supplement should only be taken after speaking with your doctor if you suffer from cardiovascular disease or take certain medications.
Another study performed by scientists in Bulgaria found that L-arginine combined with pycnogenol (a pine extract) caused a significant boost in sexual function. No side effects were observed, making this amino acid a possible option for ED treatment. However, a few side effects of L-arginine are listed on the Mayo Clinic’s website, including nausea, diarrhea and cramps. Further, it is cautioned that you should not take this amino acid with Viagra.
A Natural Hormone
DHEA supplements are another natural alternative to prescription treatments for ED. According to the Mayo Clinic, there is some research to support the use of this hormone to improve erectile dysfunction and boost libido. However, well-designed studies on the benefits of DHEA for erectile dysfunction have had mixed results and more research is needed.
An Herbal Treatment
Finally, ginseng has been touted as a possible ED treatment, and there is some evidence to support this. A recent study found that Korean red ginseng was an effective treatment for 45 participants who were suffering from significant erectile dysfunction issues.
While ginseng is generally thought to be safe, insomnia, allergic reactions, and interference with prescription drugs are possible side effects. Therefore, it is best to speak with your doctor before starting a ginseng regimen for ED.
A Personal Choice
In the end, deciding to use natural methods to improve erectile dysfunction is a highly personal choice. However, while more definitive research is needed to prove the efficacy of these alternatives, the lack of harsh side effects make them an attractive option. The fact that supplements like L-arginine and ginseng also provide other health benefits means that a trial use of these treatments is often a sound decision.
Moving forward, other natural alternatives are currently being studied which may provide even more possibilities for ED treatment. The general consensus is that natural treatments are unlikely to do any harm, and you may be pleased with their ability to improve your erectile dysfunction in a meaningful way.
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