In western medicine, we often look for a simple cure to anything that ails us. We get sick, we take a pill. We have pain, we take a pill. We have ED, we take a pill. The problem is, real health care is often far more entangled and involved than that. The factors that can cause us health problems may pose no threat on their own, but when piled up on each other, in combination, this multiplied effect can reach the tipping point and cause some frustrating medical issues.
Dealing with ED is no different. The little stresses of life we subject our bodies to, all take their toll on our penis and its ability to function. After too much abuse, our body signals that it is giving up the fight. A holistic lifestyle approach to treating ED can help the recovery and maintenance of a functioning penis. Find the best ED treatment option for you.
The chemistry of an erection is amazing. It begins with the fragile molecule, Nitric Oxide (NO), which signals the muscles lining the blood vessels of the penis to relax and let blood engorge the penis. NO is a molecule with unbalanced electrons – that means that it will break down instantly with certain other molecules. The production and stability of NO relies on antioxidants to protect it so that it has time to deliver its effect before it breaks down (in less than a few seconds). Amazingly, almost every aspect of our lifestyle affects the production and function of NO as well as the presence of antioxidants to protect it.
#1: Lose Weight!
For every 15 pounds of extra fat, you lose ½ inch of penis.
When it comes to penises, size does not matter. When it comes to waist lines, size really does matter. Being overweight or obese is one of the worst things you can do to your penis. First of all, men tend to accumulate fat in their lower abdomen and in the pubic area at the base of the penis. As this pad of fat increases, available square footage of penis decreases. That’s just the beginning.
One of the byproducts of being overweight is insulin resistance. Even if not diabetic, the overweight man has created an environment where his body is not able to respond to insulin as it should. Insulin is a primary stimulator of NO production. Lower insulin response equals lower NO! Higher sugar levels of overweight men also impair NO production.
#2: Exercise to Create Healthy Erections
Exercise your body AND your penis.
According to a recent study published in the International Journal of Impotence Research, the most important lifestyle factor influencing ED is exercise – both whole body exercise and penile exercise. It has been shown that a sedentary lifestyle increases ED by 2-10 fold, whereas moderate activity has been reported to reduce ED by 60% and high activity by over 80%. Physical exercise causes increased NO production throughout the whole body. Exercise also increases the body’s sensitivity to insulin (seeing a pattern here?).
Sadly, systemic bodily exercise does not increase blood flow to the penis. Gladly, the penis must be exercised as well. Regular stimulation that induces erections will increase the presence of NO in the penis as well as improve the penile response to it.
#3: Manage Your Stress
Stress produces adrenaline which can instantly kill an erection.
Most of us tend to think of stress as feeling as if there’s too much to do and too little time to do it – too much on our plate! But stress is actually a very complex combination of physical and psychological interactions. At its most basic level, stress is the body anticipating the need for extra energy. This means everything from the highest level (panic, fury), the middle level (frustration, deadlines) to the lowest level (lack of sleep, not eating, worry). Your body’s response to every level is to pump adrenaline into your system as well as pump sugar into your blood stream for extra energy (remember insulin resistance?). This is the fight-or-flight response you hear about.
The major sexual aspect of stress is that adrenaline is what keeps your penis flaccid on a daily basis. So, even the smallest amount of worry or stress is going to pump adrenaline into your system, which will instantly kill an erection.
#4: Reduce Fat Intake
Fat increases cholesterol which can clog the tiny arteries of the penis.
Fat causes blood vessels to become inflamed. This inflammation greatly reduces the effect of NO. Fat in the blood stream increases oxidation – which breaks down NO. Fat reduces the effects of insulin. A high fat meal can also render the effects of Viagra completely useless. Fat increases cholesterol which can clog the tiny arteries of the penis.
Fat makes you fat! (remember the weight control issue?) Those French fries may taste great going down, but are they worth making sex more difficult?
#5: Reduce Sugar Intake
Sugar leads to weight gain…(see above…)
Sugar levels in your blood are directly related to Insulin levels and creating insulin resistance. Higher sugar levels also raise oxidation levels which break down nitric oxide.
Sugar makes you fat. Can you really justify that candy bar if it’s going to ruin an erection?
#6: Limit Alcohol Consumption to Mild/Moderate Levels
Excessive alcohol consumption damages the muscle cells of the penis and increases premature ejaculation.
Interestingly, mild to moderate amounts of alcohol (1-2 drinks per day) has been shown to reduce ED. Moderate alcohol consumption has been shown to increase Nitric Oxide (NO) levels in laboratory animals. However, excessive alcohol suppresses NO production, damages the muscle cells of the penis and increases premature ejaculation.
So, it looks as if that glass of wine with dinner is good for your penis, after all. Just keep it moderate. Too much alcohol may increase the desire – but absolutely will decrease performance.
#7: Quit Smoking
Smoking destroys NO, often resulting in ED.
This hardly needs any discussion. Studies have shown that smoking, as well as second hand smoke, increase the incidence of ED. Cardiovascular damage and disease coupled with smoke destroying Nitric Oxide makes it sexual suicide to continue to smoke. If you need help quitting, see your doctor.
#8: Increase Intake of Antioxidants
Certain fruits, vegetables and spices can prevent ED.
We’ve all heard of antioxidants – they are in the news a lot. The best known antioxidants are beta carotene, vitamins C and E, and the mineral selenium. Other antioxidants include ginkgo biloba, coenzyme Q10, tocotrienols.
Polyphenols are potent antioxidants found in high amounts in certain foods. Pomegranate, tea (especially white tea), red wine, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries are all great. Black berries have twice the amount of the other berries. Dark cocoa, low in sugar, has a tremendous benefit for increasing NO production. Spices such as rosemary, oregano, cinnamon, turmeric, black pepper, cloves, garlic and paprika have even been shown to reduce the harmful effects of a high fat meal.
#9: Check Your Testosterone
Low T symptoms: low sex drive, lack of energy, loss of muscle, weight gain, depression, ED. Check your symptoms.
We see the TV ads everywhere. “Got low T?” The truth is, many men are walking around with low testosterone. Low energy, depression, weight gain, loss of libido are all symptoms of low testosterone levels. In a nutshell, testosterone is what makes you feel like a man. The energy to compete, create, explore, and conquer comes from this male hormone. So does the desire and ability to have sex.
Despite the temptation, don’t run to your nutrition store and try to fix this on your own. You can create huge problems by tampering with hormones on your own. Not sure if you have low T? Check your symptoms.
#10: Add Supplements to Your Diet
Supplements can prevent ED by increasing NO production.
There has been a lot of research lately into the effects of supplements on sexual performance. A study in the International Journal of Impotence Research by the Reproductive Partners Medical Group, has created a list of supplements that have been shown to increase NO production and preservation. This includes:
Omega-3 Fish oil 1000mg
Folic Acid 400 micrograms
Vitamin C-500 mg. 1000mg
Vitamin E 200 UI 200mg
L-Citrulline 2 grams
Pycnogenol 50-120 mg.
Green Tea 3 cups/day
Chocolate (low sugar) 1 oz/day
Surprisingly, L-Arginine did not make the list. It has been found that most of the recommended doses are so small, that the drug is synthesized almost completely before it has time to affect NO production. If you want to try it, the dose that seems to have the greatest effect is 5 grams.
Sometimes making changes to your lifestyle can be difficult to do on your own. And sometimes, medical intervention is required. At Maze, we’re experts at treating ED, Low T or any other sexual issue you’re experiencing.
Contact us to schedule a free phone consultation to see how a customized treatment plan can help you.