It is estimated that today about half of all men in developed countries may suffer from erectile dysfunction (ED). Under normal circumstances, whenever a man becomes sexually aroused, the nerves in penis (stimulated by signals sent by brain) increase the blood flow, causing the tissue in penis to expand and harden. There are, however, many factors that may interfere with proper functioning of the nervous system and the penile blood circulation eventually leading to erectile dysfunction. Also anything that affects the libido or level of sexual desire can contribute to ED as it makes more difficult for the brain to trigger an erection.
Usually whenever a man asks about causes of his ED he is told that it is mainly stress, negative mental attitude and emotions that should be blamed for creating the problem. Although it is true that the emotional factor may contribute to ED there are more important causes that most of the men suffering from ED are not aware of.
THREE MAIN CAUSES
There is enough scientific evidence to conclude that there are three following key causes of Erectile Dysfunction:
1. Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) – 40%+
2. Chronic high blood glucose levels and Diabetes – 30%
3. Medication – 15%. (Check list of drugs linked to erectile dysfunction)
These three causes are responsible for 85% of all ED cases, while neurological causes make up only 5%!
POOR PENILE BLOOD CIRCULATION - MAIN PHYSIOLOGICAL CAUSE
The main physiological cause of ED is poor blood circulation in penis. And this problem is created especially by the Coronary Artery Disease. It means that the hardened, damaged, inflamed and clogged by cholesterol arteries are mostly responsible for ED.
Since we know very well that CAD and diabetes are mostly caused by unhealthy, refined, and high in sugar, bad fats and animal foods (meat and dairy) diet we can conclude that the same dietary factors lead also to ED.
ED is therefore the first serious warning signal for men suffering from this problem that they already developed CAD and that they have to improve their lifestyle and diet because otherwise sooner or later they may die from heart attack or stroke!
Why erectile dysfunction of penis is the first sign of coronary artery disease even though you do not yet experience any symptoms in your heart? It is so because arteries in penis are much smaller than the coronary arteries found in the heart. So although in the heart the cholesterol plague is also growing yet because those arteries are larger you don’t feel any signs yet.
The below (marked) quote which comes from the American Heart Journal gives evidence that the above assumption is true:
It means that men between 40 and 50 years of age with ED have 50-fold (which is equivalent of 5,000%) higher risk of heart attack or stroke than those without ED! Can there be any higher risk than that? If there is 20 or 30% higher risk scientists make a big noise about it. But here you have 5000%! It is actually not a risk it is atherosclerosis!
In 2012 a group of scientists wrote a special following guidelines for managing ED:
Many men think that they can eat junk food and just take a pill to improve erection, but although sometimes it helps, yet it never eliminates the true cause of the problem, causes side effects and sooner or later it stops working.
According to a title of another scientific publication, Erectile Dysfunction (ED) equals Early Death (ED):
DIABETES & CHRONIC HIGH BLOOD GLUCOSE LEVELS
The second after CAD cause of ED is chronic high blood sugar and diabetes:
Diabetes contributes to ED because high blood glucose levels damage small blood vessels found in penis. Those damaged tiny blood vessels are unable to provide nutrients to the nerve cells in penis and as a result they die causing impaired penile nerve signalling. In addition, diabetes also leads to ED because it lowers Nitric oxide levels inside arteries.
– Apart from CAD and diabetes, also medication may contribute to ED. Here you can check the list of drugs linked to erectile dysfunction >
– Other important causes of ED include bad refined and high in sugar, unhealthy fats and refined oils, diet high in cholesterol (animal foods), stress, lack of physical activity and use of popular stimulants (caffeine, alcohol, cola, chocolate, smoking, and drugs).
– Another very important and usually forgotten possible cause of ED can be frequent masturbation and other excessive sexual practices that lead to overstimulation of prostate gland and testicles as well as to zinc and dopamine deficiency. On the other hand, some specialists maintain that infrequent sex (probably less than once a week) may increase the risk of ED too.
– Other factors which may contribute to ED include: Low testosterone, and also the psychological element in the form of anxiety, depression or fear.
– Since, very common today, vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) deficiency may damage the nerves found in penis it also contributes to ED. In addition, vitamin B12 also support healthy circulation to promote strong erections.
– Low serotonin levels caused by poor diet (deficiency of tryptophan, zinc, magnesium, vitamin B6 and folate), physical inactivity and lack of sunlight.
– Toxins, free radicals, harmful radiation.
– Genetic abnormalities.
– Negative past sexual experiences, fear of failure, relationship problems, etc.
– Nutritional deficiencies. One of the main physical causes of ED may be vitamin and mineral deficiencies, especially Zinc, Magnesium, Vitamin D and B-vitamins.
Written by Slawomir Gromadzki, MPH
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