4 Ways to Treat Erectile Dysfunction
Nearly 1 in 5 men ages 20 and up has had erectile dysfunction. Here are four expert solutions to one common problem.
Erectile dysfunction is common, but many treatment methods are available.
1. Change Your Lifestyle
First, see your doctor to determine the cause: You may have a testosterone deficiency, or the problem might be related to medications or diabetes, hypertension or some other condition. Exercise helps (ask your doctor before you begin); so does losing excess weight. Alcohol makes erectile dysfunction (ED) worse, so cut back or eliminate it, and quit smoking-it decreases blood flow.
Jim King, MD, President, American Academy of Family Physicians
2. Get Acupuncture
Sometimes the psychological and emotional aspects can be as important as the medical ones. So if you’re stressed-out and having trouble relaxing or sleeping, give acupuncture a shot. It can help relieve stress, which may alleviate the ED. Your tension levels should drop in three to five sessions.
James Dillard, MD, Author, The Chronic Pain Solution
3. Try Medication
ED is treatable, thanks in part to new drugs. After an exam, a urologist may prescribe Viagra, Levitra or Cialis. All three relax the smooth muscle inside the penis to allow greater blood flow. If the drugs don’t work or if you’re taking other pills that prevent you from using them, your doctor may suggest injectable drugs or prosthetics.
Anthony Y. Smith, MD, American Urological Association
4. Revamp Your Diet
It’s often a sign that all is not right with the vascular system: Many men with ED also have heart disease, so take this as a sign to overhaul your lifestyle. Eat a diet based on plant foods, fish, omega-3s and whole grains, with no saturated or trans fats. Ask your doctor about the amino acidL-arginine too. It may improve the function of cells lining the blood vessels throughout the body.
Dwight McKee, MD, Aptos, California