Q&A: Can Erectile Dysfunction be indicative of a more serious health concern?

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Answered by the Wellness Department

Yes! Thank you for this important question, most men are unaware that erectile dysfunction can be an early indicator of more serious health problems; most of which can be addressed with the proper treatment.

Men who choose not to seek treatment often feel like they are suffering alone, but the truth is quite the opposite. In fact, more than 23 million men are affected by erectile dysfunction in the US alone. Most sexually active men experience some form of it in their lifetime and even if the experiences are short-lived, it’s important to consider what causes your erectile dysfunction (especially if it’s persistent) and whether or not you need to seek treatment.

So, What is Erectile Dysfunction Exactly?

Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is the inability to achieve and maintain an erection long enough to have sex. Most men find the condition highly emasculating and difficult to discuss, even with professional health care providers. This is unfortunate because ED can be alleviated or even cured permanently when properly treated. It is critical to your overall health and wellness to identify the underlying cause of your condition.

What Causes Erectile Dysfunction (ED)?

There are many internal systems involved in your ability to get an erection, including your blood vessels, hormones, nerves, muscles, and emotional state. A problem with any one of these systems can lead to erectile dysfunction.

Generally, reasons for erectile dysfunction can be divided into two categories, physical and psychological, although the cause of ED is usually a combination of both.

Physical Causes of ED

There are many physical factors that can cause erectile dysfunction but it is usually related to poor blood flow and circulation. High cholesterol, Peyronie’s disease, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and even certain prescription medications are among some of the underlying conditions and factors that can interfere with your ability to get and maintain an erection.

One of the main causes of erectile dysfunction is cardiovascular disease or abnormal function of the arteries and blood vessels.

Cardiovascular disease occurs when plaque builds up in the arteries, damaging the blood vessels and reducing blood flow to the heart. Blood flow is critical to creating and maintaining an erection, so when the blood vessels weaken and fill with plaque, blood flow to the penis is compromised, resulting in weaker erections. In more severe cases, men are unable to achieve an erection at all.

Because the blood vessels in the penis are among the smallest in the body, any vascular issues will be experienced there first. Like a canary in a coal mine, erectile dysfunction can be thought of as an early warning signal. It is imperative to consult with a qualified wellness practitioner to identify and treat the root cause of the problem before it compromises more than just your sex life.

Psychological Causes of ED

In some cases, the sole cause of erectile dysfunction may be psychological, but more often than not it is a secondary reaction to the underlying physical condition. The most common psychological causes of ED include:

  • Fear of sexual failure
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Guilt
  • Depression
  • Low self-esteem

Many of these factors are correlated and you may experience more than one, especially if your ED is persistent.

Erectile Dysfunction Treatment Options

Detecting the underlying cause of ED begins with an open, honest discussion about the problem, including when it began and any recent significant life changes, emotional concerns or psychological issues. Your doctor will also review your complete medical history and perform a thorough physical exam. Testing may include blood tests and urine tests to determine the root cause of your condition. Once the main cause of your erectile dysfunction is identified, your doctor will recommend a treatment plan that meets your needs and lifestyle. Fortunately, there are many effective erectile dysfunction treatments available today, here are some of the most common options:

  • Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy (also called the P-Shot) and GAINSWave Therapy: For patients found to have cardiovascular concerns, these groundbreaking, minimally invasive treatments can help men achieve erections on their own, naturally and spontaneously, without the aid of medication. These are specialized treatments now available that can quickly improve the health and function of the blood vessels and nerve tissues that supply blood to the penis for more immediate relief of erectile dysfunction.
  • Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy: Should diagnostic testing indicate low testosterone, this treatment can help to restore hormone levels to a more healthy, balanced state. As men age, testosterone levels decline, creating a range of unwanted symptoms, including fatigue, increased body fat, sleeplessness, irritability, depression, low libido, and difficulty achieving and maintaining an erection erectile dysfunction. Bioidentical hormone therapy for erectile dysfunction restores lost testosterone to improve both sexual performance and overall quality of life.
  • Oral medications, such as Viagra and Cialis: These medications work by enhancing the effects of a natural chemical produced by the body called nitric oxide, which helps to relax the muscles and increases blood flow in the penis.  However, these drugs only provide temporary relief for some and can have unwanted side-effects.

GainsWave Therapy

GAINSWave Therapy uses high-frequency/low-intensity wave energy to break up micro-plaque in blood vessels, stimulate the growth of new blood vessels, and regenerate nerve tissues in the penis. It is performed with a hand-held device, coated with a special ultrasound gel and placed upon the target area for about 10-20 minutes. Treatments are quick, pain-free, risk-free, and have no side-effects. Wave therapy usually provides results in about 4-6 weeks that can last up to 3 years. The resulting improvements, which include stronger, more sustainable erections and enhanced sexual pleasure.

In addition, I strongly advise patients at risk for heart disease to make meaningful lifestyle changes, including a more nutritious diet, regular exercise, less alcohol consumption, and no smoking. Such changes can improve a man’s overall health and wellness, reduce his risk of serious heart disease, and help to resolve erectile dysfunction over time.

P-Shot Therapy

P-Shot Therapy, or Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy, is an all-natural approach that uses a patient’s own healing blood platelets to treat erectile dysfunction. Our blood naturally contains platelets with powerful healing “growth factors” that stimulate stem cell production and blood vessel formation. P-Shot Therapy involves separating these platelets from a blood sample and injecting them strategically into the body. The injection floods the target area with restorative blood cells that immediately begin revitalizing the muscle, tissue, and nerves. Your body’s own natural healing growth factors work to improve the health of your erectile tissue, stimulate the formation of new blood vessels and increase blood flow to the penis, resulting in stronger erections and enhanced sexual sensitivity and stamina.

P-Shot Therapy treatment is quick, works within 4-6 weeks, and has almost no side effects or risks.

Learn More About Erectile Dysfunction Treatment & Therapies

Every person is unique and therefore requires a treatment plan that is customized to their specific individual needs. Many erectile dysfunction patients require a combination of treatment options to address their condition. That is why it is critical to seek help from a qualified medical professional before starting any treatment. And remember, the sooner you identify the reason for your erectile dysfunction and treat the root cause of your condition, the sooner you can correct it and resume a healthy, rewarding sex life.

Contact us today with questions or to learn more about ED treatment options. Schedule your private consultation today by calling 410.296.0414 or contact us online.



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