A man’s private concerns
As a Naturopathic Physician, educator, and researcher I have built my practice and career on the belief that YOU alone are responsible for your health. No doctor, drug, flashy media advertisement or enticing promise will deliver perfect health. It is simply not possible. The only person who can create a body free of disease and full of bullet-proof vitality is you- by making the very best choices available to you every single day.
A Man’s Private Concern
If you are living with the challenge of erectile dysfunction (ED) it is important to understand that there is much more than your sexual prowess at stake. ED is the canary in the coal mine of your entire vascular system and that dysfunction in the penile vessels is an undeniable predictor of the state of health in your entire body, even for those men who have no other common risk factors for heart disease such as high cholesterol, diabetes, smoking and high blood pressure. Research has shown that the number one cause of ED is atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and if you’re experiencing ED, statistics indicate that your risk of heart disease increases by 58%.
Studies have shown that at the first signs of erectile dysfunction, men have about 3 years before a cardiovascular event is likely to present. That means at the first sign of erectile difficulty a man has a very important and potentially critical choice to make. Take a pill to eke out erections for about 3 years until heart problems may make getting healthier, even staying alive, more important than sex. Or be grateful for the forewarning, make a choice to get truly healthy and enjoy a natural strong sex drive and spontaneous erections for bonding and pleasure that can last a lifetime.
Good Sex is Good for You
Good sex has many total health benefits, such as boosting the immune system, protecting against heart disease, improving circulation, and lowering blood pressure for at least a week. That’s just for starters! Studies have shown that in middle-aged men, natural orgasms twice per week can cut the risk of death by heart attack and other causes in half, compared to men of the same age who have orgasms less than once per month. The benefits of sex for the men’s female partners is also worth noting. Either way you look at it, sex is part of healthy aging!
But these benefits don’t apply if you’re using ED drugs to force an erection. Your slowly compromised vascular system is not helped when an erection is forced with medication and in fact, this type of practice can cause tremendous harm in the body such as optic nerve stroke, creating permanent blindness, negatively impacting hearing, and can even lead to death from heart attack or stroke.
Be Grateful for the Erection Connection
If your arteries are becoming hardened and narrow, the negative effects will appear in the smaller capillaries first, the exact type of tiny vessels in the penis that become engorged with blood to create an erection. ED is an early warning that your vascular health is out of balance. Consider problems getting and maintaining erections a helpful indicator, an early warning signal of the state of your total body health and heed the wakeup call… Making the choice to improve your total well-being will improve your love life for a longer, happier fulfilling life. Taking a pill to pray for an erection can never offer you these health benefits, but it does potentially put you in harm’s way.
Here are a few of my favourite science-based, all-natural recommendations to enhance total body health including sexual libido and function.
Eat well, Live well. Achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight is an essential part of healthy sexual function. Studies indicate that being overweight can increase your risk of ED 30-90% compared with men of their ideal weight. If you tend to carry your weight around the mid-section and have a waist circumference of 42 inches or greater you will also have a 50% greater risk of erectile dysfunction. Stay slim for sex and your best at every age.
Exercise for great Erections. Exercise is an essential element in maintaining great circulation and vascular health. Any amount of exercise helps, the more consistent the better. Be regular with your exercise routine for best results. Interval training gives some of the best health results with the least amount of time! If you are riding a bike, whether outdoors or in the gym, get yourself a proper male bike seat and /or a good pair of well-padded bike shorts as injury to the perineal area (just forward of the anus) can contribute to erectile dysfunction.
Address the Stress. Stress impacts every aspect of your body, accelerating health problems and preventing proper healing. The physiological changes induced by prolonged stress can contribute to ED, or worse!
Butt Out. It takes a little as 2 cigarettes per day to negatively impact sexual health. Get serious, quit now!
Consider all-natural botanicals. There are several all-natural botanicals that have been used for centuries in traditional healing to promote sexual health and function and have been proven by modern science to be effective, safe and free from dangerous side effects.
- Tribulus terrestris fruit extract has been used in ancient healing for its sexual enhancing effects and anti-aging benefits. Modern studies show that a phytochemical (plant compound) in Tribulus terrestris is a precursor to the male hormone DHEA, providing support to the kidney, heart and liver functions and directly enhancing sexual desire and erection. I recommend 400mg daily, with food.
- Butea superb root has been revered in Thailand as an enhancer of erectile function and fertility and recent US studies have confirmed this belief. In studies with ED-afflicted volunteers, after 3 months of taking a daily dose of 250mg Butea, 82.4% of patients enjoyed significant improvement in erectile function and performance. I recommend 250mg daily.
- Panax ginseng (Korean Red Ginseng) is well known for its ability to improve erectile function, even in men suffering with ED. After 8 weeks of taking a 500mg capsule of Panax ginseng daily, 60% of patients experienced significant improvement in erectile function, sexual desire and intercourse satisfaction versus 20% in the placebo group. Another study reports that 67% of patients taking Panax ginseng experienced improved erections versus no change in the placebo group. I recommend 200 to 300 mg twice daily.
You may look for each of these botanicals separately or you may choose a product that offers them in combination. The smart choice in this category is 112 Degrees. It is a proprietary formula that contains all three of the botanicals recommended above as well as several other targeted nutrients which can work synergistically in the body to enhance sexual desire and function while providing a whole-body approach to health and wellness.
The Real Benefit of the Little Blue Pill is we are now talking about sex.
The positive outcome from all the ED discussions is that we are now talking about something that was once kept secret, hidden or ignored, and taken out of context. It is not a separate and isolated issue, but rather at the core of our well-being for life. The message is vital to get and now is the time to take action towards the best possible solution for your total-body health. Health is freedom from limitation, pain, and choice. Live well to be truly well. It’s all up to you, and frankly, that’s the best news you could hear!
The content and opinions expressed in this article are the professional and/or personal view or opinion of the author only. Opinions expressed should not be construed as medical advice, and the article’s content is not a substitute for direct, personal, professional medical care and diagnosis. Individuals should always consult with their health care provider before beginning or changing any treatment program.
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