Aging General Healthy Living

Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile Dysfunction

Robert Watine, M.D., Barefoot Bay Internal Medicine

Is Erectile Dysfunction common?

Erectile dysfunction, the inability to get or keep an erection, is quite common among men. In fact, as many as 30 million men have it (with more than 3 million new cases reported each year) in the U.S. alone.

Is ED something that just happens to “old” men?

I get so many men of all ages who come in with troubles. While it is common in middle-aged and older men, it can happen to men in their 30s and 40s. Sometimes, it has to do with changes with libido and testosterone levels, which stimulate the testicles. But it also can be vascular problem, about the physiology of when blood flow in penial vessels and tightening of muscles that keeps blood in the penis. Problems with blood flow can prevent you from achieving tumescence (satisfactory erection).

What are some of the most common causes of ED?

Most often it due to poor health and nutrition, but other factors can be low testosterone, alcohol or use of different medications or drugs. Being physically unfit makes it difficult to maintain an erection to orgasm, let alone satisfy your partner. Remember, performing sexually is an exercise, and if you’re not physically fit, it will be difficult to perform.

Can ED be treated without medication?

The ability to maintain and perform greatly improves with proper nutrition and exercise. Testosterone levels increase with exercise, as does stamina. Eating a well-balanced diet is important to overall health.

When should I see a doctor?

The first time it happens! The ego is fragile. Erectile dysfunction can cause stress, low self-confidence and relationship strains. Don’t think of it as being taboo. There are different causes, and your doctor can help you find out why erectile dysfunction is occurring. Medication can help. I had a 95-year-old patient who wanted Viagra. Since he did not regularly exercise, I suggested he take a stress test to see if he physically could handle it. … He got his prescription!

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