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Alternative Treatments for Erectile Dysfunction
Occasional problems with achieving or maintaining an erection are fairly common — but when failure to achieve an erection happens more than 50 percent of the time, it is time to be evaluated by a physician. Ask your doctor about the non-drug treatment options outlined below.
About erectile dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a problem that affects about 5 percent of men in their 40s and that percentage increases with age to roughly 20 percent of men in their 60s.
ED is the inability to attain and maintain an erection adequate for sexual intercourse.
Stress, certain medications, depression and/or other psychological factors, chronic illness (diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, alcoholism, atherosclerosis), and/or atherosclerosis can all play a role in the development of ED.
Prescription medications, counseling, surgery, injections, suppositories and vacuum pumps are among the conventional treatment options. But you may also want to ask your doctor about how alternative treatments for Erectile Dysfunction, such as diet and lifestyle, may also help to prevent this problem.
Increase fiber, reduce fat
A high-fat diet increases the risk for atherosclerosis (hardening of the blood vessels). This can lead to blockage of blood flow to the penis. A low-fat, high-fiber diet improves blood flow to all parts of the body.
Increase magnesium intake
Magnesium deficiency has been associated with increased risk of ED. More specifically, magnesium is essential for the metabolism of nitric oxide which helps facilitate erection. True magnesium deficiency can present itself through many symptoms. Absorption of magnesium requires parathyroid hormone, selenium, vitamins B6 and D and of course magnesium in the diet. Absorption is compromised by excess body fat and magnesium levels tend to decrease when there is excess alcohol, coffee, soda or salt in the diet as well as chronic stress, extreme sweating and diuretic drugs.
Green vegetables like spinach and kale are good sources of magnesium because the center of the chlorophyll molecule (which gives green vegetables their color) contains magnesium. Legumes (beans and peas), tofu, almonds pumpkin and squash seeds, most other nuts and seeds, halibut, and whole grains like quinoa and brown rice are also good sources of magnesium.
Pine nuts also contain magnesium as well as protein and zinc and healthy monounsaturated fats. They have been linked with improved stamina and sexual desire.
Add vitamins C & E and beta carotene to your diet
Research from the University of California at Berkeley found that men who consumed a diet rich key antioxidants, vitamins C and E and beta-carotene, had the highest sperm and semen quality in terms of number and motility. The dietary support came from:
1. Kiwis, broccoli, strawberries and oranges — all rich in Vitamin C
2. Almonds, sunflower seeds, soy yogurt and pecans — all rich in Vitamin E
3. Sweet potatoes, mangos, spinach and kale — all rich in beta carotene
Try ginkgo and ginseng
Herbs like ginkgo and ginseng have also been used to increase circulation, stimulate blood flow and desire. Ginkgo increases blood flow to the brain, which is an important factor in ED. Ginseng may also help boost testosterone levels.
Move in a healthier direction
Smoking increases the risk for ED. Smoking may damage blood vessels, which in turn may block signals from the brain and spine to the penis.
Exercise helps improve the flow of oxygen in the blood and increases circulation to all areas of the body including the sexual organs. Exercise may also improve overall energy, self esteem, confidence, body weight and helps lower blood pressure.
Visit the Wellness Center on GaiamTV.com for more ways to improve your health and prevent disease.
Consult your doctor before using any health treatment — including herbal supplements and natural remedies — and tell your doctor if you have a serious medical condition or are taking any medications. The information presented here is for educational purposes only and is in no way intended as substitute for medical counseling.