Disease Causes of Erectile Dysfunction: Neurological Diseases
Erectile dysfunction is very common. All men experience a few episodes of erectile dysfunction in their lifetimes. This is absolutely normal, no one performs at 100% all of the time. However, chronic erectile dysfunction is not normal. Many men think that it is normal to experience chronic erectile dysfunction as they age, but this is not the case. Usually chronic erectile dysfunction is a symptom of one or more underlying conditions. These can be physical or psychological. Neurological diseases fall under the "physical" category, and often cause erectile dysfunction. Some common neurological conditions associated with erectile dysfunction are:
- Multiple sclerosis
- Alzheimer's disease
- Parkinson's disease
- Spinal cord injuries
The reason that these problems cause erectile dysfunction is because often, they interrupt signals between the brain and the penis. These signals are critical to achieving a proper erection.
How to Reduce Your Risk
If you have a neurological problem but have not yet experienced erectile dysfunction, there are precautions you can take to reduce your risk of developing erectile dysfunction.
Smoking can reduce blood flow and cause heart disease. A healthy cardiovascular system is very important for getting an erection.
Avoid excess weight
Being overweight is also hard on your cardiovascular system, causing undue stress that may prevent you from being totally sexually healthy.
Get plenty of exercise
Exercise also helps keep the cardiovascular system in top condition.
Change your medications
Certain medications may enhance your risk for erectile dysfunction. Talk to your doctor to find out if any of your medications fall under this category. Never stop taking a medication or switch medications without your health practitioner's approval.
Avoid alcohol and illegal drugs
Alcohol and many illegal drugs can have a depressive effect on the body. They may also cause health problems that contribute to erectile dysfunction.
If you have reduced all of your risks and still experience erectile dysfunction, talk to your health practitioner. There are many treatment options available, and he or she will be able to help you find what's right for you. The most common treatments of erectile dysfunction include:
- Prescription Pills. These drugs work by helping the smooth muscles in your penis to relax, thus facilitating an erection. However, these drugs are not right for everyone. Talk to your doctor to learn about possible side effects or interactions.
- Vacuum devices, commonly known as penis pumps, work for some people. These consist of a tube that is placed over the penis. The tube is then made into a vacuum by means of a pump. This draws blood into the penis. A ring is then placed around the base of the penis to prevent blood from escaping.
- Penis implants are effective, but require surgery. As with any surgery, there is a risk of complications.
- Herbal supplements have helped many men with erectile dysfunction.