Full sexual life is the most important factor of normal human health. 84% of men around the world believe that sexual relations significantly affect quality of life and self-esteem.
Today it is proved that full erection is an indicator not only of potency and male strength, but also of overall health! In this article Canadian Neighbor Pharmacy will speak about violations of erection (erectile dysfunction), causes and methods of its elimination.
Erectile Dysfunction: Role of Testosterone
The main role in maintaining erection and men’s health as a whole is given to testosterone. Here are the main functions of male sex hormone:
- maintenance of sexual desire (frequency of erections and sexual intercourses);
- erection is «breathing», «feeding» and adequate metabolism of cavernous tissue;
- synthesis of nitric oxide (NO) and prevention of endothelial dysfunction, which will be discussed further;
- control of condition of paranasal spaces of penis;
- prevention of metabolic syndrome: abdominal obesity, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, dyslipidemia (atherosclerosis, ischemic heart disease, myocardial infarction, cerebral stroke).
Erectile Dysfunction and Endothelium of Blood Vessels
Inner lining of vessels of our body is called endothelium. It consists of approximately 1-6×1013 cells. Endothelium performs important functions:
- contraction of vessel;
- participation in processes of inflammation;
- restoration of vascular wall;
- secretory – production of important substances.
It turns out that endothelium produces the most important biological substance – nitric oxide (NO). It takes part in activities of various systems (respiratory, immune, digestive, urogenital systems). The main functions of NO:
- regulation of inflammation and immune defense;
- control smooth muscle activity;
- expansion and narrowing of lumen of blood vessels in accordance with need for tissues in blood supply;
- protection from blood clots.
Presence in a man of various diseases (prostatitis, tumors, etc.) leads to emergence of excess of free radicals. The latter, when bound to nitric oxide, reduce its concentration in all tissues, which is accompanied by narrowing of vessels, inhibition of growth of smooth muscle cells of cavernous bodies.
In addition, decrease in NO content promotes attachment of blood cells (platelets and leukocytes) to endothelium, resulting in release of substances (thromboxane A2 and leukotrienes) having a vasoconstrictive effect.
At the same time, excessive formation of NO can cause direct damage to cavernous bodies. Candian Neighbor Pharmacy studies have shown that in muscles of cavernous bodies exposed to high concentrations of NO, DNA activity and energy synthesis are significantly reduced.
Erectile and Endothelial Dysfunctions
As we have already said, the main factor in development of erectile dysfunction (ED) is violation of NO synthesis by vascular endothelium. Thus, endothelial dysfunction (EnD) is developing – imbalance between constriction and vasodilation, caused by decrease in development of vasodilating (vasoprotective) and increase in synthesis of vasoconstrictive (vasodestructive) substances.
Oxidative stress can be the main link in pathogenesis of EnD and ED. Synthesis of nitric oxide (NO) plays a central role in physiology of erection. Endothelium is the main source of NO. Oxidative stress contributes to endothelial dysfunction and increased destruction of nitric oxide. Factors that cause and support EnD:
- genetic predisposition;
- age (decrease in endothelial NO synthesis, increase in endothelial reactivity with respect to vasoconstrictor factors, changes in activity of some forms of NO synthases);
- bad habits (smoking);
- cardiovascular risk factors (hyper- and dyslipidemia, arterial hypertension, diabetes mellitus).
Consequences of oxidative stress are: aging, heart disease, inflammation, osteoarthritis, dementia, diabetes, etc. As a result of these diseases, endothelium of vessels is damaged and, as a consequence, ED occurs.
Ischemic Disease «Below the Waist»
Many common diseases (diabetes, hypertension, etc.) lead to development of ED. And, conversely, the latter often becomes a harbinger of emergence of certain cardiovascular and endocrine pathologies. Thus, the following conditions can result from endothelial dysfunction:
- arterial hypertension (AH);
- androgen deficiency;
- metabolic syndrome: dyslipidemia (increase in the number of «bad» fats and decrease in «good», atherosclerosis, ischemic heart disease (IHD), diabetes mellitus (DM) type 2, chronic renal failure (CRF);
- chronic hypoxia of pelvic organs (ED).
And again, Online Pharmacy in Canada reminds that ED is today considered as a pre-illness (predictor) of cardiovascular diseases in men. In connection with common risk factors for development of cardiovascular diseases and ED (smoking, obesity, hypodynamia, increased cholesterol), the latter is called ischemic disease «below the waist».
If psychological factor (fears of disease progression) is added to this picture, decrease in libido and fibrosis (consolidation) of cavernous bodies of penis due to decrease in testosterone, as well as intake of medications correcting common diseases (DM, AH, IHD), then erectile dysfunction is multifactorial violation, which, at first glance, is almost impossible to eliminate. But this is only at first glance!
In patients suffering from various common diseases (AH, DM, etc.), situation with reduced potency can aggravate due to intake of medications. Among patients taking 3 or more drugs, a third have moderate to severe ED.
However, this does not mean that drugs should be canceled – in no case! Men receiving treatment for common diseases should lead active lifestyle, attend gym, practice qigong, improve blood supply to pelvis, and, if necessary, use special medicines.
Tags: impotence , Men’s Health , sexual frustration , testosterone