natural ways to overcome erectile dysfunction



According to the Massachusetts Male Ageing Study, around 52% of males will be affected with some degree of erectile dysfunction between the ages of 40 and 70 years old. However, in spite of this relatively high prevalence there is still quite a high degree of social stigma attached to this particular ailment, with it being the punchline to many jokes. Erectile dysfunction is not something to be embarrassed or joked about. Ultimately it is a physiological disorder with the reproductive system in the same way that diverticulitis is a physiological disorder of the GI tract! What’s funny about that?

Erectile dysfunction can be a subject of great shame for the men concerned, it may make them feel less masculine and it can also cause marital problems. Luckily there are a number of treatment options available- one of which is known as sildenafil, or more commonly Viagra. Viagra is a drug that works by affecting the width of blood vessels in the body. It works by increasing the ease with which blood can enter the penis, allowing development and maintenance of an erection. It does this by ‘relaxing’ the blood vessels, making them wider and allowing greater ease of blood flow into the penis, allowing the tissue to expand and harden. For illustrative purposes think of the blood being represented by tomato ketchup, and blood vessels being represented by a straw (without use of Viagra) or a toilet roll tube (with the use of viagra). From this illustration it is clear to see that the tomato ketchup will enter the toilet roll tube with greater ease than entering the straw; the same is true in the body.

The action of Viagra can be extremely variable, however this is rarely due to the action of the drug itself. Instead, this variability is often due to how the individual patient takes the medication. There are a number of factors can affect the action of Viagra in the body, the most surprising of these being food and drink! I bet you didn’t know that! Luckily, that is why I am here; I am here to tell you all about how the food and drink that you eat can affect the efficacy of Viagra. There are four key pieces of information that every man taking Viagra needs to know in order to get the most out of their medicine!

Timing is key:

Viagra should be taken one hour before intercourse is planned. This theory behind this time delay being that it allows the medicine time to take action. Ideally Viagra should be taken on an empty stomach. If Viagra is taken after a meal, particularly those which are rich in fats, then it may take longer for the medicine to work. The reason for this, without getting into the heavy science behind it, is that in order for a drug to have its effect it must be first absorbed from the stomach or intestine into the bloodstream; Only when it reaches the bloodstream will it be carried to the relevant part of the body and take action. If the tablet is taken after a heavy meal, it will effectively have to ‘queue’ whilst your tummy is busy digesting the meal, and this will delay absorption and thus action of Viagra.

Avoid Grapefruit:

Grapefruit and grapefruit juice are very significant in terms of how they affect the action of all drugs – including Viagra. While Viagra, taken with grapefruit or grapefruit juice, will still take the action of widening blood vessels and allowing development and maintenance of an erection, grapefruit has been found guilty of preventing the breakdown of the drug in the body and allowing greater uptake of the drug from the gut into the blood. This has the somewhat undesirable impact of increasing side effect presentation of the drug. This can include; flushing of the skin, headaches, low blood pressure and the potential of fainting; all of which would make the experience of intercourse decidedly less enjoyable – nothing says ; ‘I’m not in the mood,’ quite like fainting during the deed! Therefore, any change (both an increase or decrease) in the amount of grapefruit in your diet should not be made without first consulting your doctor.

Avoid Alcohol:

As with all drugs, the action of Viagra can be affected through the consumption of alcohol. As mentioned above the side effects of Viagra include low blood pressure, headaches, dizziness etc. The use of alcohol alongside Viagra can increase the intensity of these side effects due to the fact that alcohol has similar effects. Alcohol can further increase the drop in blood pressure associated with the use of Viagra which may lead to increased dizziness and a heightened risk of fainting. In addition to this the combination of these drugs may also increase the likelihood of heart palpitations. This is when the heart beats irregularly, too quickly or too slowly. This may lead to unnecessary strain being placed on the heart and vascular system and therefore the combination of the two drugs (alcohol and Viagra) should be avoided in the best interests of the individual.

Relax and Enjoy:

It seems a silly thing to say, but many cases of erectile dysfunction are related to psychological issues such as depression and anxiety. Erectile dysfunction in itself can cause anxiety which can then affect libido and ability to gain and maintain an erection. This results in a vicious circle of events. This anxiety can affect the ability of Viagra to bring about an erection. Whilst Viagra will still widen blood vessels regardless of psychological events, if you are not relaxed and enjoying the experience then the drug may not bring about the desired effects. Arousal is still a vital component of the process. Viagra in itself will not bring about an erection but rather will allow one to occur more effectively when aroused! The best advice I can give is to take the drug, forget all about it and enjoy the intimacy with your partner – by doing this, the Viagra should do its job – leaving you free to enjoy yourself!

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