by Julie Lachman
Anyone who has turned on the television lately can tell that unfortunately, many men of various ages suffer from erectile and hormonal dysfunction. Some of the main causes of impotence and erectile dysfunction (ED) include heart disease, diabetes, low testosterone, stress, depression, smoking and certain medications—especially those for high blood pressure, cholesterol and depression. Many men believe that the only cure is the “little blue pill”, but there are other, natural ways to treat these issues.
Cardiovascular disease affects not only the heart, but also the blood vessels throughout the body. It can manifest as atherosclerosis—plaque buildup inside the blood vessels. Those with atherosclerosis may also have chest pain or a family history of heart disease. According to The British Medical Journal, many patients with erectile dysfunction will experience heart problems—chest pain, heart attack or death—two to three years later. The good news is that cardiovascular disease is reversible without drugs. By addressing the dietary, lifestyle and individual causes that can lead to plaque buildup, it is possible to gently and naturally reverse this and other chronic diseases.
In diabetics, the blood has a higher sugar content, making it stickier. This stickiness inhibits normal blood flow and especially affects the smaller blood vessels of the body, such as the eye, feet and the penis. Getting a handle on blood glucose levels, sticking to a low-carbohydrate and low-grain diet, exercising regularly and getting specific nutrients for small vessels—antioxidants like those found in blueberries—will be key if the ED is caused by diabetes.
The body needs certain nutrients to keep blood vessels open, allowing ample blood flow to all organs. Without nutrients like magnesium, the vessels are tense and the blood does not get through adequately. Foods rich in magnesium include whole grains, green vegetables, nuts and beans. Arginine is a supplement that can help with ED. It does this by assisting in the conversion of nitrite oxide—a compound that lowers blood pressure and helps blood flow in the penis. Current pharmaceutical drugs for ED work on this same pathway. However, eating ample amounts of vegetables helps convert the inactive nitrite to an active nitrite.
Homeopathy can also be effective in treating aspects of male health, including erectile dysfunction, impotence and male-pattern baldness—if caused by a hormone imbalance. Because homeopathy is specifically prescribed for each patient’s condition, it is hard to list any treatments that would be indicated for everyone. Consult a licensed naturopath or medical homeopath for further assistance with treating ED and other men’s health problems naturally.
Julie Lachman, ND, is a naturopathic doctor with an office in Doylestown. Connect with her at 267-915-6072 or DrLachman.com. June 2014.