ED is the inability to achieve and maintain a normal erection adequate for penetration that impacts the intimate relationship between partners.  There are nearly 30 million American men suffering from ED.

ED may occur under various circumstances ranging from diabetes, hypertension, prostate gland surgery, spinal injuries, neurological and emotional problems.  There are times when there is no identifiable cause. However, it’s far more frequently seen in diabetics and to some extent in those with cardio vascular diseases, hypertension and peripheral vascular disease. The effect on the blood vessels leading to poor blood flow seems to be the primary reason.

People suffering from ED should carry out assessment of blood sugar, cardio vascular evaluation, measurement of hormones like testosterone and prolactin. A psychological evaluation will often benefit those who suffer from performance anxiety. Depression is often seen as an accompanying factor of erectile dysfunction in many people especially when there is no other identifiable cause. A detailed evaluation of a man’s medication is also important. Smoking and excessive drinking are both known to have significant adverse impact on erectile dysfunction.

Alcohol is a depressant, and using it heavily can dampen mood, decrease sexual desire, and make it difficult for a man to achieve erections or reach orgasm while under the influence.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, moderate drinking is no more than two drinks a day for men (and one drink a day for women). The liver can only break down the amount of alcohol in about one standard-size drink an hour, so regularly drinking more than that means that toxins from alcohol can build up in your body and affect the blood vessels supplying the penis.

Heavy drinking can lead to temporary erectile dysfunction. This is because pre-sex drinking decreases blood flow to the penis, reduces the intensity of your orgasm, and can dampen your level of excitement.  Also, Long-term erectile dysfunction has been linked to chronic heavy use of alcohol. In fact, studies show that men who are dependent on alcohol have a 60 to 70 percent chance of suffering from sexual problems. The most common of these are erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation and loss of sexual desire.

Bottom Line:  ED is a common problem affecting millions of American men.  Help is available.  If you or one you love is suffering from ED, speak to your doctor.

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