Can Lifestyle Changes Help With ED?

Erectile dysfunction (ED) occurs when someone who has a penis can’t have or maintain an erection. The condition affects around a third of men, according to research. ED is more common in people who:

  • are older
  • have health conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure
  • have had an injury to the spinal cord, penis, or pelvis
  • take medication like antidepressants or blood pressure medications
  • have anxiety or stress
  • are overweight
  • who smoke

The treatment for ED depends on the cause. But lifestyle changes and other natural treatments can also help improve ED.

What are some natural remedies for treating erectile dysfunction?

There are many natural treatments for ED. They can include lifestyle changes like modifying your diet and getting exercise, as well as seeking mental health or relationship counseling.

It’s best to talk with your doctor before trying a new treatment. They can help identify the cause of your ED and recommend effective ED treatment options, whether conventional, natural, or a combination.

Diet

Eating a balanced diet may help maintain sexual function and decrease your risk of ED.

A study found that men who more strictly followed a Mediterranean diet or Alternative Healthy Eating diet had a reduced risk of developing ED. In particular, they consumed less red or processed meat and primarily ate:

  • fruits
  • vegetables
  • legumes
  • nuts
  • fish

Research similarly found that eating more fruits, vegetables, and flavonoids (compounds found in produce, coffee, and other foods) lowered the risk of ED in men ages 18 to 40.

These foods are important for your overall health, so helping maintain or improve your sexual function as well is a win-win.

Exercise

Research indicates that physical activity may help protect against and improve ED. It may be particularly effective if obesity, inactivity, or cardiovascular disease, among other conditions, contribute to your ED.

Research has found that moderate-to-intense aerobic exercise for 30 minutes a day, a couple days per week for 6 months helped reduce ED. This includes exercises like:

  • running
  • brisk walking
  • bicycling
  • swimming

Physical activity helps improve blood vessel health, lower stress, and raise testosterone levels, which can all help with ED.

Sleep

It’s important for your overall health to get enough sleep each night. But did you also know that sleeping regularly may also improve your ED?

Sleep deprivation can affect your sex life in several ways:

  •  Reduced sex drive (libido)
  • Inability to get an erection
  • Inability to perform (maintain an erection)

Other interesting information we learned about sleep and ED is:

  • Studies have found that men working night shifts who reported bad sleep quality were at higher risk of ED.
  • Studies have also indicated that people with a sleep disorder had a greater risk of developing ED. 
  • Not getting enough sleep can lower your testosterone levels, which may contribute to ED. 
  • Sustained lack of sleep is also associated with conditions that are related to ED, like diabetes and high blood pressure.

It’s often recommended that adults get 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night. However, 1 in 3 adults do not get enough sleep regularly. Lack of sleep can damage many aspects of your health and wellness — including your sex life. By getting on a better sleep regimen and talking to your doctor you may be able to solve your ED symptoms.

Weight loss

We all know how important keeping a healthy weight is but did you also know that it may be another factor in ED? Check out what we learned on this subject.

  • According to research from 2020, ED was significantly more common in men with obesity, who were overweight, or who had a larger waist circumference.
  • Another small study in 2018 indicated that gastric bypass surgery improved blood vessel health and ED among men with obesity. 

If weight is contributing to your ED, exercise and a balanced diet can help you lose weight and also improve your ED symptoms

Weight loss typically comes from both reduced calorie intake and increased physical activity, but it seems to be increased physical activity that could help reduce rates of ED.

Losing weight may be one of the best ways to restore normal erectile function. One studyTrusted Source found:

  • Over 30 percent of the men who took part in the weight loss study regained normal sexual function.
  • These men lost an average of 33 pounds over a 2-year span. In addition to weight loss, the men showed reduced oxidative and inflammatory markers.
  • By comparison, only 5 percent of the men in the control group had erectile function restored.

As a bonus, men who lose weight may experience increased self-esteem and improved mental health. All in all, these are great things if you’re looking to end your ED.

Sex therapy or couples counseling

Around 10 to 25% of men with ED have no known risk factors. This condition, known as nonorganic ED, may be caused by a mental health condition like depression or by experiencing anxiety when having sex.

In sessions with a sex therapist, you’ll work either individually or as a couple to overcome any psychological hurdles, improve sexual communication, and learn long-term skills for the bedroom.

Psychosexual therapy can take a little time to work. It’s important to stick with it. Studies show that doing this with your partner significantly improves persistent erectile dysfunction

It may also be helpful to attend couples counseling with your partner to help them understand your condition and discuss ways to support you.

Stress reduction

Stress and anxiety are often linked to ED. Many people deal with stress every day. Work, family issues, health concerns, and financial obligations are parts of everyday life that commonly contribute to heightened stress levels that can cause ED symptoms to show up in men.

What’s more, factors such as genetics, level of social support, coping style, and personality type influence a person’s vulnerability to stress, meaning that some people are more likely to become stressed than others.

Mental health conditions like stress and anxiety also affect how the brain signals your body’s physical response. Stress and anxiety interrupt how the brain sends messages to the penis to allow extra blood flow, affecting your sexual performance. 

Having erectile dysfunction (ED) can also lead to stress and anxiety and is a vicious cycle. Stress and anxiety cause erectile dysfunction and having erectile dysfunction causes stress and anxiety. Especially in the case of sexual performance anxiety, for example. When this becomes persistent, it can definitely lead to physical symptoms such as erectile dysfunction.

To help relieve stress and symptoms of ED related to stress you can try:

  • Get active!Virtually any form of physical activity can act as a stress reliever. 
  • Meditate
  • Connect with others
  • Assert yourself
  • Try yoga
  • Get enough sleep
  • Keep a journal


Alcohol reduction

Alcohol reduction has also shown mixed results for the effects of ED.

Alcohol and sex have a complicated relationship. According to a recent study on behavior-related erectile dysfunction in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, when alcohol is consumed in moderation (1 to 2 drinks a day), it is shown to increase desire and reduce anxiety about sexual performance, both of which are beneficial to ED. However, when it is consumed in excess, alcohol can have quite the opposite effect.

Why does it occur? 

Because erectile dysfunction is usually the result of multiple factors, it can be difficult to isolate one variable from the rest to study it. However, researchers generally agree that excessive alcohol consumption affects male sexual function in the following ways:

As a depressant, alcohol has a slowing effect on the activity of the Central Nervous System (CNS). The CNS is made up of the brain and spinal cord, and it is responsible for bringing in information from the senses and relaying information to the rest of the body. 

When the CNS is depressed by alcohol, thinking and reasoning are impaired, reaction times slow, and motor skills and coordination suffer. Unfortunately, the signals between the brain and penis are not immune to the slowing effect of alcohol, sometimes resulting in ED when a man drinks too much.

Keep in mind, an occasional case of alcohol-induced ED is nothing to worry about, but if you repeatedly find yourself unable to achieve an erection, even while sober or after drinking a small amount of alcohol, you could benefit from speaking with your doctor about your situation. 

Additionally, if you worry that your alcohol consumption may be excessive or out of your control, seeking counseling from a medical professional will not only help your health and your alcohol consumption problem, but also your ED. 

Smoking 

Smoking is another behavior that likely contributes to ED. This may be caused, in part, because smoking can damage blood vessels and prevent enough blood from reaching the penis for an erection.

Smoking may also reduce the availability of nitric oxide in the body, which is needed to cause involuntary muscle relaxation and increased blood flow that play a role in erections.

Studies have shown that individuals that are frequent smokers have an increased risk of developing ED, as well as more severe ED.

Over time, frequent smoking can narrow the vessels that supply blood more and more, resulting in restricted blood circulation to many areas of the body, including the penis. An erection occurs when the penis becomes engorged with blood and ready for sexual activity—with poor circulation, this is less likely to happen. 

Some damage from smoking may not be reversible. Still, the review concluded that quitting smoking, especially for men under age 50, may help improve ED.

Lastly, we understand that it’s challenging to quit smoking, but there are many resources available to help. Stopping smoking has the potential not only to help ED but to benefit many other areas of your overall health.

Are lifestyle changes an effective remedy for ED?

Lifestyle changes may be an effective natural remedy for ED and may improve your overall health. But many changes — like losing weight, quitting smoking, or eating a balanced diet — may be difficult to achieve.

It may also take time for natural treatments to have an effect. Some people, depending on the cause of their ED, may not show improvements without medications or other treatments. It’s helpful to work with your doctor to find a treatment that works for you.

Gainswave Treatment at AMI 

At Atlanta Medical Institute in Atlanta. GA, we want everyone to feel confident and satisfied in every area of their lives–including their sex life. 

Atlanta men who are feeling a lack of confidence and are suffering from ED should definitely consider GAINSWave, a revolutionary treatment that can enhance their sexual health and wellness. It really works; and it works quickly!

GAINSWave works by overcoming inadequate blood flow. About 80% of the ED cases in the United States are caused by inadequate blood flow. This means there’s a very good chance that this treatment will work for you! 

Get in touch with us today by Clicking Here to set up a consultation to see if Gainswave is right for you! 

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