Physical erectile dysfunction (ED) comes from poor vascular health. Erections depend on a hydraulic system for pushing blood into the penis. In other words, ED is a plumbing problem.
The first line of treatment by mainstream medicine is a set of drugs (Viagra, Cialis, Levitra) that target the activity of certain enzymes. These enzymes normally act to help relax blood vessels. Relaxed blood vessels means better plumbing, which makes for better erections.
Common side effects of such drugs include headaches, heartburn, and flushed skin. Rarer, yet more serious side effects, can lead to prolonged erections or sudden-onset hearing loss. A more recent worry about ED drugs is their potential for causing loss of vision.
Furthermore, ED drugs should not be taken by people who take nitrates such as nitroglycerin for treating heart attacks.
If all that isn’t scary enough, some cases of ED treatment can involve hormone tablets inserted into the penis, injections into the penis, a penile prosthesis, a penis pump, or even vascular reconstructive surgery.
Natural Treatments for ED
The way that ED drugs work offers a clue for seeking natural treatments for ED. This clue involves the effect of a critical gas, nitric oxide (NO), for healthy vascular function. Nitric oxide drives the formation of a substance, abbreviated cGMP, that induces smooth muscle relaxation in blood vessels. ED drugs work by inhibiting an enzyme that breaks down cGMP.
Drug treatments, such as those for ED, are typically designed to inhibit a single enzyme. This is a shortsighted strategy with sledgehammer effects on complex systems. Thus, we get unintended side effects.
If backtracking to the role of NO in vascular health seems sensible, then natural approaches that boost NO production and function would seem appropriate. Indeed, this is where natural treatments have their greatest impact for healthy blood vessels.
Recent research on a specific layer of the artery walls shows exactly how such natural treatments for ED work. This layer is called the vascular endothelium. It is where NO is released to relax blood vessels.
The vascular endothelium relies on an ultrathin layer, called the glycocalyx, for boosting the effects of NO. The glycocalyx also makes blood vessels slippery, thereby enhancing blood flow.
Natural treatments for vascular health ensure that the glycocalyx it at its best for good blood flow and for NO production.
These are the critical criteria for reversing erectile dysfunction naturally.