There is no evidence that mild or even moderate alcohol consumption is bad for erectile function, says Ira Sharlip, MD, a urology professor at the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine. But chronic heavy drinking can cause liver damage, nerve damage, and other conditions -- such as interfering with the normal balance of male sex hormone levels -- that can lead to ED.

Many factors can contribute to sexual dysfunction in older men, including physical and psychological conditions, comorbidities and the medications used to treat them. Aspects of an ageing man’s lifestyle and behaviour and androgen deficiency, most often decreasing testosterone levels, may affect sexual function as well. A study of men between the ages of 30 and 79 years showed that 24% had testosterone levels below 300 ng/dL and 5.6% had symptomatic androgen deficiency.2

Experts feel that treating erectile dysfunction on your own, without consulting a doctor, is unsafe. "If you have ED, the first thing you need is a diagnosis," says impotence expert Steven Lamm, MD, a New York City internist and the author of The Hardness Factor (Harper Collins) and other books on male sexual health. He says men with severe erectile dysfunction probably need one of the prescription ED drugs, which include Levitra (vardenafil) and Cialis (tadalafil) as well as Viagra. But, he says, mild ED -- including the feeling that "you're not as hard as you could be" -- often responds to natural remedies.
Aerobic exercises and pelvic floor exercises are two of the best methods to start with. As a matter of fact, you can see improvements on your condition without having to witness the side effects of other male enhancement products. For one, there are certain male enhancement products which should not be taken if you are suffering from other types of medical condition. For instance, if the product contains substances that may react to the male enhancement ingredients of a product, you may suffer from certain consequences.
Among the phenomena in the ageing man are a decrease in erectile function and testosterone levels. Add to these, increased risk for CVD, muscle wasting, decrease in bone density and libido, with all of these factors having an interplay with testosterone metabolism.33 Androgens play a key role in maintaining erectile function through four main mechanisms. Androgen deprivation has been shown to result in impairment of NO synthase release, altered PDE5 expression and activity, impaired cavernosal nerve function, and contribution to veno-occlusive disease in the penis.34 The role of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) as a potential to improve erectile function in the man with ED remains an issue for patient and physicians who are comfortable treating androgen deficiency which include primary care physicians and specialists. Androgens are known to have a significant impact on the function of the smooth musculature within the corpus spongiosum.35
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
Erectile dysfunction can be a very serious issue as it is a marker of underlying cardiovascular disease and many times occurs before heart conditions manifest. Men should maintain a healthy weight adhere to good nutrition habits exercise drink alcohol in moderation (if at all) and get quality sleep. It is also important to address risk factors such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Not only will this improve their sexual ability but it will also support their cardiovascular health and help reduce the risk of developing diabetes. 

Many prostate problems, including cancer, are linked to zinc deficiency, and when the Chicago Center for the Study of Prostatic Diseases gave 50 to 100mg of zinc daily to patients suffering from infection of the prostate, 70 per cent of cases showed improvement. Zinc levels decline with age and men over fifty can fight impotency and prostate enlargement by taking zinc supplements.
Although there have been sufficient data on the relationship between ED and several wellrecognized risk factors which including aging, coronary artery disease, atherosclerosis, diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, high blood pressure, and pelvic surgeries, little attention has been paid by the urologists to the role of lifestyle factors in ED. However, accumulating data from basic science and clinical studies have determined a link between the occurrence of ED and a number of lifestyle factors, such as smoking, obesity, alcohol consumption, and lack of physical activity. The application of findings from animal and human studies to the clinical practice regarding the modification of lifestyle factors could help to improve ED as well as reducing the risks of developing cardiovascular diseases (14).
None of the ED drugs is safe to take with cardiac drugs called nitrates because it could cause a dangerous drop in blood pressure. Drugs that many men take for urinary symptoms, called alpha blockers, can also lower blood pressure, so take them at least four hours apart from ED drugs. Your doctor may start you on a smaller dose of the ED drug if you already take an alpha blocker, or may recommend the alpha blocker tamsulosin (Flomax), which affects blood pressure less.
These meds only work when sexually aroused because the brain really is the master sex organ. Only when visual, tactile, or other stimuli cause the "thought" of sex are hormones released from the brain to begin the cascade of events that result in an erection. Sometimes something blocks a step toward that end. Viagra removes the block so things can proceed normally. Until the process begins, there is nothing for Viagra to do.
Erection is a complex physiological process in which vascular factors play a pre-eminent role. Therapeutic options for men with arteriogenic erectile dysfunction (ED) are mainly administration of phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors, intracavernous injections of vasoactive agents (for example, prostaglandin El, papaverine/phentolamine, or triple drug), intraurethral administration of prostaglandin El, and administration of centrally acting drugs (11, 12). However, all of these methods circumvent the patient's problem temporarily, and patients are not cured of impotence, they will remain dependent on these treatments for the remainder of their sexually active lives. An effective treatment that cures the problem permanently is needed where penile revascularization and exercise remain treatment options for such patients. However, due to the complexity of penile revascularization such as cost ineffectiveness, unavailability of experts, side effects of surgery and high failure rates among the elderly (13) have left people with ED at the mercy of exercise.
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Although the term ‘treatment failure’ to oral drugs is widely used, there is no precise definition of what exactly means. Treatment failure may be due to medication, clinician and patient issues (Table ​(Table3).3). Based on these issues a definition of a non-responder to oral pharmacotherapy is proposed: “an inadequate erectile response after at least 4 attempts of the highest tolerated drug dose in accordance with manufacturer’s guidelines with respect to timing relative to meals, alcohol ingestion, use of concomitant medications, and adequate sexual stimulation/arousal” (Carson et al 2004).
Watts and coworkers, in their review article, make several points about this ED/CAD nexus. Endothelial dysfunction is present in both CVD and ED, and is linked through the NO mechanism. The authors note that PDE5 inhibitors improve endothelial function and have a salutary effect on both CVD and ED. Both ED and cardiac disease respond to modifications in lifestyle as well as pharmacologic manipulation. These authors also report that the presence of ED gives the clinician an opportunity to assess CVD and prevention as well.20
The percentage of men who engage in some form of sexual activity decreases from 73% for men aged 57–64 years to 26% for men aged 75–85 years.3 For some men, this constitutes a problem, but for others it does not. The aetiology for this decline in sexual activity is multifactorial and is in part due to the fact that most of the female partners undergo menopause at 52 years of age with a significant decline in their libido and desire to engage in sexual activity. A study by Lindau and colleagues3 that examined sexuality in older Americans showed that 50% of the men in a probability sample of more than 3000 US adults reported at least one bothersome sexual problem and 33% had at least two such problems.3 This article will review the normal changes that occur with ageing, factors that influence these changes, individual variations and perspectives, and the available treatment options for ED and androgen deficiency.
Thirty two male rats were randomly assigned to four groups and submitted to one of the following daily treatment regimens: (a) 1 mg of ZnSO4 dissolved in 1 ml of distilled water. (b) 5 mg of ZnSO4 dissolved in 1 ml of distilled water (c) 10 mg of ZnSO4 dissolved in 1 ml of distilled water. Controls were provided with 1 ml of distilled water. Supplementation was done orally using a feeding tube. These daily regimens were continued for two weeks (daily at 17.00 hours) and housed two per cage.
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

Dr. Niket Sonpal is the Associate Program Director of the Internal Medicine Residency at Brookdale Hospital Medical Center in Brooklyn and an Associate Professor at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine. He’s a practicing Gastroenterologist and Hepatologist with a focus on Men’s and Women’s Health, and a regular contributor to Women’s health, Shape and Prevention Magazine.
Fortunately, Ron Hansen didn't have to go that far. He has become used to injecting himself with Alprostadil, which produces a firmer erection than he experienced with Viagra, and one that lasts at least 30 minutes. It also doesn't cause the headaches associated with Viagra. Hanson occasionally uses the suppositories, though they take longer to work.

Alprostadil self-injection. With this method, you use a fine needle to inject alprostadil (Caverject Impulse, Edex) into the base or side of your penis. In some cases, medications generally used for other conditions are used for penile injections on their own or in combination. Examples include papaverine, alprostadil and phentolamine. Often these combination medications are known as bimix (if two medications are included) or trimix (if three are included).
When it comes to maintaining your libido, the B vitamins, found in beef, liver, and fish, are all your wingmen, but niacin (a.k.a. Vitamin B3) is especially helpful. In a study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, men suffering from impotence who took a niacin supplement reported a significant improvement in their bedroom performance than men who took a placebo. Stock up on these best foods to eat for niacin!
These prescription drugs increase the levels of nitric oxide in your blood. Nitric oxide is a vasodilator, meaning it makes your blood vessels widen to help increase the blood flow. These drugs are especially effective at widening the blood vessels in your penis. More blood in your penis makes it much easier for you to get and maintain an erection when you are sexually aroused.
Samadi, who was not involved in the research, warned that a prescription is not as good as a fundamental lifestyle change. "Long-term, medication is not the answer unless you take care of the high blood pressure or high cholesterol or diabetes," he said. "Medication works well for those who cannot make the necessary changes, but drugs should not be the first line of treatment."
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