Erectile dysfunction can be triggered by a variety of sources — a health condition, emotional or relationship problems, some medications, smoking, drugs, or alcohol. Exercise improves blood flow, which is vitally important to a strong erection, and improves blood pressure by increasing nitric oxide in blood vessels, which he says is exactly how Viagra works. A healthy diet also helps to maintain a healthy body weight, which is important because men who have a 42-inch waist are 50 percent more likely to have ED than men with a 32-inch waist. Erectile dysfunction can be the result of vascular disease, which occurs when blood supply to the penis becomes restricted because of blockage or narrowing of the arteries. The central nervous system is responsible for releasing nitric oxide, an essential chemical for producing and maintaining an erection, and heavy alcohol consumption depresses the central nervous system, causing it to function less efficiently.
Erectile dysfunction can occur as a side effect of medication taken for another health condition. If you think your medication might be causing ED, talk to your doctor, but don't discontinue using it on your own. Research is mixed on the effectiveness of acupuncture, but one study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that acupuncture can be beneficial for men experiencing erectile dysfunction as a side effect of antidepressants, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). From our SponsorsEveryday Solutions are created by Everyday Health on behalf of our sponsors. The authors do not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond the academic appointment above.
It may not seem likely because it’s not widely discussed, but a majority of people will be affected by symptoms of depression, anxiety and sexual dysfunction at some point in their lives.
Sexual dysfunction covers issues such as a lack of sexual desire, an inability to become aroused or achieve orgasm, premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction.
While depression, anxiety and sexual dysfunction can each have a profound effect on quality of life, their impact is much worse when the symptoms co-occur. In these combined cases, symptoms tend to be more severe and last longer, and when not dealt with together, treatments tend to be less effective. We know depression, anxiety and sexual problems are related, but there’s very little research on how or why. Depression, anxiety and sexual problems might all be part of one family of disorders known as ‘internalising disorders’.
We know depression, anxiety and sexual problems co-occur at very high rates, and that they share multiple cognitive and emotional characteristics. Given this close relationships between the disorders, and the negative impact of not treating them together, it’s concerning that they’re consistently treated separately.
Indeed, the separation in the way we diagnose and treat these disorders is likely contributing to the low recognition rates of sexual problems in primary care.
Studies have shown that most people with sexual problems consider it appropriate to discuss their symptoms with their doctor, but very few actively seek out help. Only 6% of participants in a study of Australian adults aged between 40 and 80 had been asked about their sexual function during a routine medical exam in the last three years. Clearly, doctors should be screening for sexual problems, as people aren’t actively seeking the help they require.
If assessment of sexual problems were part of the initial evaluation of depression and anxiety, and vice versa, the low recognition rates of sexual dysfunction could be improved, and all symptoms could be treated concurrently. Effective new treatment programs that target the common elements of multiple disorders have already been developed for the shared aspects of depression and anxiety disorders. Taken together, what research we have suggests this would improve the quality of life of people suffering from combinations of these disorders. At the very least, doctors should be aware of the co-occurrence of the symptoms of these disorders, and the fact that if a person is experiencing depression or anxiety, that should act as a red flag to screen for sexual dysfunction. Testing Indigenous plants as cancer killersPrint PDFNative Australian plants are being screened for potential cancer-killing properties by Flinders University researcher Dr Bradley Simpson.
Working with three Indigenous communities in the Adelaide Hills, Flinders Ranges and Cape York in Far North Queensland, Dr Simpson is testing eight different flora species to look for possible medically useful compounds to treat cancer. Now in its eighth month, Dr Simpson said the study has detected early changes in the appearance and shape of cancer cells when combined with semi-crude plant extracts, meaning “the plants are essentially killing the cancer cells”.

Dr Simpson said he expected to know whether the plants have a selective or broader killing effect by mid-2014, paving the way for the next phase of the research which will involve chemical analysis to better understand the active ingredients in the plants. He said the plants have long been used by Indigenous communities to treat various health ailments, yet it was the first time they had been explored in anti-cancer applications. About myVMCVirtual Medical Centre is Australia’s leading source for trustworthy medical information written by health professionals based on Australian guidelines.
Please be aware that we do not give advice on your individual medical condition, if you want advice please see your treating physician. New York Yankees pitcher Roger Clemens, who was recently outed by a New York tabloid for using Viagra to increase his performance on the field, is among many professional athletes who make unorthodox use of pharmaceutical drugs.
Experts believe athletes and performers use a strange and alarming array of methods to keep themselves competitive in two of the most competitive careers in America, often at their own peril. Although it may seem counterintuitive, Viagra -- which Major League Baseball does not prohibit -- works by relaxing muscles and increasing blood flow through the body. Dimeff says he presumes that their improvement at high altitudes is due to improved oxygenation of mild or "subclinical" pulmonary edema and inefficiency.
Dimeff also says that while large-scale, double-blind studies are necessary to confirm these reports, when they do not exist, doctors must rely on small studies and anecdotal evidence.
A study presented in 2006 at an American College of Sports Medicine conference indicated that the potent ingredients in Viagra and Cialis, which treat erectile dysfunction, did seem to improve lung function by increasing oxygenation of the blood to the lungs.
Sylvester Stallone, on the other hand, says he prefers to use human growth hormone to keep his 61-year-old self looking tight.
The muscly actor told "Today's" Matt Lauer five months ago that he does indeed take the substance and has no qualms about saying so. Stallone, who pleaded guilty to possession after Australian airport officials last year found 48 vials of human growth hormone in his luggage, emphasized that his physique is buff because of years and years of training. Some bodybuilders and other athletes also sing its praises, claiming that it improves vision and makes for faster muscle recovery after workouts.
Dimeff says that if there were a shred of evidence that the hormone could improve eyesight, he'd be taking it himself.
But it is generally accepted in the medical community that the growth hormone can increase metabolism and protein synthesis, which means that with exercise, one can potentially grow leaner. Because the word "placebo" has come to mean, at least in layman's terms, that whatever forces at work are not "real," Dimeff dislikes using the term. But in most every study the placebo effect is so significant that it accounts for a 30 percent improvement in any given condition. That said, Dimeff says human growth hormone does accelerate the body's recovery from strenuous exercise as well as increase protein growth.
And although there have been reports of joint pain and increased risk of diabetes associated with its use, Dimeff says that unlike steroids, which linger in body, the growth hormone stays for no longer than nine hours.
For competitors who want to target problem areas before a big contest, the anti-inflammatory shrinks tissue temporarily. Gymnasts, wrestlers and dancers have to maintain a low weight in order to stay competitive, but according to experts, jockeys have it particularly hard. In other sports, being a little above ideal weight simply puts one at a disadvantage, says Ron Johnson, co-author of Helping Athletes with Eating Disorders.
So common, in fact, that the bathrooms for jockeys at many tracks feature oversized, square toilets and saunas -- aka "the hotbox" -- to facilitate quick weight loss. But Johnson says that in large part kidney failure, heart problems and tooth and gum decay are all seen as occupational hazards by the athletes, who exist in a subculture where purging and starvation is the norm.
Athletes who practice severe forms of experimental enhancements are certainly taking a risk, even if the risks are -- as of yet -- unknown or unproved. Dirk Miller, executive director of the Minnesota-based Emily Program for the treatment of eating disorders, points to what is still considered the seminal study on food deprivation -- "The Biology of Human Starvation." The 1951 study took a group of war protestors and asked them to go on a hunger strike. The men developed an unhealthy obsession with food even after the study was completed and they were able to eat whatever they wanted. Well into old age many of the volunteers continued to suffer from food and body-image thoughts that nearly parallel those of people with bona-fide eating disorders.

While the detrimental effects of anabolic steroids is now well known, the dangers were not always common knowledge, and most doctors would emphasize using extreme caution before tinkering with a healthy body. One could say there's a terrible irony in the fact that in an effort to better their physical selves, a significant number of athletes are achieving just the opposite.
The study, from Australian researchers and published in May 2014 in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, also showed that, even if medication is required, it's likely to be more effective if you implement these lifestyle changes. Also, obesity increases the risk for vascular disease and diabetes, two factors that contribute to ED. Common culprits are high blood pressure meds, antidepressants, some diuretics, beta-blockers, heart medications, cholesterol meds, anti-psychotic drugs, hormone drugs, corticosteroids, chemotherapy, and medications for male pattern baldness, among others. View all.ConnectDon't miss out on breaking news, live chats, lively debates, and inspiring stories. We use a Creative Commons Attribution NoDerivatives licence, so you can republish our articles for free, online or in print. This fact is at odds with the shame and discomfort surrounding these symptoms in our society.
These problems are often not picked up by doctors, and people hesitate to raise the issues themselves, maybe because they feel embarrassed. Indeed, people using ineffective approaches end up having worse long-term outcomes, tend to drop out of treatment, and are less likely to return.
Some studies show the disorders tend to appear at the same time, or that sexual dysfunction develops as a symptom of depression and anxiety. But when we look at the body of research as a whole, the relationships appear to go deeper than this. We also know they can all be treated effectively using mindfulness and cognitive behavioural therapy.
And that the manuals used by mental health professionals and clinicians to diagnose disorders (the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and the International Classification of Diseases) don’t recognise the relationships between them. The same types of programs could be developed using mindfulness and cognitive behavioural therapy to treat sexual dysfunction, along with depression and anxiety.
He is currently experimenting on several cancer types including acute leukaemia and skin, lung, breast and colon cancers. Robert Dimeff, president of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, says that doctors first became aware of athletes' "off-label" use of drugs like Viagra a few years back, when cyclists, who "love to experiment with weird performance-enhancing stuff anyway," reported that it helped improve performance. Bodybuilders who want an extra boost may find that Preparation H, the hemorrhoid-fighter with the distinctive metallic odor, fits better into their budgets. Trouble can come when old faithful is used regularly for extended periods of time, doctors say. Rigel, clinical professor of dermatology at New York University Medical Center, warns that because it works by constricting blood vessels, Preparation H may raise one's blood pressure. Deitrick, fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine, recently told members at their annual conference that although his studies show that giving runners baking soda in capsule form did seem to improve the performance of middle distance runners -- and with few side effects (diarrhea being the worst case scenario) -- he believes its use should be banned.
In order to maintain that weight, he says, jockeys often restrict their calorie intake to 500-800 a day, and just before the weekend when they race, sweating in rubber suits, purging with laxatives and vomiting ("flipping" in jockey parlance) is more than common. For example, athletes who practice severe calorie restriction may not believe they have a psychological problem, but experts believe that starving and purging is likely to create one. The volunteers -- men with no history of pathology -- went on a medically supervised, highly restrictive diet. Moreover, they developed an obsession with weight -- they wanted to stay very, very thin, Miller said. One study, published in Brain Research in 2011, explored the impact of sleep loss on testosterone levels in men, confirming that low concentrations of sex hormones are associated with sexual dysfunction. Join the conversation!Free NewslettersPersonalized tips and information to get and stay healthier every day.

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