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September 18, 2014

You May Not Need that Blue Pill for ED After All

Do You Really Need that Blue Pill?

Turns out you may not need that blue pill after all if you suffer from ED or erectile dysfunction according to this study published in the Journal of Sexual MedicineAuthors of the study concluded that the incidence and remission of ED are predicted by modifiable risk factors. That means you can prevent it and/or reverse ED if you change your lifestyle habits. And, you can save yourself a whole much of money in prescription costs in the process.

The study followed 810 men aged 30-80 for five years. At the beginning of the study 23.2% of the men had erectile dysfunction. At the end of the study 31.7% had ED, but erectile dysfunction went into remission for 29% during that time.

The study also looked at libido or sexual desire – both dyadic (sexual interest with another person) and solitary (with oneself). At baseline 19.2% had low solitary sexual desire and 6.0% low dyadic sexual desire. At the end of the study 17.6% had low solitary sexual desire and 8.35 low dyadic sexual desire with remission occurring in 15.4% (solitary) and 22.6% (dyadic).

The study was able to identify predictors for developing ED as well as for reversing erectile dysfunction and predictors for low sexual desire.

Predictors for ED

  • Higher age (makes sense)
  • Lower income (usually related to poorer health habits)
  • Higher abdominal fat (another reason why women should avoid beer belly men)
  • Low alcohol intake (see explanation towards end of article)
  • Risk for obstructive sleep apnea (stresses cardiovascular system and interferes with hormone production)
  • Risk of lower urinary tract symptoms (difficulty urinating and emptying bladder)
  • Higher risk of depression (depression and many anti-depressant medications cause ED)
  • Higher risk of diabetes (leads to poor blood flow)

Predictors for ED Remission

  • Lower age
  • Being employed
  • Absence of lower urinary tract symptoms
  • Absence of coronary artery disease
  • Absence of diabetes
  • Absence of elevated cholesterol

Predictors for Low Dyadic Sexual Desire

  • Higher age
  • Never married
  • Widow
  • Unemployed
  • Being retired
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Low alcohol intake

Predictors for Remission of Low Dyadic Desire

  • Being married
  • Not being widowed
  • Higher income
  • Lower abdominal fat
  • Lower risk for obstructive sleep apnea
  • Higher testosterone levels

Predictors for Low Solitary Sexual Desire

  • Never married
  • Unemployed
  • Low alcohol intake
  • Low testosterone levels
  • Lower urinary tract symptoms
  • High blood pressure

Predictors for Remission of Low Solitary Desire

  • Being married
  • Being employed
  • Higher income
  • High physical activity levels
  • Moderate alcohol intake
  • Depression

What’s the link between alcohol and ED and libido?

Chronic and persistant alcohol abuse is linked to higher incidence of ED. But moderate alcohol consumption (generally defined as no more than 2 drinks a day for a male) in some studies is linked to lower cardiovascular disease and ED is essentially a vascular disease. Alcohol is a vasodilator which means it can improve blood flow in moderation.

I cannot explain the reason for remission of low solitary desire and depression.  Unless, if you’re depressed you’re more likely to turn to yourself than someone else.

How to Avoid the Blue Pill

Be physically active, be employed, avoid habits that increase your weight and risk for heart disease, diabetes, and sleep apnea. Keep you testosterone levels optimal. If you do drink, drink only in moderation.

All of that is under your control!




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Dr. Joe Jacko

Dr. Joe is board certified in internal medicine and sports medicine with additional training in hormone replacement therapy and regenerative medicine. He has trained or practiced at leading institutions including the Hughston Clinic, Cooper Clinic, Steadman-Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas, and Cenegenics. He currently practices in Columbus, Ohio. Read more about Dr. Joe Jacko

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