ORLANDO, Fla. - From stress to diabetes, even back surgery. Many things can cause erectile dysfunction and there are many ways to treat it, but men, if you don't want to pop a pill or go under the knife there are other options.
It's easy to find commercials for drugs to treat it, but finding a man to talk about erectile dysfunction is not as easy.
The National Institutes of Health reports E.D. affects as many as 30 million men in the U.S. The risk increases with age. Doctor Zamip Patel sees patients of all ages.
"So basically, as young as teens to as old as 80s," said Zamip Patel, M.D., an Urologist/Andrologist at Florida Hospital.
A surgical implant like this is the last resort, but, as a first option," said Patel. "Most patients want a natural treatment."
A Harvard study found walking 30 minutes a day is linked to a 41 percent drop in E.D. risk. Food can help fight it too. Dark chocolate contains flavinoids that can improve circulation issues that cause E.D. Nitrates in leafy greens like spinach and celery and a protein in pistachios can also help with blood flow, and studies show watermelon can have effects similar to Viagra.
"The idea is that these are high in antioxidants and that can help," said Patel.
A little muscle building can be beneficial too. Doctor Patel says, exercising the muscle at the base of the penis can help maintain an erection. It's easy to do.
"Every time you pee, start and stop the stream," explained Patel.
Harvard's Healthbeat reports a man with a 42 inch waistline is 50 percent more likely to have E.D. than a man with a 32 inch waistline. That's because fat creates estrogen and lowers testosterone, which can decrease erectile function.
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