Erectile dysfunction (ED) is characterized by the inability to attain and maintain a firm erection to engage in sexual activity or intercourse. The root cause of ED varies, but in most cases a hormone imbalance is to blame.
Men who frequently experience high levels of stress can secrete excess cortisol, which can negatively impact testosterone. At high levels, prolactin, a chemical produced by the pituitary gland, can impair the achievement of an erection. Overproduction of prolactin causes a decline in testosterone leading to ED. Hypothyroidism is often correlated with an increased production of prolactin.
Too much estrogen, a condition known as estrogen dominance, can also impair erectile function. Liver disease is one factor that commonly contributes to estrogen dominance. However, estrogen dominance can also occur when testosterone levels drop as a result of aging. The symptoms of estrogen dominance include: weight gain, anxiety, gynecomastia, or loss of muscle mass.
Conditions that cause constriction of the veins, diabetes, and certain blood pressure medications are also associated with ED. Unrestricted blood flow is important to achieving an erection. When an erection occurs, the brain signals the release of nitric oxide. This triggers relaxation of the penis muscles and allows blood to flow into the organ. If nitric oxide is not released or blood flow is restricted due to high levels of plaque in the body, an erection will not occur.
Inadequate levels of testosterone are correlated with more serious issues than just sexual dysfunction. Research has shown that low testosterone can increase risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attack, stroke, and osteoporosis.
If you are suffering from erectile dysfunction, don’t wait to get help. A provider certified and trained in hormone health can help you restore sexual performance and desire. EVEXIAS Health Solutions tratins providers to partner with patients to develop a treatment plan that ideally fits your lifestyle and supports your path to reaching your personal optimization goals.