According to the latest numbers, around 30 million men in the United States currently suffer from erectile dysfunction, or ED. Defined as an inability to achieve or keep an erection long enough for satisfactory intercourse, this condition can be short-term or long-term in nature.
If you’re a man dealing with ED, then it helps to know which factors can contribute to this condition. For instance, did you know that consuming alcohol can actually make the issue worse?
Today, we’re taking a closer look at the connection between alcohol and erectile dysfunction, and sharing everything you need to know.
What Is Erectile Dysfunction?
As mentioned, ED is a medical condition that inhibits a man’s ability to achieve an erection or to maintain one for a prolonged period of time. Though this issue is common and widespread, it can take a few different forms.
For instance, you can have ED with any or all of the following symptoms:
- You’re able to achieve an erection on occasion, but not every time you desire to have sex
- You’re able to achieve an erection, but it does not last long enough for sex
- You’re unable to achieve an erection at any time
Who Is Susceptible?
Men are more susceptible to developing ED as they age, although it’s important to understand that this condition is not a normal sign of aging. In many cases, a healthcare provider can assess the symptoms and offer valuable treatment to mitigate the effects.
In addition to older adults, men who are most susceptible to ED include those who:
- Have other, underlying health conditions
- Suffer from mental or emotional health issues
- Take certain prescription medications
- Participate in poor health habits, such as smoking
A physician is the only one qualified to diagnose and treat ED. Once you receive this diagnosis, it’s important to follow their recommendations and treatment plan like acoustic wave treatment. In addition, you can also take steps to lessen the effects of the condition and improve your sex life.
This includes limiting how many drinks you indulge in on a weekly basis. Next, let’s take a look at the interesting link between erectile dysfunction and alcohol.
Alcohol and Erectile Dysfunction: The Connection to Know
If you suffer from erectile dysfunction, you don’t have to quit drinking altogether. However, it’s critical to understand how that habit can interfere with your symptoms. There are a few different ways in which this happens, so let’s take a look at each one in greater detail.
Inhibits Neurological Signals
Drinking large amounts of alcohol can interfere with special messengers and receptors in your brain. These are the neurons that work together to inform your penis when it’s time to fill with blood and become erect.
While this can happen to any man who drinks, the effects can be more significant if you already have a difficult time achieving or maintaining an erection due to ED.
Reduces Testosterone Production
Alcohol can also reduce the amount of testosterone that your body produces. This is a steriod hormone that stimulates secondary sex characteristics in males. In men, it’s produced primarily in the testicles, though women also make a small amount in their ovaries.
Testosterone is responsible for your sex drive and plays a major role in your overall sperm production. It also affects other areas of your body, including:
- Muscle mass
- Bone mass
- Red blood cell production
- Fat storage
After about the age of 30, your testosterone levels will naturally begin to decrease. This dip can happen more quickly due to certain conditions, including excess stress. In addition, heavy drinkers may also notice a decline.
Serves as a Depressant
After just one drink, you may feel confident enough to tackle the bedroom with ease. However, have you ever found that your self-esteem and general libido tend to fall apart the more you consume?
Drinking heavily can actually damper your mood, and could even lead to depression. Over time, this can decrease your sexual desire and exacerbate existing symptoms of ED.
Even if you don’t suffer from this condition, you might find it difficult to muster up the motivation for sex. This issue, which begins as emotional distress, can soon manifest in more physical ways.
For instance, you may find it more difficult to achieve an erection or experience an orgasm while you’re under the influence. While limiting your drinks is a great start, keep in mind there are other resources that can help you achieve a longer-lasting and more pleasurable erection. This source offers 10 tips that can help you stimulate your nerves, encourage healthy blood flow, and exercise the right muscles without medication.
Moderation Is Key
As stated, you don’t have to quit drinking cold turkey if you’ve been diagnosed with ED. However, it is smart to keep your condition in mind as you plan your menu.
In most cases, drinking in moderation is fine, and will not make your symptoms more severe. The CDC defines moderate drinking as no more than two drinks per day for men, and one drink per day for women. By exceeding those numbers, you could put your mind and body under more stress than they can handle.
For instance, did you know that your body is only equipped to successfully break down the amount of alcohol in one standard drink, per hour? Over-indulging slows down this natural process, which can cause toxins to build up in and around your internal organs. This includes the organs used in sexual intercourse.
The bottom line? If you can successfully manage to limit your drinking to a moderate level, then you may be able to keep your ED in check when it’s time to enjoy intercourse with your partner. Otherwise, it’s best to steer clear if you tend to overdo it.
Manage Your ED Symptoms and Enjoy a Healthy Sex Life
Although it might feel like it, an ED diagnosis doesn’t have to be the end of the world. It also doesn’t have to cut short your time in the bedroom.
By understanding how the condition works and what factors heighten it, you can successfully navigate common roadblocks and mitigate the side effects. This includes understanding the link between alcohol and erectile dysfunction and keeping your consumption moderate.
Looking for more helpful lifestyle Definition news you can trust? We’ve got plenty more tips on our blog, so check back often for other informative guides!