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3 Little Known Causes of Erectile Dysfunction
We spend a lot of time on this site talking about the most common ED problems — which makes sense, since the most common causes are what plague men the most.
Today, though, we’re going to do something a little different. We’re going to mention a few less common ED problems you may have never heard of.
We’ll look at what each problem is, how it works, and what you can do about it.
Migraine Headaches and Erectile Dysfunction
“Not tonight, dear. I have a headache.”
It’s not just for women anymore. A 2012 study at the National Taiwan University College of Medicine examined 5,763 men with ED problems and 17,289 subjects without ED (as a control group).
They checked each for a history or diagnosis of migraines. The results were clear: men with migraine issues were far more likely to experience ED than men without, and men aged 30-39 with ED were twice as likely to also suffer from migraine headaches (source).
The research is relatively new and hasn’t conclusively examined what causes the link between ED and migraines, but a few theories make solid logical and medical sense:
- Stress can be a root cause of migraines in some people, and as we know stress is a major cause of ED.
- Some migraines are caused by circulatory issues. Since erections depend on blood flow, any problems with circulation can also cause problems with your erectile health.
- Like the circulatory issues, migraines have been linked to hormonal changes. I don’t have to go into detail about why hormone problems can affect your sexual performance.
A specific solution to this isn’t easy to come by, since the causes and triggers for migraines are so varied.
But working with a doctor who specializes in natural medicine (not prescribing drugs) to find out what brings on the migraines can be a good start.
Once you know what’s happening, you can figure out how it’s impacting your erectile health. Then you can put together a plan to fix things.
Hemorrhoids and ED Problems
In the “adding injury to insult” department, it turns out having hemorrhoids isn’t bad enough.
Another study by a team at the Taipei Medical University of Taiwan investigated the correlation between ED and hemorrhoids.
The researchers discovered that people with ED were almost twice as likely to have hemorrhoids or a history of hemorrhoids (source).
Like with the migraine research, the data showed men between 30 and 39 were even more likely to have ED if they had the condition.
Again, the research has not yet been conducted to identify the exact cause of this correlation. But signs point to the swollen blood vessels that cause hemorrhoids.
This makes sense because a man needs healthy blood vessels to achieve a healthy erection.
A less likely cause relates to the straining bowel movements that can also cause the painful condition. Constipation can be caused by stress and dietary issues, both of which are linked with ED.
Eliminating hemorrhoids is a complex situation with no guaranteed routes to success. Most of the home remedies boil down to stuff that makes it easier to poop: more fiber, more fluids, natural laxatives, regular exercise.
It’s unlikely that stapling or surgery (which eliminate hemorrhoids) will help with your ED, since neither of those solutions address the common root causes of erectile dysfunction and hemorrhoids.
One solution that does work for many men is citrus bioflavonoid supplementation, which is a common treatment for hemorrhoids in Europe.
This treatment is effective because these compounds enhance the strength of the blood vessel walls.
If you’re suffering with hemorrhoids, you can find citrus bioflavonoid compounds online or at most natural food markets.
Lower Back Pain and ED Problems
Lumbar spine disease is one of many causes of lower back pain.
A recent study of men well under the age where ED naturally becomes an issue found that 34% — just over one third of them also suffered from erectile dysfunction.
This, combined with a variety of other studies that suggest a high correlation between back pain and ED, linked to two potential sources.
Erections happen because of two nerve centers in the spine.
If your back problem is caused by neurological damage (or related damage impacting the muscles and bones around the spine), then that same neurological damage could be impairing your erectile health.
It could prevent nervous system instructions from reaching your penis and telling it to get hard, or it could be stopping the neurological signals necessary for your penis to follow those instructions.
Either way, your hard on will end up being a soft-on.
If you’re on pain medication for your back pain, another potential cause comes into play.
Long-term use of opiates and opioids (as in, what’s almost certainly in your prescription pain pills) has been shown to cause a variety of hormonal imbalances and erectile issues.
Since hormones play a part in your ability to achieve and maintain erection, it could be the pain meds that are behind your ED woes.
In some extreme cases, surgery is the only way to cure the nerve damage responsible for ED with lower back pain, but surgery comes with a lot of risks.
So before you go that route, I suggest you look into the Egoscue Method, designed by Pete Egoscue, the therapist who kept Jack Nicklaus and Charles Barkley going in their respective careers.
ED Problems – Conclusion:
Various kinds of chronic pain and irritation can ruin your erectile health in a number of ways. The pain itself can reduce libido and your enjoyment of sex.
Pain can cause stress in and of itself, or create problems at work which cause financial stress, or issues in your relationship — all of which can then impact your ability to get it up.
And, of course, the root causes of the pain could also impact body systems responsible for sexual health.
So it stands to reason that treating those sources of pain can also help fix your erectile dysfunction.
If you’ve eliminated the more common causes, and you suffer any of these three symptoms (and honestly, what man our age doesn’t suffer from at least one), look into treatments of both the pain and the root cause. Your penis and partner may both thank you.