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Valentine’s Viagra

A study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found 49% of men ages 40 to 79 that have high blood pressure also experience erectile dysfunction (ED). A second study in the Journal of Urology found that 68% of men have some degree of ED while a staggering 45% were considered to have severe ED. (1) To combat this growing concern, we must address the underlying cause of the condition.

High blood pressure can lead to ED, but its treatment has been found to be a major contributor. It is estimated that 80% is due to a physical cause while 20% is due to a psychological component. (2) Lifestyle factors impact both physical and psychological components of this condition thus affecting 100% of the problem. Statistically one out of two people will die from heart disease and the divorce rate is approximately the same. Could this be a contributing factor to failing relationships?

Get Hit with “Cupids Arrow”

ED is a common problem, but it is not normal. It is important to know how an erection occurs to understand how the physical and psychological components can cause ED. You can correct and improve the causative factors and get your groove back.

An erection primarily involves the nervous system. The nervous system is composed of the brain, spinal cord and nerves that control and regulate every function in your body.

Many people think that ED is a vascular condition; in most cases it is all neurological. The nervous system controls the production of hormones that regulate constriction/dilation of the blood vessels. An erection can only occur with the dilation of the blood vessels that is triggered by a neurological input.

The nervous system is composed of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. The sympathetic nervous system is commonly known as the “fight or flight” mechanism. The sympathetic response is a strong vasoconstrictor and works by diverting the blood supply away from the organs and directs it to the skeletal muscles.

The parasympathetic nervous system allows for vasodilation to occur and allows for the blood supply to be diverted from skeletal muscles back to the organs of the body. The parasympathetic response is responsible for an erection to occur.

An erection only occurs when the parasympathetic nervous system overrides the sympathetic nervous system. Elevated blood pressure is commonly a condition of vasoconstriction. Artificially lowering blood pressure with medication inhibits the sympathetic response, but never stimulates the parasympathetic. This is one of the reasons that the treatment for high blood pressure causes further ED problems.

Drugs: The Love Killer

Diuretics -- aka water pills -- and beta-blockers are the prescription drugs used to treat high blood pressure and most commonly linked to erectile dysfunction. Beta-blockers shut off the nerve impulses that lead to an erection.

What's even worse? According to research the side effects of the drugs can make you feel sedated and depressed causing up to 25% of ED. (2) What happens when you are depressed? You take more medication right? It has been proven that antidepressants cause more depression thus more ED. (3)

Arousing to the Max

The Chiropractic adjustment looks to balance and normalize the neurological response. The negative physical stress associated with subluxation, pain, poor posture and abnormal joint movement will diminish with proper adjustments. These factors left untreated will trigger the sympathetic response in the body, thus damaging the neurology that causes ED.

Adjustments help balance the parasympathetic nervous system, lowering blood pressure and encouraging a healthy erection. Cervical Chiropractic adjustments have been found to reduce blood pressure in clinical studies through the activation of this system. (4)

Dietary factors are commonly overlooked in regard to ED. One’s diet contributes to both the physical and the psychological response of the body’s neurology and hormone balance. Poor dietary factors will add unneeded chemical stress on the body that contributes to the production of the sympathetic, vasoconstricting response. This will contribute to high blood pressure and ED.

It can be said to get blood “flowing” one should exercise. Exercise is an effective means of reducing stress through a healthy neurological response. Why is exercise a recommendation for high blood pressure? It improves how the body can handle and respond to stress.

ED is clearly a problem that impacts most men at some point in their lives. Taking self-responsibility for one’s health on a proactive basis will reduce the incidence of heart disease that plays a significant role in the development of ED. ED is not a lack of medication, it is caused by it.

It is time to get adjusted, control what passes your lips, engage in healthy physical activities and reduce the use of unneeded medications. This improved lifestyle will help reduce the risk of developing heart disease and the development of erectile dysfunction.

Your lifestyle not only impacts you, but also your loved ones. It will help encourage healthy marital relationships and reduce the risk of dying directly from heart disease or indirectly by the side effects of medicine.


Dr. Cory Couillard is an international healthcare speaker and columnist for numerous newspapers, magazines, websites and publications throughout the world. He works in collaboration with the World Health Organization's goals of disease prevention and global healthcare education. Views do not necessarily reflect endorsement.

Email: drcorycouillard@gmail.com
Facebook: Dr Cory Couillard
Twitter: DrCoryCouillard


(1) http://www.webmd.com/hypertension-high-blood-pressure/guide/high-blood-pressure-erectile-dysfunction
(2) http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=63473
(3) http://www.johnshopkinshealthalerts.com/reports/depression_anxiety/130-1.html
(4) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2686395/

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