Erectile dysfunction may be a symptom of a larger health issue

By Dr. Timothy Quinn
Jackson Advocate Guest Writer

 

“I don’t have any on me.”

This is what I told the driver of a car as he pulled over and stopped me while I was on my Saturday afternoon six-mile run. I told him this in response to his question of if I could give him some Cialis. After advising him to contact the office next week, I continued my run. As I ran, I imagined his thoughts of me running with Cialis in my pocket, and could not help but smile.

Male erectile disorder is a condition that affects many men, and can have negative effects on relationships which can result in the spouse being affected. There are effective medications to treat this disorder, but a man must first be medically evaluated to ensure that he does not have an underlying medical condition causing this problem. According to Mayoclinic.org, male sexual arousal is a complex process that involves the brain, hor-mones, emotions, nerves, mus-cles, and blood vessels. Erectile dysfunction can result from a problem with any of these. Likewise, stress and mental health concerns can cause or worsen erectile dysfunction. Mayoclinic.org goes on to explain that there are scenarios where a man can have a combination of physical and psychological issues causing erectile dysfunction. The example was given of a man that may have a minor physical condition that slows his sexual response leading to anxiety about maintaining an erection. This resultant anxiety can lead to the worsen-ing of his erectile dysfunction.

In my clinic, we first evaluate male patients for underlying conditions including heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, neurological conditions, and prostate cancer. Patients are also examined for psychological disorders, including depression or anxiety, and hormonal conditions.

In one instance a patient was recently diagnosed with a medical problem and was found to have low testosterone. This patient, who we will refer to as Mr. Smith, was referred to an endocrinologist (a specialist doctor that treats hormonal conditions). Mr. Smith was treated with testosterone hormone replacement. Three months later, Mr. Smith’s wife visited me to thank me with a chocolate cake.

Another patient, who we will refer to as Mr. Jones, was diagnosed and treated for anxiety, with the proper treatment he regained his capability to maintain physical relations with his wife. I could continue to mention many men with success stories. These men, with proper diagnosis and treatment of their underlying conditions, regained their ability.

Some men, after being diagnosed and effectively treated for conditions that can lead to erectile dysfunction, still may need medications for this condition. In the past, the most common effective medications, including Viagra, did not have the less expensive generic alternatives. The good news is that Viagra is now being offered to the public in the generic alternative. I have had reports from many of my patients that are going to Walmart receiving the equally effective generic versions of this medication at reduced costs. Some of the costs differences that have been reported to me include 15 dollars for the generic alternative versus 60 dollars for the brand. This new development adds extra hope for my male patients including my potential soon to be patient that stopped me yesterday to ask for a true curbside medical visit.

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