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Male Erectile Dysfunction – part II ED in men in their forties and fifties

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When a man in his 40s suffers from impotence, the main causes are not usually diabetes, hypertension or cardiovascular disease, even though these are significant they are usually not the main culprits. However, I must state that they must still be looked for and men should seek medical help at the first signs of impotence, as 25- 40% of black men between the ages of 40 and 50 will have one of these medical illnesses diagnosed.{{more}} To avoid seeing a doctor and start taking Viagra or Over The Counter (OTC) preparations would be to risk serious cardiovascular disease and permanent impotence later in their 40s or early 50s from undiagnosed and untreated diseases.

Let me repeat it simply: MEN UNDER 50 WHO HAVE EITHER TEMPORARY OR PERSISTENT IMPOTENCE SHOULD SEEK MEDICAL HELP AS ABOUT 1/3rd OF THESE MEN MAY BE HARBOURING SERIOUS MEDICAL ILLNESSES AND NOT KNOW. THESE ILLNESSES CAN LEAD TO PERMANENT IMPOTENCE!

By far, the main cause of impotence in this under-50 age group would be psychogenic. By that I mean nonmedical causes like stress, bad relationships, overwork, andropause, alcoholism, other recreational drugs of abuse and psychological causes such as depression. It’s amazing how prevalent these factors are in this age group. Unfortunately, most of the men in this age group who have impotence will not acknowledge it. The fact of the matter is even though the causes are psychogenic; the man is still experiencing it.

This is also the hardest group to treat properly as most of the men will seek OTC preparations and avoid the underlying causes such as alcoholism, depression and the bad or dysfunctional relationship. Clearly, it is infinitely easier to take a pill than to seek help for psychologic issues. This is one of the main reasons why you see men in their 40s and 50s are using regular vitamins, energy drinks and herbal supplements. This difficulty is compounded by the attitudes of our society towards counselling and “hanging out our dirty linen” for all to see. Worse yet, to get men to first acknowledge they have an erection problem, then to get them to see a doctor, then to acknowledge that they need to see a counsellor, are near impossible tasks which leave many a woman frustrated to the point of giving up.

Fortunately, there are a few of us who are brave enough to acknowledge that we have a problem and will hopefully begin to share the message with others that professional help is available. It only takes a spark to get the fire going! This is one of the main reasons why this column is written in plain, simple and sometimes “raw” language; it is to appeal to all, including the common man. The response I received from my article on “alternative sex organs” tells me where we are in our society. I am glad that this present political regime has emphasized education, as only knowledge will drive out ignorance as light drives out darkness.

Andropause or women-o-pause is the male version of the female menopause and is a period of time like the female climacteric when the male testosterone levels begin to fall. It usually begins in his mid 40s and continues to fall slowly over the remainder of life. Because the fall in the hormone level is gradual, most men will not realize it apart from noticing a fall in energy and drive at this age. It is also at this time that the man notices reducing erectile potency. This is usually attributed to work stress and “tiredness”, hence the use of the energy drinks, vitamins and herbal supplements. I will discuss the male menopause in detail in another article.

In summary, only about 1 in 4 men under 50 will suffer from serious impotence, of these 1/3rd (25-40%) will have a medical problem while the other 2/3rd (60-75%) will have psychological problems. The first step should be to seek medical help, as it is very easy to detect simple medical problems like diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol and silent cardiovascular disease. The doctor should also refer you to a professional counsellor if you so desire and should be able to give advice with respect to the use of vitamin and hormone supplements as well as the use of medicines such as Viagra or its brothers.

Next week, we will look specifically at ED in men in their 60s and 70s.

For comments or question contact:

Dr. Rohan Deshong

Tel: (784) 456-2785

email: [email protected]

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