Nerve Related Erectile Dysfunction

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Nerves play an essential role in the penile erection process. This is how an erection works. When you are sexually stimulated the nerves in the penis’ cavernous area become active and those same nerves then release what are known as neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are chemical substances that carry messages from one nerve cell to another and back and forth from the brain. In the case of sexual arousal the nerves tell the brain that stimulation has occurred and the brain then sends signal to the penile area that the following events should occur (the neurotransmitters are in charge of delivering these messages):

Penile arteries should become relaxed enough to allow more blood to enter the penile chamber.
The blood that enters the penis should become temporarily trapped in order for the penis to become and remain rigid during sexual activity. This is accomplished by expanding the sinusoids (the space located within the smooth muscles of the penis). The sinusoids will return to their normal state after sexual stimulation stops so the blood can leave and the penis can return to its flaccid state.
Blood pressure needs to increase until the penis is completely rigid and the penis needs to stretch to its maximum capacity. The outflow of blood through the veins is also reduced to a minimum.
All of these events will only occur if the nerves do their job and send the orders back and forth from the penis to the brain.

Neuropathy
People with diabetes, kidney failure, cancer, HIV, people suffering from poor nutrition, and people taking certain kinds of drugs or medications or undergoing certain medical treatments such as chemotherapy, may develop what is known as neuropathy. Neuropathy is a condition or disease which damages the nerves or nervous system. It may cause a loss of feeling in the extremities. It may also cause muscle weakness, numbness, tingling sensations, swelling, and even pain. On top of that, neuropathy can damage the nerves within the penis.

Damaged penile nerves can diminish or stop the erection process. Since the brain uses nerves and neurotransmitters to tell the penis when and when not to become rigid, damaged penile nerves can cause erectile dysfunction by not sending the proper signals to and from the brain.

Neuropathy, E.D. and Diabetes
The National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases estimates that approximately one-half of people with diabetes suffer from some form of neuropathy. They also claim that around 21 million people suffer from diabetes in the US alone. That’s 7 percent of the population. These figures indicate that 3.5 percent of the population currently suffers from neuropathy. That means that 3.5 percent of all diabetic men will likely also suffer from E.D. Huge figures! Especially considering this is only accounting for diabetic men and that many other conditions such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, etc, also cause E.D.

Treating E.D. in Patients with Neuropathy
Fortunately, there are currently many effective treatments for erectile dysfunction, whether it be for nerve related E.D. or not. Ask your doctor about drug treatments such as , , or . Also ask about possible lifestyle changes you may be able to make to help restore your nerve conditions. Also ask about the possibilities of other nerve related treatments which may be able to indirectly help regain your sexual functioning by re-establishing nerve workings. Combating E.D. requires active participation on the part of patients. E.D. issues can almost always be resolved with the help of your doctor.
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