What is Erectile Dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction is a complex disorder that can affect men of any age. It is the condition that prevents men from achieving or sustaining an erection. The term also includes other conditions which seriously inhibit sexual performance or render the patient unable to participate in sexual intercourse. In most cases, it is actually indicative of some underlying condition that can be treated quite easily. Often all that is required to correct this disorder is a general reduction of stress or a change in lifestyle. However, with the stigma and embarrassment associated with the condition, many men are reluctant to seek the necessary diagnosis and treatment. This can prove to be extremely dangerous, or even fatal depending on the nature of the primary disorder of which erectile dysfunction is merely a symptom.
Causes of Erectile Dysfunction
On a higher level, the causes of Erectile Dysfunction can be either physical or psychological. Physically, a variety of conditions such as high blood pressure, heart problems and diabetes have been known to cause impotence. Emotional issues such as mental stress or a general lack of sexual confidence are also equally likely to cause the same effect. One such common culprit of Erectile Dysfunction is Fibromyalgia.
What is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia, formerly known as Fibrositis is a chronic condition causing pain, tenderness and stiffness of the muscles, joints, and tendons. The condition is also characterized by fatigue, restless sleep, depression, anxiety and irregular bowel function. The pain caused by Fibromyalgia is not accompanied by inflammation of the tissues (which is the common cause of pain in most diseases). Consequently, despite the acute pain, the patient does not develop any kind of bodily damage or deformity. Fibromyalgia also does not damage internal organs of the body. In this respect, Fibromyalgia differs from many other rheumatic conditions such as arthritis or systemic lupus.
Causes of Fibromyalgia
Although Fibromyalgia is becoming increasingly common, its causes remain largely unknown. Patients suffering from the condition experience pain in response to stimuli that would not usually be perceived as painful. Recent findings point to elevated levels of substance P, a nerve chemical signal as a possible cause of Fibromyalgia. Reduced levels of the brain nerve chemical serotonin have also been mentioned in connection with the causes of Fibromyalgia. Detailed analysis of pain in Fibromyalgia patients has revealed the super sensitivity of the central nervous system of such patients. This, coupled with a diffuse disturbance of pain perception could also be a cause of Fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia and Erectile Dysfunction
In recent times, as the understanding about Fibromyalgia has increased, a definite correlation between Fibromyalgia and Erectile Dysfunction has been documented. It must also be pointed out that the number of reported cases of Fibromyalgia and associated Erectile problems has been on the rise.
Fibromyalgia can be a direct, as well as an indirect, cause of this disorder. The pain caused by Fibromyalgia, particularly in the testicle and penis area, is the most direct and immediate cause of Erectile Dysfunction. Many sufferers of Fibromyalgia (both male and female) also report reduced sexual drive. This leads to performance anxiety, depression and ultimately impotence in the male patients. Excessive physical and mental fatigue caused by Sleep deprivation and muscle and joint pains are also instrumental in reducing the libido and rendering the patient unable to perform sexually.
In general cases of Erectile Dysfunction, an effective treatment is physical exercise. However, the pain associated with Fibromyalgia makes strenuous exercise extremely difficult. As a result, the lack of sustaining an erection and the probability of its occurrence are increased in patients of Fibromyalgia. Erectile Dysfunction can be directly combated with a variety of drugs that are available on prescription. In some cases where the causes of impotence are chiefly emotional, psychotherapy can be a very effective treatment as well as Neurolinguistic programming techniques. And to explore the underlying causes in comprehensive biochemical screening, which has a foundation in nutritional and environmental influences.
Fibromyalgia and Erectile Dysfunction by Helena Ederveen