Articles Posted in Sexual Health

I have written about Peyronies disorder in other blog entries. It is one of the least talked about ailments due to the nature of the disease.

In general, men aren’t comfortable speaking about personal issues and there really isn’t anything more personal than a syndrome which directly affects the shape, size and function of the penis.

Peyronies is advertised as a disease which involves banding of tissue around the shaft of the penis leading to curvature and ultimately reduction in girth, length and sensation.

Many patients come to my office for sexual dysfunction (SD). SD can look like painful intercourse for women and erectile dysfunction (ED) or Peyronies for men. While there are many reasons for SD, one commonality among patients is an underlying dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system. The exception is ED caused by vascular damage or induced by drugs.

Most women with chronic pain are told they need hormones, or need to be on very specific diets and do not find much improvement even with these measures. Men with Peyronies are often given painful injections and are not better after those tortuous treatments.

One of the other common symptoms I find in patients with underlying autonomic dysfunction is sleep disorder. Chronic difficulty staying or falling asleep is a sure sign the neuroendocrine system or the autonomic system is not working as it should be.

I have been treating women for hormone disturbance in my Chicago area office for almost 20 years. I was prescribing bio-identical hormones way back then. Giving grand rounds at various Chicago area hospitals on the subject, often taking loads of flack by the OB-GYNs who would attend.

Of course, that was then. Now, the OB-GYNs have jumped on the band wagon. It seems whatever those of us are doing in the natural, integrative medicine world, eventually makes it’s way into the mainstream 15 years or so, later.

What the mainstream physicians are still behind on, is the need for hormone balancing and the concept that peri and menopausal symptoms aren’t always due to low estrogen levels. Often, they’re due to unopposed estrogen levels.

While I am not into fad diets or dieting, I do support creating the right diet for individual metabolic needs.

Over the years I have used virgin coconut oil in patients with everything from seizure disorder to metabolic syndrome and cancer. The benefits of virgin coconut oil are many: production of ketones due to the medium chain triglyceride (MCT) content, improved brain fuel, reduced insulin needs, improved immune function, catharsis (a laxative effect), reduced hunger, improved brain function, increased sex drive and more.

There has been a big misconception regarding coconut oil and its effects on the lipid profile. The negative information was borne out of studies performed decades ago where coconut oil had been hydrogenated for export. Virgin coconut oil (VCO)is not detrimental to the lipid profile. In fact, using the oil regularly can lead to lowered insulin levels and hence larger, healthier LDL particles.

Many of my patients complain of having “no interest”. While a small percentage of the population identify as “asexual”, the majority of us do not and losing one’s sex drive altogether can be disquieting. Sex drive often wanes as we age but it should not disappear completely.

There are physical and psychological reasons for a diminished sex drive and or response.

Among the physical contributors are chronic inflammation, not enough exercise, excessive exercise, prescriptions medications, poor dietary patterns, and fatigue. These contributing factors can all be easily reversed.

Erectile dysfunction from non-pyschological issues is one of the first signs of a decrease in endogenous nitrous oxide production. Insufficient nitrous oxide (NO) production sets the stage for the progression of heart and vascular disease in general.

The implications of decreased NO spread father than vascular disease. Decreased vascular flow in the brain leads to dementia and Alzheimer’s as well as hypertension and thrombotic events (stroke).

NO declines with age, but this is believed to be largely due to increased insulin resistance.

One of the many advantages to being a mature doctor is the vast experience one acquires along the way. In my Evanston medical office, I have repeatedly seen a link between lowered sexual function or drive, and impaired autonomic nervous system function.

Often this is the case of a woman going through menopause. The chief complaint might be weight gain, hot flashes, wrinkling skin or insomnia but low libido or sexual response often accompanies these symptoms.

I also see men who complain of poor sexual function or lowered libido and discover they actually have some other complaints concurrently that seem to be associated with autonomic nervous system dysfunction or ANSD.

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