Dr. Okezie Emenike, an Abuja-based physician, has warned that excessive intake of alcohol and drug abuse leads to erectile dysfunction.
Emenike disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Thursday.
He described erectile dysfunction as the inability to get or keep an erection firm enough to have sexual intercourse.
The physician explained that erectile dysfunction was not uncommon, adding that most men experience the condition due to stress.
According to him, the condition is common in older men but can also occur in young men due to underlying health problems, stress and mental health.
Emenike stated that male sexual arousal was a complex process that involves the brain, hormones, emotions, nerves, muscles and blood vessels.
“Erectile dysfunction can occur if there is a hitch in the body,” said the expert.
He noted that a combination of physical and psychological issues caused erectile dysfunction.
He said it was a minor physical condition that slows your sexual response resulting to anxiety.
Emenike said: “The brain plays a key role in triggering the series of physical events that cause an erection, starting with feelings of sexual excitement.
“Relationship problems, poor communication or other concerns were identified as psychological factors that pose the risk of developing the condition.”
He also attributed heart disease, clogged blood vessels (atherosclerosis), high cholesterol and high blood pressure as physical factors that could predispose a man to erectile dysfunction.
He identified diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome (a condition involving increased blood pressure), high insulin levels, body fat around the waist and Parkinson’s disease as causative factors to the condition.
Besides, he said multiple sclerosis, development of scar tissue inside the penis, certain prescription medications and sleep disorder as factors that could cause erectile dysfunction.
Emenike further blamed tobacco use, alcoholism and other forms of substance abuse as well as treatments for prostate cancer or enlarged prostate as risk factors to the development of erectile dysfunction.
He added that surgeries or injuries that affect the pelvic area or spinal cord as other factors that could cause the condition.
However, Emenike said treatment of the condition started from knowing and tackling the underlying cause of erectile dysfunction either physical or psychological.
He suggested life style changes such as losing weight if obese, stating that it helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular and development of the condition.
The physician also encouraged the use of prescribed medications and vacuum pumps that aid blood flow into the penis for erection in treating the condition.
He encouraged cognitive behavioural therapy and sex therapy in treating patients with psychological erectile dysfunction.
Emenike advised patients susceptible to the condition to exercise regularly, avoid stress, cut down on alcohol consumption and quit smoking, stressing that it is key in defeating erectile dysfunction.