Stress and Erectile Dysfunction
- Chronic stress
- Emotional stress
- Stress and depression
- Stress and Anxiety
- Oxidative stress
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Stress Incontinence
- Stress Hormone, etc.
You may be wondering why did I list all these types of stress. My intention is not to confuse you. To the contrary – to help you get better informed!
All these types of stress (mentioned above) and more are related to erectile dysfunction more or less, depending on the type of stress, its severity and many other various factors that come into the equation.
Now let us take a brief look at the most common forms of stress, how do they relate to erectile dysfunction and what can you do about it.
Stress is a very commonly used term by pretty much everyone nowadays as it is a very common occurrence in pretty much everyone’s life, in one form or another.
First, let us understand the medical definition of the term “stress”:
“Stress is a feeling of emotional or physical tension. It can come from any event or thought that makes you feel frustrated, angry, or nervous. Stress is your body's reaction to a challenge or demand.”
“Stress is the body’s reaction to any change that requires an adjustment or response to maintain normal function. The body may react to changes with physical, emotional or mental responses.”.
And here are some of the most common physical signs of stress:
- Low energy.
- Upset stomach, including diarrhea, constipation, and nausea.
- Aches, pains, and tense muscles.
- Chest painand rapid heartbeat.
- Frequent colds and infections.
- Loss of sexual desire and/or ability.
Emotional/psychological signs of stress:
- Depressionor anxiety.
- Anger, irritability, or restlessness.
- Feeling overwhelmed, unmotivated, or unfocused.
- Trouble sleepingor sleeping too much.
- Racing thoughts or constant worry.
- Problems with your memory or concentration.
- Making bad decisions.
As you can see, there are so many ways stress manifests itself and it is why is very important to recognize them. Being able to recognize common stress symptoms can help you manage them. Stress that's left unchecked can contribute to many health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes. And, as we have already discussed in previous blog articles, all these chronic conditions are associated with ED.
Stress can interrupt signals between the brain and body, preventing arousal from producing an erection.
In the case of an erection, stress and anxiety can interrupt how your brain sends messages to the penis to allow extra blood flow. Stress and anxiety about ED can also contribute to a cycle of ongoing ED. Experiencing ED can lead to behavioral changes that contribute to anxiety and incidences of ED.
From this very short description it is easy to notice how mental/emotional stress affects the body and its physical response. In the same manner physical stress can lead to emotional stress with the same consequence in the long run. Chronic physical stress refers mainly to chronic medical conditions with all kinds of chemical and/or hormonal burden and imbalances affecting the body.
Oxidative stress - is an imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants in the body, which can lead to cell and tissue damage. Oxidative stress may play a role in the development of a range of chronic condition. Oxidative stress occurs naturally and plays a role in the aging process. We can talk a lot about oxidative stress, but we don’t have the time and the space here. Just be aware that this is a type of biochemical stress we cannot avoid, but we can manage it through a healthy lifestyle that includes plenty of antioxidants through nutrition and supplementation. It has been shown that oxidative stress plays an important role in the progression of erectile dysfunction.
Another common form of stress related to ED is male stress incontinence. Urinary incontinence is the unintentional loss of urine. Stress incontinence happens when physical movement or activity — such as coughing, laughing, sneezing, running or heavy lifting — puts pressure (stress) on your bladder, causing you to leak urine. Stress incontinence is not related to psychological stress. The male urinary incontinence is an important contributing factor to erectile dysfunction.
Stress hormone and ED - The body reacts to stress by releasing adrenaline and cortisol. Chronic stress, in particular, can interfere with your body's hormone levels, and result in a low libido. The arteries can also narrow and restrict blood flow in response to stress, which can also lead to erectile dysfunction.
This is extremely abbreviated information about a few common forms of stress that may be related to ED. If you are taking Viagra/Sildenafil, Cialis/Tadalafil, Levitra/Vardenafil, etc., make sure you recognize some of the stress factors in your life that may have to do with your ED and let your doctor know about them. Taking the right steps toward addressing the cause of your ED will make your ED treatment more successful and your ED medication more efficient. You can also contact one of our doctors or pharmacists at www.myswink.com or 1-866-myswink if you have any questions.
- National Institute of Mental Health. Fact sheet on stress Accessed 12/9/2014.
- American Psychological Association. Stress: the different kinds of stress Accessed 12/9/2014.
- Office on Women’s Health. Stress and your health fact sheet Accessed 12/9/2014. Oxidative Stress and Antioxidant Therapy: Their Impact in Diabetes‐Associated Erectile Dysfunction Ling de Young , Darryl Yu, Ryon M. Bateman, Gerald B. Brock
- Oxidative Stress and Antioxidant Status in Patients with Erectile Dysfunction Alessandra Barassi MD Giovanni M. Colpi MD Guido Piediferro MD Giada Dogliotti MD Gian Vico Melzi D'Eril MD, PhD Massimiliano M. Corsi MD, PhD
- Marseglia, L., et al. (2015). Oxidative stress in obesity: A critical component in human diseases.
- Morris, G., & Maes, M. (2014). Oxidative and nitrosative stress and immune-inflammatory pathways in patients with myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME)/chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
- Piskounova, E., et al. (2015). Oxidative stress inhabits distant metastasis by human melanoma cells. [Abstract].
- Cheignon, C., et al. (2018). Oxidative stress and the amyloid beta peptide in Alzheimer's disease.
- Cobley, J. N., et al. (2018). 13 reasons why the brain is susceptible to oxidative stress.
- Lower urinary tract symptoms and sexual dysfunction in men with multiple sclerosis André Luiz Farinhas Tomé,I,IIEduardo P Miranda,III,* José de Bessa Júnior,III Carlos Alberto Bezerra,I Antônio Carlos Lima Pompeo,I Sidney Glina,I and Cristiano Mendes GomesI
- Sakakibara R, Kishi M, Ogawa E, Tateno F, Uchiyama T, Yamamoto T, et al. Bladder, bowel, and sexual dysfunction in Parkinson’s disease. Parkinsons Dis.
- The relationship of serum and salivary cortisol levels to male sexual dysfunction as measured by the International Index of Erectile Function Y Kobori,1,*E Koh,1 K Sugimoto,1 K Izumi,1 K Narimoto,1 Y Maeda,1 H Konaka,1 A Mizokami,1 T Matsushita,2 T Iwamoto,3 and M Namiki1