Irritable bowel syndrome is a frustrating condition which causes a lot of inconvenient symptoms. And it’s even more frustrating because it can make you impotent. Studies show that men suffering from irritable bowel syndrome are likely to develop erectile dysfunction.
As many as 20% of the American population suffer from irritable bowel syndrome, although it’s more common in women than in men. Nevertheless, irritable bowel syndrome is highly associated with various sexual dysfunctions in both men and women.
Learn more about how irritable bowel syndrome can impair your sexual function.
When you have irritable bowel syndrome, you often experience problems with your gastrointestinal tract. You suffer from a group of intestinal symptoms which often occur together. These symptoms may include abdominal pain, stomach cramps, gas, and bloating. You either have diarrhea or you suffer from constipation.
Since it’s a chronic condition, it means that the symptoms will recur. When it happens, it usually lasts for at least three days per month, and it can last for three months. However, the duration and severity of the symptoms may vary from person to person.
Experts consider irritable bowel syndrome as a multifactorial disease. This means that irritable bowel syndrome may occur as a result of various factors. Genetic factors, psychological stress, and inflammation may play a role in the development of irritable bowel syndrome.
Factors That Lead To Irritable Bowel Syndrome
You may develop irritable bowel syndrome if the nerves in your digestive system become damaged or have abnormalities. Your intestinal movements are coordinated by your nervous system.
If there’s poor communication between your nervous system and your intestinal muscles due to abnormal or damaged nerves, changes that typically occur during digestion may cause your body to overreact, and this can lead to constipation, diarrhea, or abdominal pain.
The strength of your intestinal muscle contractions may also be a factor of irritable bowel syndrome. Strong intestinal contractions that last long can lead to bloating, diarrhea, and gas. On the other hand, weak intestinal contractions may make you constipated. Weak contractions slow down the passage of food in your intestines, resulting in dry stool.
There are also instances wherein irritable bowel syndrome happens because of inflammation in the intestines. If you have an overly sensitive immune system or colon, it may cause frequent inflammation as a result of an increased immune system response.
Irritable bowel syndrome may also be the result of an infection in the intestines such as when you have gastroenteritis. Your gut bacteria can also contribute to irritable bowel syndrome. If your intestines are damaged due to a mild celiac disease, it may also result in irritable bowel syndrome.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome And Erectile Dysfunction
One of the first studies on the relationship between erectile dysfunction and irritable bowel syndrome was published back in 2013. According to the researchers, the incidence of erectile dysfunction among men with irritable bowel syndrome was almost three times higher than among men who don’t have irritable bowel syndrome.
The results also showed that the risks of developing erectile dysfunction increased with age. Furthermore, men with irritable bowel syndrome and depression were more likely to develop erectile dysfunction than those who had irritable bowel syndrome but not depression.
In addition, the researchers also found that patients with irritable bowel syndrome often have other medical conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, depression, and anxiety. These medical conditions are actually risk factors of erectile dysfunction.
A 2015 study also showed that irritable bowel syndrome is linked not only with organic erectile dysfunction but also with psychogenic erectile dysfunction. According to the report, men with irritable bowel syndrome were 2.38 times more likely to become impotent due to psychological causes and 2.12 times due to organic causes.
This means that if you have irritable bowel syndrome, you’re likely to become impotent not only because of physiological damage to your erectile system but also because of psychological factors.
Another recent study showed that the use of erectile dysfunction medication is higher in men with irritable bowel syndrome than in men without irritable bowel syndrome. The researchers analyzed the number of erectile dysfunction medication prescriptions for more than 31,000 men with irritable bowel syndrome.
The results showed that almost twelve percent of the men with irritable bowel syndrome were given their first prescription for erectile dysfunction medications whereas among the men without irritable bowel syndrome, less than ten percent of the men were prescribed with erectile dysfunction medications for the first time.
These three studies show that there is an apparent relationship between irritable bowel syndrome and erectile dysfunction. Unfortunately, experts have yet to determine the exact mechanism by which irritable bowel syndrome causes impotence.
In any case, if you happen to experience symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, you shouldn’t hesitate to ask your doctor about erectile dysfunction. Although you may not be suffering from erectile dysfunction yet, it’s best to have yourself checked right away. You should also ask your doctor about how you can lower your risks of erectile dysfunction.
Treating Erectile Dysfunction
For men who are looking for natural ways to get rid of erectile dysfunction, male sex enhancement supplements are a viable option. This is made using herbal medicines that are proven to improve erectile function.
It is formulated using several medicinal plants that have pro-erectile properties. These include horny goat weed, Tribulus terrestris, and Tongkat Ali. These three herbs are popularly used in ancient traditional medicine like Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine for the treatment of male sexual concerns such as impotence and infertility.
Numerous scientific studies have verified the efficacy of Tongkat Ali, Tribulus terrestris, and horny goat weed when it comes to treating erectile dysfunction. Scientific studies show that horny goat weed promotes erections by improving blood flow to the penile tissues. This pro-erectile effect of horny goat weed is due to a phytochemical called icariin.
Aside from improving your erectile function, it can also help boost your testosterone levels and enhance your sexual desire. The natural herbal ingredients of these supplements also have aphrodisiac properties as well as pro-fertility effects.