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Love and family

Several men fail to get erection, why and how to solve the issue?

21 October 2021, Dr Maria Gorretti Nakyonyi, The Monitor
Several men fail to get erection, why and how to solve the issue?

Any man may have erection issues due to medical conditions common at 50 years of age including diabetes or high blood pressure and its treatment, obesity, prostate issues and their treatment as well as psychological issues and their treatment. Unfortunately, a number of men with impotence may resort to tobacco, alcohol and drug use due to frustration, worsening erection problems.

I am 50 years old. Recently, I was diagnosed with high blood pressure and given medication to control it. However, in the bedroom, my heart starts beating too fast and I fail to get an erection. What can I do? Byakatonda

Dear Byakatonda,

Erectile dysfunction (impotence) is the inability to get and keep an erection firm enough to engage in sexual intercourse. Once in a while, a man may have this problem but when it becomes common, it may impact on a couple’s sex life and cause lots of stress and anxiety, hence inability to get an erection.

Any man may have erection issues due to medical conditions common at 50 years of age including diabetes or high blood pressure and its treatment, obesity, prostate issues and their treatment as well as psychological issues and their treatment. Unfortunately, a number of men with impotence may resort to tobacco, alcohol and drug use due to frustration, worsening erection problems.

A man may not have erectile dysfunction but with age, one may progressively take long to get an erection. Sometimes, they may get an erection and engage in sexual intercourse but have no interest in sexual intercourse for a few days. Sexual issues happening suddenly may point to psychological problems including stress and anxiety.

The heart pumping very fast when you reach your bed clearly shows that you are anxious, which anxiety may have resulted from your poor bed performance or could be the primary cause of the impotence. Anxiety about poor sexual performance may further worsen your erection issues.

For an erection to take place, more blood flows into the penis at a rate of about 30cm/second and a fill of about 130mls of blood will cause a good erection. Proper blood flow also helps distribute hormones that are important for desire.

On its own, hypertension may lead to erectile dysfunction by damaging artery walls, causing them to harden and narrow, hence reducing blood flow to the penis. Reduction of blood flow to other areas will curtail distribution of hormones important in sexual desire further affecting a hypertensive’s sexual life.

Treating high blood pressure with drugs may on its own lead to low blood pressure (hypotension) reducing the amount of blood entering the penis, hence causing erectile dysfunction.

That said, there are drugs including water pills such as Lasix, and beta blockers (Inderal, atenolol except nebivolol), Spironolactone (affects testosterone), some calcium channel blockers (nifedipine) which particularly have a side effect of causing impotence.

You need to visit your doctor again instead of depending on antihypertensive drug self-prescription. The doctor may check for any other likely cause of impotence and review your drug treatment if drugs are found to be the cause.

The doctor may also counsel you to stem your performance anxiety but this is best done when you visit the doctor together with your wife.

Generally, you also need to eat a balanced diet, minimise salt, fat and sugar intake, have regular physical exercise, good quality and quantity sleep, avoid smoking, taking alcohol and drugs, apart from managing stress.

Easy remedies to treat mosquito bites

Mosquito bites may be harmless, but these nasty bumps are itchy and can sometimes be painful. Here are some of the things you can easily use at home for relief.

Ice: Cold temperatures help reduce inflammation. However, do not place the ice directly onto your skin. Instead, use an ice pack and put on the affected area for 10-15 minutes. You can also put a barrier, such as a washcloth, between your skin and the ice.

Aloe vera: It acts as a natural antiseptic. It reduces itching and swelling and aids faster healing. It is also a good cure for sunburn. Peel away the tough skin of the plant and scoop out the gel. Chill the gel for about 10-15 minutes and rub it on the afected area.

Lime juice: Lemons are known for their anti-inflammatory and anaesthetic properties. They also help to reduce swelling and pain. Simply slice a lemon and rub it on the affected area. You can also make a paste of lime juice and crushed basil and apply it for a soothing effect.

Baking soda, apple cider vinegar: Being alkaline in nature, baking soda neutralises the pH levels of the affected area and helps in relieving itchiness. Dissolve a teaspoon of baking soda in water and apply the paste on the affected area. Leave it on for 10-20 minutes and then wash with lukewarm water. Apple Cider Vinegar is less acidic than other vinegars and it helps in restoring the natural pH levels. Rub it on your skin or dilute few drops in your bath.

Onion, garlic: These help in reducing swelling and soothing itching. Their strong aroma can also keep insects and mosquitoes away. Apply minced onion or garlic on the affected area, leave it on for few minutes and then wash off.

Salt: It is helpful because of its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. Mix salt in water and apply the liquid on the affected area.

Honey: Dab some honey on the bite. Honey has antibacterial properties and can prevent the bite from getting infected. A small drop of raw honey on an itchy bite can reduce the inflammation. It will also reduce your temptation to scratch.

Why good oral healthcare is essential

The mouth has always been an integral part of the body that is often been ignored. We all love to smile, talk and look beautiful. In all this, it is the mouth that makes the largest contribution.
The mouth is made up of lips, cheeks, tongue, teeth, gums, alveolar bone (supporting bone), salivary glands that produce saliva, muscles and temporomandibular joint (the joint responsible for moving your jaws, opening and closing plus chewing).

Taking good care of your mouth will result in a good smile and look, fresh breath, better gum and dental health, lower risk of heart attack and healthy pregnancy, among others.
Taking good care of your teeth and mouth takes some work and involves the following:

● Brushing your teeth and tongue regularly or a minimum of two times a day in the morning after breakfast and evening after the last meal before going to bed.

● Visiting your dentist every six months for a routine checkup. Do not wait for pain. Your dentist will also teach you the right way to brush your teeth.

● Reduce intake of sweet things and sticky foods such as sweets, biscuits, chocolate, ice-cream, cookies and cakes, among others. If eaten, brush your teeth afterwards. Never forget to floss at least once daily.

● Avoid using toothpicks. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, using a toothpick is fine when no other options are available and if you are very careful. But dentists do not recommend them for regular use. The problem? A piece of the wood can break off and get lodged in the gum tissue. Once the gum tissue is pierced, bacteria can enter and cause an infection. If you are, or have been, a frequent toothpick user, your dentist is likely to notice some damage to your gums during a dental exam.

● Take plenty of non-acidic fruits and vegetables such as apples, carrots and cucumber, among others.
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