Guys, if you’re experiencing erectile instability, you would be wise to consider seriously limiting your intake of alcohol. I have seen cases where moderate to severe alcohol intake is a major player in a “perfect storm” scenario — a scene where a man who did not have trouble with erections previously suddenly gets E.D.
Dan, 55, was a successful, married executive with three children and a wife he was very proud of. Dan could hold his liquor. He had always liked to drink. It was a part of his both his work life and his private life. It made him feel relaxed and social, charming and funny at parties, and a better deal maker in business meals.
Then, out of the blue, Dan’s wife Barbara told him that she wanted a divorce. As it turned out, Barbara was having an affair with one of Dan’s colleagues.
Dan felt completely humiliated. He imagined that everyone in the office knew of his wife’s indiscretion. He was so upset by this horrible turn of events that his drinking, which had been chugging along anyway, took a huge upswing.
As you probably know, using booze to solve your problems never works.
As the divorce and financial arrangements were getting worked out, Dan decided to begin dating again. He figured he was a good catch. He was financially successful, he was charming, he looked great for his age, and was a good lover. Or so he thought.
As he began to date women who were total strangers, he found that he couldn’t get reliable erections. Sometimes, he could not get erections at all.
And again, he used alcohol to numb the bad feelings. He tried using Viagra, but it did not work reliably.
The more upset he got, the more anxiety he felt. He was starting to be afraid to date at all. He decided to seek professional help, and came to see me.
In evaluating Dan, I suspected that there were multiple causes for his E.D — alcohol use was one, and his emotional reaction of anxiety and sadness another. He was still getting morning erections often when he woke up alone and felt no pressure to perform sexually.
I sent him off for a consultation with a urologist, who agreed with my hypotheses: Dan’s equipment was in working order.
One of the major pieces of my work with Dan was getting him to cut back on his alcohol use. He did not like being constrained in this way, but he was willing to cooperate in order to break this vicious cycle.
After a week refraining from alcohol use, he had a date with a woman he had seen a few times. When he initiated intercourse with her, his erection was almost back to the level of firmness that it had been with Barbara.
As dated this woman more consistently, his erections became reliably better, although he noticed that during weeks when he had a moderate amount to drink, they were not as good.
Even though Dan did not believe he was a problem drinker, for him, drinking was a problem. Ultimately, Dan decided that at age 55, he was going to have to choose between having his old relationship with booze or having a decent sex life. He chose the latter.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests moderate drinking: no more than two drinks a day for men and one drink a day for women. The liver can only break down the amount of alcohol in about one standard-size drink an hour, so drinking more than that creates toxins from alcohol that might build up in your body and affect your organs, including those involved in sex.
It’s also possible that combining alcohol with E.D. drugs like Viagra can impede the drug’s efficacy. So don’t think that you can cheat by drinking a lot and then taking E.D. medications.
It might be time to seriously re-evaluate your alcohol consumption, in order to have a healthier, livelier, sexier life.
Posts by Dr. Aline Zoldbrod
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