Erectile Dysfunction and Dupuytren’s disease, also known as Dupuytren’s contracture are two separate medical conditions that impact different areas of the body. Despite their physical differences, recent research has identified a surprising link between these two issues. This article delves into the potential causes, symptoms, and treatments of Erectile Dysfunction and Dupuytren’s disease while exploring the intriguing association that ties them together.
What is Erectile Dysfunction? Erectile Dysfunction is a male sexual disease that is characterized by the persistent incapability to achieve or hold onto an erection long enough for satisfactory sexual activity. It can affect older men, younger men, and even teenagers. Erectile Dysfunction may result from a combination of physical, psychological and lifestyle factors.
- Chronic Health Conditions: Conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and obesity can impair blood flow within penile tissues and nerve function, leading to difficulties in achieving and sustaining erections.
- Neurological Disorders: Diseases which affect the nervous system, such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease, can disrupt the transmission of nerve signals necessary for proper erectile function.
- Hormonal Imbalances: Testosterone hormone is very important for males. This hormone primarily regulates sexual cravings in men. Low testosterone levels can contribute to Erectile Dysfunction by reducing sexual desire and damaging the physiological processes necessary for strong erection.
- Medications: Certain medications, including antidepressants, antihistamines and blood pressure medications, have been identified as some potential ED factors.
- Psychological Factors: Stress, anxiety, low self-esteem, low confidence, depression and relationship issues can contribute to the development of Erectile Dysfunction by impacting sexual desire and arousal.
Common Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction:
The most obvious symptom of Erectile Dysfunction is the inability to obtain or sustain an erection. Other common symptoms of ED may include reduced sexual desire, trouble achieving arousal and feelings of embarrassment or low self-esteem due to unsatisfactory sexual performance.
Understanding Dupuytren’s Disease:
Dupuytren’s disease or Dupuytren’s contracture is a progressive hand condition which impacts the connective tissues beneath the skin of the palm and fingers. The exact cause of Dupuytren’s disease remains unknown due to the lack of enough research and studies, but certain risk factors have been identified.
- Genetic Predisposition: Dupuytren’s disease has a hereditary component and the chances of getting this disease increase if any family member in the past ever had any sort of connective tissue disorders.
- Age: This issue is more prominently diagnosed in individuals over the age of 50. But it can occur at any age group of men.
The knowledge on the causes of this issue is still relatively low as mentioned above. But researchers are on it and they are constantly trying to learn more about this disease. Hopefully, in near future we will be able to understand this issue better.
Common Symptoms of Dupuytren’s Disease:
Dupuytren’s disease usually occurs with small nodules or lumps forming under the skin of the palm, which may not cause any pain at first. Over time, as the disease progresses, cords of tissue start to develop. It causes fingers to bend inward toward the palm. Some of the known common symptoms of this issue are given below:
- Painless nodules or lumps in the palm or fingers.
- Gradual thickening and tightening of the connective tissue, which lead to finger contracture.
- Difficulties to fully extend the affected fingers.
- Progressively increasing difficulty in doing everyday tasks that involve using the hands.
The Link between Erectile Dysfunction and Dupuytren’s Disease:
The exact connection between Erectile Dysfunction and Dupuytren’s disease is still not known properly but it is predicted that the connection between these two diseases lie in the shared association with collagen. Collagen is a protein which provides structural support to various tissues of the body, including penile tissues and connective tissues of hand. Excessive amount of this protein can cause both Dupuytren’s disease and Erectile Dysfunction in men. The exact mechanism is still relatively unknown.
Treatments for Erectile Dysfunction
Medicines: Oral medications are the most commonly prescribed medicines for this issue worldwide. Such medicines like Viagra, Cialis and Levitra work by increasing blood flow in the penis.
Vacuum Pump: Vacuum pumps for Erectile Dysfunction are pretty effective and non-invasive treatment procedures. These pumps create suction and this suction generates erections by drawing blood into the penis. A constriction ring is then used to hold the erection.
Treatment of Underlying Medical Conditions: Issues like diabetes, high cholesterol, and hypertension can worsen erectile function. Managing these conditions is a must in order to improve Erectile Dysfunction.
Shockwave Therapy: Shockwave therapy for ED is a relatively new treatment procedure and it requires no surgical interventions whatsoever. It utilizes low-intensity sound waves to increase the blood flow in penis and promote the growth of new blood vessels. MansMatters, a UK-based men’s health clinic, claims that shockwave therapy for Erectile Dysfunction is extremely safe and probably the best treatment anyone can get right now. MansMatters provides a range of other non-invasive treatments as well for male sexual issues, such as EMTT therapy, Tesla Chair, and NanoVi EXo.
Penile Implants: Surgical treatments such as penile implants are only considered when ED is too severe and there is no other way to treat the condition. These implants are very effective in generating erections. But natural erections can’t be obtained through these implants. Oftentimes, patients who take this approach, suffer from various side effects.
Treatments for Dupuytren’s Disease
Non-Surgical Treatments: Injections of collagenase and steroids are the most frequently used to treat this condition. These injections break down the constricted tissue and lessen inflammation and symptoms. Dupuytren’s disease can also be effectively treated using shockwave therapy. Shockwave therapy for Dupuytren’s contracture can dissolve the plaques using special sound waves to enhance the blood flow.
Surgical Treatments: If Dupuytren’s disease progresses to its subsequent stages, then surgical procedures may be required. Some of the more common surgical therapies for the illness are, fasciectomy, fasciotomy and dermofasciectomy.
Both Dupuytren’s disease and Erectile Dysfunction can pose massive challenges in the day-to-day lives of men. Although both Dupuytren’s disease and Erectile Dysfunction may seem completely unrelated at first look, some sort of connection between these diseases does exist. The research on this subject is still ongoing and hopefully, in the coming years we will have a better understanding on the association of these two issues.