Caffeine is a chemical found in many food items and in a number of well-known medicines as well. It does have some benefits and also has side-effects on a person’s health.
To discuss the effect of caffeine on sexual health and erectile dysfunction first we need to understand the phenomena or erectile dysfunction.
Erectile dysfunction is also known as impotence is a serious health condition in males.
It is sexual dysfunction characterized by the inability of a man to achieve or sustain an erection.
An erection problem is considered erectile dysfunction when a male frequently has an incidence of difficulty during erection, however, the occasional loss of erection that subsides after stimulation or relaxation doesn’t fall within the category of erectile dysfunction.
What are the physiological events behind erectile dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction occurs when the blood flow to the penis is compromised.
The sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems control erection.
In a none stimulated state, the penile muscles are in contracted form and the walls of blood vessels in penile tissue are also constricted. This vasoconstriction reduces blood flow.
When a sexual stimulus is initiated it gives rise to a sequence of events, first of all, the brain perceives the stimulus, and an impulse is sent to the muscles and blood vessels walls that relax the penile musculature and arterial walls. This vasodilation increases the blood flow to the penile tissue and an erection is possible.
Causes of erectile dysfunction:
Keeping the physiological events into consideration it is quite clear that anything that can reduce the blood flow to the penile tissues is a cause of erectile dysfunction.
The causes include cardiovascular problems, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, drug abuse, obesity, medication overuse, diet e.t.c.
What is Caffeine:
Caffeine is a central nervous system simulator drug. It’s also called a psychoactive drug because it activates the brain and keeps a person awake for a prolonged time.
What contains caffeine?
There are a number of food items that have caffeine in an adequate amount to cause insomnia.
Coffee, tea, energy drinks, chocolate do contain caffeine but in a controlled amount to not cause harm to the consumers.
Caffeine is also widely used for medical purposes that is why many drugs are based on the mechanism of caffeine. Methylxanthine is the class of drug for caffeine and used as an over the counter medication for problems with alertness and excessive drowsiness.
It is also a constituent of pain killer drugs.
How much caffeine can a person take safely?
200 to 400 milligrams of caffeine a day is considered safe depending on the health condition of the consumer.
In Australia, 75% of people take 60 to 100 mg of caffeine per day in the form of coffee or energy drinks. Some people take as much as 300 mg per day.
Side effects of excessive caffeine intake:
When taken more than the recommended dose of 400mg, caffeine can cause serious problems.
Most of the problems are long term in case of frequent high doses.
The problems that arise are as follow,
- Sleep disorders
- Gastrointestinal irritation
- Chest pain
- High blood pressure
- Increase heart rate
- Increase breathing rate.
How does caffeine intake affect erectile dysfunction?
Recent researches have revealed that caffeine intake can lead to an improvement in erectile dysfunction. Caffeine enhances the ability of a person to erect by improving circulation and by enhancing the effect of erectile dysfunction drugs.
When blood flow to the liver is increased the metabolism of drugs and its action also becomes faster.
Medicines for erectile dysfunction in Australia.
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