Erections are the result of a combination of blood vessel and nerve
function, brain stimuli and hormonal actions. When there is interference
or interruption of any of these functions, impotence results.
Impotence may only
happen once, occasionally or it may be recurrent. In any case, there
are a variety of factors (including both physical and psychological)
that can influence impotence.
Some examples are:
alcohol, cigarettes, a history of sexually transmitted disease, peripheral
vascular disease, chronic illness such as diabetes or high blood pressure,
hormone disturbances and atherosclerosis.
In addition, the
Association for Male Sexual Dysfunction sites in excess of 200 drugs
that may cause impotence. The list includes: antidepressants, antihistamines,
antihypertensives, diuretics, narcotics, sedatives, stomach acid inhibitors
and ulcer medications.
According to Traditional
Chinese Medicine, impotence is the result of a deficiency of kidney
essence and a subsiding of fire from the gate of life.
As well, fear,
anxiety or the descent of heat dampness can impair heart and kidney
functioning and cause impotence. The goal of treatment is restoration
of these systems.