Each year nearly 30 million men between the ages of 40 and 65 develop symptoms of erectile dysfunction. Impotence in men is not a normal issue, and it is usually due to another issue.
Erectile Dysfunction is generally a symptom of a larger biological or mental health issue.
While it is a treatable condition men should not just look for a treatment of this condition. They should also focus on what body system is out of balance and is triggering the sexual dysfunction in the first place.
One of the most overlooked causes of erectile dysfunction is thyroid disease.
Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction and thyroid condition:
- heart disease
- lack of regular exercise
- poor diet
- prescription drug side effect
- insomnia and
- other mental factors.
One of the most important yet ignored organs in the body is the thyroid gland. This butterfy-shaped organ helps maintain optimal body function, and is linked to many health issues in men.
In this article you will learn what your thyroid gland is, and why it is so critical to your overall health and well-being. You will also learn how your ED or other bedroom problems may be linked to an over or under active thyroid and what treatment options are available to you.
What is the Thyroid Gland?
Let’s start by discussing the basic issue…what is the thyroid gland? The thyroid gland is a small butterfly-shaped gland that sits in the base of your neck lying against and around the larynx and trachea. In men, the thyroid gland is in front of the Adam’s Apple. The thyroid gland maintain your overall health, yet is often overlooked as the culprit in many health problems.
The thyroid releases a hormone, called Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH), in response to signals from the pituitary gland. This hormone communicates with every other hormone in the body to ensure your hormones and body are working properly. The most important TSHs are are tri-iodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4).
Do you have Thyroid Disease?
The thyroid is like the lead on a construction project. It needs to tell everyone what to do, but it gets its orders from the pituitary gland. This is why it is vitally important to understand thyroid disease and thyroid problem symptoms.
Thyroid regulates the following functions:
- normal developmental growth from infant to adulthood
- controls energy produced and used by the cells
- regulates stress hormones and is
- responsible for production of sex hormones.
If the thyroid produces too little TSH, a condition called Hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid, this can lead to sluggishness, weight gain, memory loss, depression, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and erectile dysfunction in men.
On the flip side, if the thyroid produces too much TSH, this is called Hyperthyroidism or an overactive thyroid. This can lead to rapid weight loss, nervousness, confusion, rapid heart rate, inability to regulate body heat, fatigue, and premature ejaculation.
Why is thyroid disease frequently missed
Studies show that women are 7 to 10 times more likely to be diagnosed with thyroid disease than men, but still millions of men are walking around with an undiagnosed thyroid condition. A blood test to check for Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) is the most common method to diagnose thyroid disease.
Researchers moved the goal post of “what is a normal TSH range,” which is a major contributor to missed diagnosis of an over or under active thyroid. In 2003, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) revised the “normal” TSH range to 0.3 to 3.042 from 0.5 and 5.0. This modification left millions of people who actually have thyroid disease as now untreated. This is due to being called “normal,” when in fact they may have a less severe case of the thyroid disorder.
A proper test battery should include identifying levels of the following:
- Free T3 and T4,
- thyroid antibodies
- thyroid releasing hormone (TRH), and not just TSH.
Only then can a doctor really identify if the patient has a thyroid disorder.
Common Symptoms of Thyroid Disease
Symptoms of Hyperthyroid Disease
1. Hyperthyroid Disease (overactive thyroid)
- Sudden weight loss, even when you have not changed your diet
- Rapid heartbeat (tachycardia) — commonly more than 100 beats a minute — irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) or pounding of your heart (palpitations)
- Increased appetite
- Nervousness, anxiety and irritability
- Tremor — usually a fine trembling in your hands and fingers
- Increased sensitivity to heat
- Changes in bowel patterns, more frequent bowel movements or diarrhea
- An enlarged thyroid gland (goiter), which may appear as a swelling at the base of your neck
- Fatigue, muscle weakness
- Difficulty sleeping (Insomnia)
- Dry skin
- Hair loss
- Premature ejaculation
- Erectile dysfunction
- Memory loss
- difficulty swallowing
2. Hypothyroid Disease (underactive thyroid)
- Increased sensitivity to cold
- Dry skin
- Unexplained weight gain
- Muscle weakness/fatigue
- Elevated blood cholesterol level
- Muscle aches, tenderness and stiffness – especially in the neck
- Pain, stiffness or swelling in your joints
- Thinning hair/hair loss
- Slowed heart rate
- Impaired memory
- Erectile Dysfunction
- Delayed ejaculation
Study on Thyroid Disorder and Erectile Dysfunction
The first groundbreaking study that linked hyper and hypo thyroid disease to erectile dysfunction in men, was done in 2005 by the Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism.
The study included 48 men with sexual dysfunction (34 with high thyroid function and 14 with low thyroid function). They were tracked for 16 weeks, once at 8 weeks and again at 16 weeks. Test subjects were screened to determine how thyroid disease resulted in common male sexual dysfunction conditions. This is particularly – hypoactive sexual desire (HSD), erectile dysfunction (ED), premature ejaculation (PE), and delayed ejaculation (DE).
Study confirmed Erectile Dysfunction
The study confirmed that erectile dysfunction was present in over 50% of the test subjects with hypothyroidism, meaning men with an underactive thyroid, yet only 7% had instances of premature ejaculation.
Conversely, male test subjects with an overactive thyroid only had an occurrence of ED 14.7% or nearly identical to the general male population with impotence, but 50% of this group had instances of premature ejaculation.
This shows that men with an overactive thyroid may produce an abundance of the sex hormones or sensory hormones when aroused, and thus achieved climax and ejaculation rapidly, or faster than their partner achieved climax.
While the findings concur that male sexual dysfunction can be related to a thyroid disorder, I do not concur that prescription medication, which treats symptoms and not the root cause is always the best course of action.
- Iodine deficiency is one of the main components of thyroid disorder.
- Take a natural product to boost iodine levels before using a prescription product that may come with unpleasant or dangerous side effects.
- Natural Thyroid Replacement Therapy is a popular natural treatment to regulate thyroid hormone levels.
- Eat a diet high in natural iodine rich foods, and eliminate foods known to interfere with proper thyroid function.
- Add a regular diet program.
Ken Weiss is a health blogger who is passionate about natural and holistic cures for men’s health issues. He is the founder of menshealthcures.com