Erectile Dysfunction and the Effects of Caffeine, Alcohol and Cigarettes


Having a high intake of caffeine can affect your blood glucose levels, which causes adrenal fatigue. Your adrenal glands, which are situated just on top of the kidneys, are an integral part of the endocrine system, and are responsible for producing a number of different hormones, including the stress hormone cortisol, and the sex hormones estrogen and testosterone.

Excess caffeine causes the adrenal glands to secrete more cortisol, and increased cortisol levels have been shown to cause blood sugar imbalances, higher blood pressure, and increased abdominal fat.

Caffeine also stimulates the adrenal glands to produce adrenaline, the hormone responsible for our “fight or flight” response. As the effect of the caffeine wears off, and you reach for more caffeine to stay alert, this causes the adrenal glands to work overtime, and causes adrenal fatigue. The more the adrenals are stimulated, the less they are able to respond to further stress and their output of sex hormones decreases.

Loss of libido is one of the symptoms of adrenal fatigue. Other symptoms include exhaustion, sleep problems, excessive perspiration, depression, anxiety, low blood sugar levels, weight gain, digestive problems, sugar cravings, a weakened immune system and a decreased tolerance to stress.


Consumption of alcohol acts as a depressant on a person’s nervous system, and once in your system, it dilates the blood vessels in the penis. Although this is not an issue in achieving an erection, it actually counteracts the mechanism the body uses to keep blood in the penis. So alcohol prevents your body from being able to maintain an erection.

Excessive alcohol can also damage the nervous system by affecting the signals between the brain and the genitals. When this process is disrupted, it can affect whether a man is able to achieve and maintain an erection that is sufficient for intercourse. Research has shown that this damage can be irreversible even after the alcohol abused as stopped.

Frequent consumption of alcohol can also inhibit sexual desire, and can lead to a drop in hormone levels, and if testosterone levels decrease, sexual desire and the ability to achieve a healthy erection will be reduced as well.


Nicotine is an enemy of the arteries. It is a vasoconstrictor, which means it tightens blood vessels and restricts blood flow. In the long term, it has been shown to cause permanent damage to arteries. Since a healthy erection depends on blood flow, it follows that smoking can lead to weaker erections. Many studies have confirmed this, and in one study published in 1986 in Addiction Behavior, it was shown that just two cigarettes could cause softer erections in male smokers. These results have been corroborated by a definitive study published in June 2001 that looked at all studies done on impotent men over the last two decades. The research showed that 40 percent of men affected by erectile dysfunction were smokers, as opposed to 28 percent of the general male population. This seems to suggest that there is a definite link between smoking and erectile dysfunction.

Source by Norman Freed

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