As different as they sound, the development of varicose veins (men and women) and erectile dysfunction (“E.D.” in men) are often of the same origin. Having one or both of those issues may signal underlying nervous system damage caused by metabolic inflammation. Fortunately, nonsurgical, non-pharmaceutical answers may help both of these health issues.
What is The Autonomic Nervous System?
The Autonomic Nervous System is the central coordination system of all your organs, hormone production, inflammation control, and blood pressure regulations. This system may be damaged by physical trauma such as a concussion, but it may also be silently damaged in a number of ways, including intense emotional trauma, metabolic injuries (pregnancy, adverse drug reaction, chemotherapy, radiation), or inflammatory injuries (COVID, vaccine reaction, heat stroke, intestinal bacterial overgrowth).
The Autonomic injury may happen in a single trigger event or may happen over time from the accumulation of smaller, seemingly harmless events, with each building on top of the other in a process called cumulative brain injury.
The problem isn’t so much that the injuries occur. The problem is that the brain cannot repair the damage because of an underlying form of stress called chronic inflammation. The term inflammation is used when the immune system becomes activated. It should be activated over the short term to repair tissue or fight an infection. Once these issues are resolved, the inflammatory reaction should turn off. Unfortunately, the immune system of many individuals has difficulty shutting off, resulting in a state referred to as chronic inflammation.
What is Chronic Inflammation?
Chronic inflammation results in the persistent release of inflammatory chemicals from the immune system called cytokines. The excessive release of cytokines prevents stem cells and other restorative mechanisms from repairing damage in the brain and body.
When the Autonomic Nervous System is damaged, various symptoms may arise. They can arise from either the Sympathetic branch (“fight or flight” function) or the Parasympathetic branch (“rest and digest” function).
Parasympathetic damage may cause heartburn, bloating, constipation, and bladder dysfunction. The parasympathetic branch also regulates inflammation in large part via the vagus nerve. Therefore, damage can contribute to developing chronic inflammatory conditions such as autoimmune disorders (psoriasis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and rheumatoid arthritis). Additional issues include chronic joint or muscle pain, eczema, and a variety of peripheral nerve issues loosely referred to as neuropathy.
The Sympathetic branch controls how blood vessels dilate or contract. Good dilation is key to pumping blood from the lower extremities when someone is sitting or standing upright. Not surprisingly, symptoms arising from Sympathetic damage often involve abnormal blood vessel function and suboptimal blood pressure in the brain and surrounding muscles.
The most common symptoms of Sympathetic dysfunction are lightheadedness, dizziness, headaches, neck tightness, poor concentration, and fatigue. Erectile dysfunction and varicose veins are also symptoms of poor blood flow and abnormal blood vessel (i.e., veins) dilation. This occurs due to damage to the Sympathetic branch.
What Causes Varicose Veins and Erectile Dysfunction?
Varicose veins of the legs most commonly occur when the brain cannot stimulate the blood vessels to constrict when people are standing or sitting for prolonged periods. Over time the leg veins become so dilated the valves fail to function. Additionally, the veins balloon even more, and varicose veins appear. Surgeries or procedures that remove or re-route a damaged leg vein do not correct the underlying damage to the Sympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system in the brain. They also fail to address chronic inflammation in the body.
Yet conversely, lowering chronic inflammation in the body will allow the autonomic nervous system to repair itself. This improves varicose veins because the nervous system can constrict the blood vessels more correctly.
Erectile dysfunction is commonly due to the brain’s inability to control blood flow into the corpus cavernosum of the penis. Poor penile blood flow regulation results in erectile dysfunction. Medications for erectile dysfunction, such as Viagra® or Cialis®, help improve blood flow problems caused by the same autonomic damage that causes varicose veins.
So, What To Do?
If you have either varicose veins or erectile dysfunction, you have underlying autonomic nervous system damage that was not repaired because of chronic inflammation. Fortunately, advances in treatments to reverse chronic inflammation make it possible to repair autonomic damage even if the original injury was decades ago. Once repaired, the autonomic nervous system can properly regulate blood vessel constriction and lead to the improvement or reversal of erectile dysfunction and varicose veins.
I am a classically trained internal medicine physician from UCLA, and my private office is located in Phoenix, Arizona. My research background has been focused on the Autonomic Nervous System, brain metabolism, and metabolic inflammation.
I now use this training and experience to reverse disease by inducing the nervous system and organs to repair themselves. I accomplish this by normalizing inflammation, improving natural brain repair and rejuvenation mechanisms, and using vagus nerve stimulation.
Call Me Today!
For more information on autonomic nervous system recovery, you may call my office at 623-208-4226 or learn from my website, screencasts, and blog at www.nemechekautonomicmedicine.com. To receive our monthly articles be sure to both “Like” and “Follow” Nemechek Consultative Medicine on Facebook.
© 2023. Dr. Patrick M. Nemechek and Jean R. Nemechek. All Rights Reserved.