Varicose Veins and Erectile Dysfunction

varicose veins and erectile dysfunction

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 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.
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Patrick Nemechek, D.O.

Patrick Nemechek, D.O.

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May 15, 2019 11:41 am

Hi Dr Nemechek! Sorry for my English, it’s not my language. I am 33 years old, from Europe and 6 years ago due to a traumatism I had a small inflammation in the penis, like a mosquito bite, the diagnosis was that nothing happened, so I did not pay attention. Over time that vein of the penis became big and looks like a thrombus or varicose vein that is causing ED, I can not maintain the erection. Is it possible to reverse the situation after 3 years? Is this related autonomic dysfunction? Is it possible cure a varicose vein that… Read more »

April 11, 2018 10:26 pm

Hi Dr Nemechek,

I have recently been diagnosed with pelvic congestion syndrome, essentially varicose veins in my pelvis. This has occurred following pregnancy. Would your protocol help with this also? Would it typically involve VNS for this type of problem?

December 24, 2017 5:27 pm

Hello Doctor. I am 33 years old and have varicose veins in my left testicle and a very bad case of ED. I have been told by the one doctor I have seen that there’s not much they can do and write me a prescription for viagra and sent me home. viagra does absolutely nothing. I could take 2-3 of them and nothing. So the problem is that once I get a erection and have sex I ejaculate in 20-30 secs and no more. This is driving me crazy. I a pretty healthy guy and I am just looking for… Read more »

June 15, 2017 8:41 pm

Dear Dr Nemechek, I have struggled sexually since quite a young age with very erractic erections. I am now 35 and in the last 2 years, my testicles have atrophied considerably, my penis is covered in thread and varicose veins, my testicles hang very low and generally my genitals look and act as if they have aged 50 years. I have no morning erections and little libido. I have been to many endocrinologists etc and they have identified free testosterone towards the low end of the spectrum, “but not low enough for TRT”. Please could you advise as I have… Read more »

February 23, 2017 10:11 am

Sir I used to have hydrocele and for that I didn’t took any treatment but after few months I felt like I can’t stand for long period of time. After few years it became too bad I didn’t sleep for two nights and dint took food for a day. The I felt a slight ED by that time my age was 18. And I dnt masturbated by that time. but it effected me. now I am 22 it is getting serious as the errection is too low. My normal size of the pennies is also getting smaller. I am from… Read more »

Patrick Nemechek, D.O.
Patrick Nemechek, D.O.
February 24, 2017 1:22 am
Reply to  Anonymous

You need to find someone who can specializes in lowering systemic inflammation.

Read my articles on DHA is Brain Food, another on SIBO, and the last on Chronic Pain is Chronic Inflammation as a third for a general strategy.

Good luck – Dr. N

February 15, 2017 10:31 am

Hi Dr., im from cape verde and im 28 years old. I have E.D., i went to a doctor and he found i have varicocele in testicle. I have week morning woods, and i lose my erection fast if i stop stimulation. I used to have a health sexual function, but now i have low sexual arousal, and problems with maintaining an erection,. Do you think varicocele is the cause of my erections problems? Thanks in advance.

Patrick Nemechek, D.O.
Patrick Nemechek, D.O.
February 18, 2017 3:09 pm
Reply to  Jose

In my experience, autonomic dysfunction is usually the cause of erectile dysfunction in patients with an otherwise normal physical exam and lab work. Even low testosterone levels recover once autonomic function is returned to normal.

January 31, 2017 12:10 am

Dr. Nemechek, Thank you for this article. I also find it very convincing. I have been experiencing erectile dysfunction for a little over a year now. The trigger for me was road bicycle cycling which I took up again in July 2015, finally giving up in August 2016. A lack of libido became ED in May of last year when my long distance partner was visiting. It gradually got worse even after quitting cycling to the point now where I have no interest in sex and can’t achieve more than a 70% Erection. I developed very bad bladder issues in… Read more »

Patrick Nemechek, D.O.
Patrick Nemechek, D.O.
February 5, 2017 3:50 pm
Reply to  Ray

Sounds like your gut bacterial balance is off (SIBO) and along with some general dietary issues (excessive omega-6 and deficient omega-3), you have significant enough metabolic inflammation that your autonomic nervous system which controls erections is damage. Having had problems for a while can also add an additional layer of psychological distress to the mix but I find that is often that is relatively mild compared to the autonomic issues. You need an aggressive approach to reduce the pro-inflammatory cytokine levels within the brain. It takes more that popping this or that supplement. A few visits with us will almost… Read more »

October 31, 2016 5:02 am

Hello Dr. Nemechek I have been suffering with ED for several years and i find your explanation as to the cause of ED very convincing and interesting .i live in Melbourne Australia and i have also been looking at having done prolozone treathment for my feet as i have some plantar fasciatis inflammaton as well as some arthrites on my ankle and i have some varicouse veins , now interestingly this ozone tgerapy supposedly helps the body to regeneratestem cells and thus regenerate the cells and help healing ,is this some thing along the same line of your treathment ?… Read more »

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