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No matter how far we come in our society, there will always be those who will try to capitalize on human suffering. They run scams that promise quick fixes and meet the needs of the people who seek them, such as lower costs and suggested “natural” ingredients. At best, the products don’t work. At worst, they contain ingredients that are potentially hazardous and create more serious problems for the patient than they had before. ED treatment scams are very prevalent due to the sensitive nature of the condition.

The scammers know that many men with ED are hesitant to talk about it or see a doctor, so they will often look for things they can do at home, allowing them to avoid the awkward conversations. In fact, it has become such a problem the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has published warnings about ED scams. According to the report, some natural supplement ED products contained ingredients that included prescription drugs like sildenafil (active ingredient in Viagra) or substances that were similar – and this were not disclosed on the packaging.

Here’s how to spot a fake and what you need to do.

Analyze the Ad.

Email ads are a common way for the scammers to get under your skin. They exploit the sensitive nature of the topic and play on the embarrassment and discomfort that many men have discussing their ED. They know well the anxiety and depression that typically accompanies the condition and they use it to their advantage.

The wording sounds authentic, maybe even warm and understanding, but it is often a ploy to play on your emotions, to make you feel safe. Here are some common claims made by ED scammers, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

  • No prescription needed – There are no identified cures for ED that don’t require a prescription or medical intervention.
  • It is a “breakthrough” – If it is, your doctor should know about it. Talk to your health care provider to determine the product’s legitimacy.
  • Endorsed by a medical organization – What is the “medical organization?” Can you find any information on it? Many products will cite fake institutes and clinics to make their products appear to be back by the medical community. Chances are, that medical organization does not exist.
  • It is scientifically proven – If the ad makes claims about scientific proof or cite clinical studies, research it. Look at the studies yourself or ask your doctor about them. One isolated study does not mean a product is effective. Legitimate medications and treatments go through years of rigorous testing and multiple trials before they are approved for the market. There’s a reason for that.
  • It is all natural – It is a big red flag if a product is labeled as “all natural” or “herbal.” At this time there has not been a natural substance identified as an effective ED treatment.

Do your homework. Before clicking that button, do a little research on the product, ingredients, endorsements, and studies cited.

Pay attention to the ingredients.

Go to the product’s website and look at the list of ingredients. There should be a photo of the actual label. If the website does not list the ingredients, stay away.

Harvard Health published a report listing some of the more common ingredients in popular ED natural products.

  • DHEA
  • Fenugreek
  • Gingko biloba
  • Ginseng
  • Horny goat weed
  • L-arginine
  • Maca
  • Tribulus
  • Yohimbine

Keep in mind that just because a product is “all natural” it does not mean it is without risk. Some can cause serious health problems for people with certain conditions. For instance, Yohimbine has been associated with headaches, hypertension, insomnia, agitation, and sweating. L-arginine should not be taken by men with heart disease or who are at risk for heart disease. The popular supplement gingko biloba has been linked to serious side effects like seizures and headaches.

Some supplements are fine but take them with caution. Natural supplements have very little regulation, so they are not even required to post warning labels. Your best bet is to talk to your doctor and do some research yourself.

It works – but at what cost?

There is a great possibility that some ingredients, natural and otherwise, contained in ED supplements could be dangerous, even deadly. An article published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine addressed these concerns. It analyzed the ingredients in the most popular supplements marketed for men’s sexual health.

It found that many have harmful side effects, and some could even result in death.

So, where do you go from here?

The best thing you can do is talk to your doctor about your ED. He or she can help you find a treatment that is effective as well as safe.

If you are experiencing ED and are looking for a safe treatment that works, contact ARC Men’s Health. Our caring, knowledgeable, compassionate doctors and staff will discuss your options with you to find a treatment that is right for you, such as our acoustic wave therapy treatment. Call today to schedule your consultation.

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