Dr. Oz reads an e-mail from Dennis—a 56-year-old brave enough to discuss his problem over the phone.
"I had erectile dysfunction, had been to the doctor, and he says it comes with age. I'm 56 years old and not satisfied with that answer. I wonder what caused it in the first place and how can it be cured. He had me try one of the popular erectile dysfunction drugs, and I didn't think it made much of a difference," Dr. Oz reads. "I did smoke for 33 years and quit nine months ago. Not sure what to do next. My wife is a sweetheart. Very understanding. My problem sure can affect how you look at yourself. I want to be strong and positive. However, that's easier said than done."
Age and health do have an effect on erectile dysfunction, Dr. Oz says. "But you don't have to get it," he says. "There are a lot of men—at least 25 percent—who are really, really old who don't have erectile dysfunction."
While erectile dysfunction can be emotionally devastating—or hurt a marriage if a man isn't open about it with his wife—it is even more worrying medically. "Only 20 percent of erectile dysfunction is in our minds, [so] 80 percent or so is physical," Dr. Oz says. "The penis really is the dipstick for male health without any question at all. And if it's not working, it's not just an ego issue—it's a physical health issue."