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Alternative Treatment for Peyronie's Disease


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By Theodore R. Herazy, DC, LAc, Dipl. Ac.

There is a large and silent epidemic of Peyronie's (pay-row-NEEZ) disease occurring right now among men all over the world.  This is such a significant problem because no one knows (and may never know) how big a problem Peyronie's disease (PD) is for men.   PD is a medical condition that is surrounded with unknowns:  there is no known cause, no accepted medical treatment, and there is no specific pattern of illness since it is extremely variable from one case to the next.  For all these reasons, and the fact that it is extremely resistant to treatment, it has been called "the doctor's nightmare".  

PD is a serious health problem of unknown origin affecting the penis, characterized by the presence of a nodule of scar tissue, called a plaque, under the skin along the shaft of the penis.  Sometimes there is one plaque and other times there can be several, causing the penis to bend painfully, often leading to erectile dysfunction and impotence.  To understand the bending of the penis, imagine a small piece of tape that is stuck to a balloon, and is then blown up.  The balloon will bend in the direction of the tape because it will prevent full expansion of the balloon.  The mechanics between a balloon with a piece of tape on it and the Peyronie's scar along the shaft of the penis are very similar.

Peyronie's disease was described in 1743 by Francois Gigot de la Peyronie, a noted French physician and surgeon, and the personal physician to French King Louis XV.  He described a strange problem shared by three men with "rosary beads of scar tissue to cause an upward curvature of the penis during erection."  Over the last 375 years there has not been a great amount of information gained about PD, compared to other disease and illness. 

Four Centuries of Mystery 

PD defies study and research because it sometimes just disappears without any treatment, and each case of PD can be wildly different than most others.  The many variables within any case of PD prevent any meaningful measure to create an average case for comparison. 

Sometimes the disease appears gradually and is hardly noticeable, and other times it starts suddenly with a great pain and huge bend in the penis. Sometimes it starts after a minor direct injury, and sometimes no injury or contact can be recalled.  Sometimes hereditary factors are present, and sometimes none at all.  Sometimes there is evidence that an autoimmune disorder might be the cause of the problem, and in other cases not at all.  Sometimes there is one scar, sometimes several, and sometimes there is no scar that can be felt although there is slight to great curvature and distortion of the penis.  Sometimes the scar is soft, sometimes the scar is hard, sometimes the scar cannot be felt, sometimes the scar circles the penis and creates an hourglass deformity, and sometimes the scar becomes calcified like a bone.  Sometimes there is no pain, sometimes slight pain, sometimes great pain.  Sometimes the curvature is minimal, and sometimes the penis can bend around like a cane or twist like a corkscrew.  Sometimes the disease just disappears in the early stages of development never to return, other times it recurs several times, and sometimes it just never goes away.  Everything about the course of the condition is variable, making it rather impossible to know if, or when, a treatment is having any effect on the problem.    

Treatment of Peyronie's Disease: Quiet Desperation

Most men who develop PD are amazed that so little is known about such a life-altering condition and that there is so little information about successful treatment.  For many men, having PD is an exercise in learning to ignore the problem since there are no known treatments within traditional medicine.     

While many drugs and therapies have been studied, all research has resulted in inconclusive and contradictory results.  Within all this contradiction, three different therapy directions have emerged:

Drugs: To date there is no "proven" drug treatment for PD, owing primarily to a lack of understanding of the cause and progress of the disease.  Many different drugs have been studied by researchers, such as verapamil, collagenase, various steroids, and calcium channel blockers, but all are still considered unproven. 

Surgery: Surgery has been called the only approved treatment of PD, although the usual comment is that it results in "some" success with PD.  Because of limited success it is best used as a last resort when pain or impotence become extreme.   Because of the theory that the plaque of PD often results from trauma, men often resist surgical scar removal, fearing that more scar tissue will result directly from surgery. 

Alternative Medicine: Because of lack of reproducible success treating PD with usual medical methods and techniques, alternative and complimentary medicine methods are becoming more popular due to the following reasons:

  1.     Same or better success in treatment of PD than standard drugs.

  2.     No side effects.

  3.     Safety of naturally occurring substances that increase immune response and support the health of local tissue to allow repair to occur. 

  4.     Easily available without prescription.

  5.     Low cost.

  6.     Can be used in conjunction with other treatments and therapies.

For more information on the PD related topics below, be sure to log in to to read the rest of this article:
  • Not a Matter of Luck

  • Conservative Treatment Supports the Ability to Heal

  • A Simple Success Story about PD

  • Peyronie's Disease Institute (PDI)

  • Tips for Alternative Treatments for PD


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