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
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.
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.
Centuries of Mystery
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.
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.
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.
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:
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
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
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:
Same or better success in treatment of PD than standard drugs.
No side effects.
Safety of naturally occurring substances that increase immune response
and support the health of local tissue to allow repair to occur.
Easily available without prescription.
Can be used in conjunction with other treatments and therapies.