Peyronies: Disease of the Penis?

Peyronie’s disease is not a disease

The problem that brings men to this website that is usually commonly called Peyronie’s disease is not a disease of penis tissue, actually.  We continue to use this term only because for hundreds of years it has been commonly associated with this problem we share, but it is not accurate.

A disease refers to an altered condition of the body that is associated with extreme pain, significant and limiting organ or system dysfunction, social problems, and even death.  Further, a disease is typically acquired by means of indirect or direct contact or transmission from one person to another.  While there are many definitions of what constitutes a disease, the above definition is universally acceptable.

Let’s consider each element of what constitutes a disease, point by point.

1.    Peyronie’s disease seldom causes extreme pain, and sometimes no pain at all – does not fulfill definition.

2.    The genitourinary system of which the penis is only a part continues to function carrying urine in all cases, and has reduced sexual function in about half of the cases – does not fulfill definition.

3.    Society is not affected by a Peyronie’s curved penis that plays havoc with the man who has it in the way that diseases like the flu or measles, alcoholism, syphilis and tuberculosis  do – does not fulfill definition.

4.    Lastly, it is not communicable.  It is not possible to catch Peyronies from someone else or pass it on to another person  – does not fulfill definition.

5.    Peyronie’s disease is not fatal, except to some couple’s sex life – does not fulfill definition.

You will notice that throughout the PDI website and blog I often refer to this problem as a “condition.”  More clinically accurate names that were taken from the Peyronie’s Disease Institute website:

1.    Indurato penis plastica

2.    Penile fibrosis

3.    Penile fibromatosis

4.    Penile induration

5.    Chronic cavernositis

6.    Fibrous sclerosis of the penis

7.    Fibrous cavernositis

8.    Fibrous plaques of the penis

Peyronie’s syndrome

Some people use the term Peyronie’s syndrome to refer to this problem, but technically that is also not a correct way to refer to Peyronie’s disease.

A syndrome refers to a typical group of several essential and clearly recognizable clinical signs, symptoms and characteristics that often occur in association or together, creating a picture or profile of a recognizable clinical condition.  In an actual syndrome the presence of one feature, sign or symptom will alert a doctor to the possibility a particular syndrome might be present.  Once this is established, the doctor will automatically look for other features, signs and symptoms that normally occur with it within the profile of that suspected syndrome. If additional typical findings are found, a diagnosis of that suspected syndrome can be made.

Peyronie’s syndrome is not a valid term because the characteristics, signs and symptoms of Peyronies are actually too few, and seldom present a customary group of features that suggest this particular health problem.  By usual medical standards the few symptoms and signs associated with PD are actually vague and sometimes are totally missing. Since there are typically only three such standard findings associated with Peyronie’s disease (penis pain, penis curvature, presence of the common Peyronie’s plaque or scar), this group is not  large enough to strongly suggest this condition, hence Peyronie’s syndrome is not a good term to use.

Disease of penis not fair to either party

Many times I am asked how I would suggest telling a woman about Peyronie’s disease.  The first thing I say is, “You want to be fair and accurate when you tell this new woman you have just met about your problem. For this reason do not tell her you have a ‘disease.’  PD is not a disease, so do not create a problem for her or yourself that neither of you deserve.”  I then go on to explain that to be most accurate and honest requires that you describe what is wrong with you, avoiding the term “Peyronie’s disease.”  Simply say, “I injured myself a few years ago, and now I have an excess of internal scar tissue that has caused some penile curvature.  I am not as straight or large as I was before this scar material developed, but I am otherwise very healthy. Do you have any questions about what I have just said?” Then answer her questions honestly and forthrightly.  I have never met a man who has gotten into trouble or lost a woman in a new relationship if he offers this type of description of his problem.

You do not have a disease of penis tissue so do not frighten her or create problems where none should exist.

If you wish to learn more about this condition usually called Peyronie’s disease, or Peyronie’s disease treatment, please review our website and blog for additional information.

Difficulty Swallowing Many Peyronie’s Vitamin Pills

Can’t easily follow Peyronie’s disease vitamin plan

It’s sometimes difficult to swallow a solid substance without first chewing it; you feel like you are working against a protective instinct. This is made worse when there are many such solids to swallow. Nonetheless, it is often necessary to swallow 4-18 pills several times a day as part of the Peyronie’s disease vitamin plan you have created to assist your recovery over PD.

Frustration grows when you can’t easily take many pills in your Peyronie’s disease vitamin plan because you hesitate or gag. There are different useful strategies to get over this hurdle. I have never met anyone who cannot get over this problem if they work at it.

Since pill swallowing will likely remain a required skill until you correct your Peyronie’s disease, approach a pill swallowing problem from several angles using old and new tricks:

1. Practice with common food. Swallow mini candies, or small bites of food, without chewing to simulate pill taking. Deliberately think about and feel the sensation of having chunks of solid food sliding down your throat; get comfortable with that feeling; focus on how easy it is to be relaxed when you swallow pieces of cooked vegetables or meat that are actually larger than the pills that make you uncomfortable.

2. Put 1-4 pills in your mouth. Keep them there while you carefully go through a few small chewing motions – do not actually chew on them to avoid a nasty taste. After you have satisfied the need to “chew before swallowing,” immediately drink some water as you swallow the pills already in your mouth. You will thus fool yourself into the idea that you have chewed what you want to swallow.

3. Take pills one at a time to avoid overloading your gag reflex.

4. Drink a large glass of warm water BEFORE taking your Peyronie’s disease vitamin plan. This will relax your throat muscles and make taking the actual pills easier.

5. Sip a cold, carbonated beverage (sparkling water, lemon-lime soda) straight from the bottle when swallowing a pill.

6. Spray or gargle with an over-the-counter topical anesthetic (normally used for sore throats) before swallowing.

7. Take a deep breath and hold it in, before putting the tablet in your mouth; some say that this can suppress gag reflexes.

8. Place the pill on the back of your tongue, drink some water, tilt your chin down toward your chest, and swallow.

9. Put the pill on the tip of your tongue, drink some water, tilt your head back, and swallow.

Combining some of the above ideas could yield a remedy for you, but if none of them help you should really consider some larger issues.

The fact is your throat operates as part of a complex system. While it may seem you have an extraordinarily strong gag reflex or odd throat mannerisms, consider that it may actually be the power of your mind, not the power of your throat. Try to psych yourself out with this pill swallowing mantra — “I can swallow this…I can see the pill going down.”

Or, perhaps not being able to swallow pills has something to do with a past event. If you are unusually tense about pill swallowing from something that happened in your childhood, it makes sense for it to surface when you try to swallow a pill again. Did you choke on a raisin many years ago? Did a school nurse with dirty hands force you to take a pill? You may be subconsciously dealing with issues such as these every time you swallow an aspirin or vitamin. Fear of choking, fear of medicine, or general anxiety may be preventing you from swallowing pills. If you think these mental factors are to blame, you might consider talking with a counselor.

While it seems unlikely, the possibility of a greater medical issue does exist. The medical term for difficulty swallowing is dysphagia, and the term is often used with regard to a disorder of the esophagus. Keep in mind, though, that if you can swallow your food without trouble, your esophagus is probably fine.

This is an important issue to address because you cannot allow trouble swallowing your Peyronie’s vitamin pills to prevent you from achieving success over your PD.

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Help Peyronie’s Disease Treatment with One Simple Idea

Early Peyronie's treatment experimentation

In the early phase of experimenting with my own Peyronie’s disease treatment in 2002, I saw only slight improvement.  With so little helpful information available at that time, I was forced to constantly experiment on myself based on my reading and research.  My double-curve was only slightly better after a few months of using a wide variety and a great amount of different natural therapies.  I was discouraged because I was not sure i would be able to figure out how to get the Peyronie’s help I needed.

About this time two important things happened that would change everything for me.

The first was that I began to notice that while my curvature did not change at all in the early part of care I noticed that my Peyronie’s plaque or scars were not only changing, but changing often and in different ways.  The penile curvature did not change but the scars were very active. I began to notice that the size, shape, density and surface features of each scar would change – sometimes a lot – sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse – every few days.   This was a fascinating and frustrating observation that I had never read or heard about while doing a great amount of investigation into Peyronie’s disease. I thought I was the only one whose scars changed so much, because in all my reading I had never read about rapid and significant scar changes.

This was the unique discovery about PD in 2002 that I was the first to make:  Not only do the size, shape, density and surface features of the Peyronie’s scar change, but they change on a frequent – sometimes almost continuous – basis.  Realizing that the scars were changing made me think differently about Peyronie’s disease; as a result I had to re-evaluate my early Peyronie’s disease treatment ideas.

The second thing that happened was my wife made a brilliant observation about my scars in relation to what I was eating.  I would discuss my scar changes with my wife because I was fascinated that so much change could take place often in just a few days.  One day, after making yet another report to her about my scars getting worse again (after showing improvement for several days), she casually told me, “You know, it seems that whenever you eat ice cream your scars get worse.  You said your scars were softer and more difficult to find a few days ago.  You had a big bowl of ice cream last night, and now your scars are hard again and easier to find.  I noticed the last few times you ate ice cream that two or three days later you complained about your scars getting bad again.  Maybe you should stop eating ice cream for a while and see what happens to your scars.”

Well, like any husband, at first I thought she was wrong.  But when I began to experiment with her ice cream theory, I saw to my amazement that she was correct.

This led to a series of other direct observations that changes in the size, shape and density of the PD scar are often in relation to what I was eating.  It also led to my second important discovery:  By observing for changes in the size, shape, density and surface quality of the PD scar, it can be “used” to act like a guide to determine what is good and bad for that person’s Peyronie’s disease.

Help Peyronie’s treatment: compare to scar

If you want to help Peyronie’s treatment be more effective you must learn to measure your treatment efforts against changes in your PD scar.  All treatment must be evaluated to learn if your scar responds favorably to it.  In order to do this you must know how to determine and record the size, shape, density and surface feature of each scar.  This very important topic is discussed in detail in “Peyronie’s Disease Handbook” – in addition to other important topics.

Don’t guess with your Peyronie’s treatment.  Know what makes your scar get better or worse.  Use that critical information to guide you to your best level of recovery of which you are capable.

Detoxification during Peyronie’s Disease Treatment with Neprinol

Consequence of systemic enzymes like Neprinol for Peyronie’s treatment

When using any of the systemic enzyme products (Neprinol, Nattokinase 1500 or Fibrozym) in a Peyronie’s disease Alternative Medicine program, it is not uncommon to go through a detoxification reaction.   Avoiding a detoxification reaction, and what to do if you have one, is the reason anyone who orders these particular products receives specific suggestions for their use.

Any of these systemic enzymes will destroy foreign fibrin in the body, regardless of the location of the fibrin material.  Over time as Peyronie’s plaque and fibrin is destroyed the greater the problem for the body is to eliminate the fibrin protein break-down products and tissue debris.  Like when you clean the attic – you must  find a way to get rid of all the accumulated junk.

When starting to use the systemic enzymes in a Peyronie’s disease treatment plan, this can amount to a flood of break-down debris that possibly can overwhelm the ability of the liver and large intestine for removal.  The end result is often nausea and diarrhea that are caused by this “housecleaning” that performed by the systemic enzymes.

Besides being no fun, the nausea and diarrhea problems that detoxification causes will also make absorption of nutrients more difficult and inefficient.   It is difficult for the body to absorb nutrients through the bowel wall while diarrhea is taking place.  For this reason I suggest that you stay at an enzyme dose high enough to just border on digestive distress (light occasional diarrhea and nausea, but definitely controllable), but less than having bad out-of-control problems.  This way you are attempting to still push for the benefits of detoxification without losing nutrients because your system is in a state of irritation from toxic overload.

Peyronie's treatment personal and specific for the individual

There is no one who can tell you the exact dosage to go about detoxification without developing a lot of diarrhea; you have to figure out how to do it; no one can do it for you. I suggest you not stay on a constant or level dose of enzymes.

Let’s say you wish to try a 6/day dose of your enzymes (either Neprinol, Serrapeptase or Fibrozym).  I suggest you start at 3/day and over a 7 day period slowly work your way up the level you wish.  If you notice a slight case of diarrhea starting, drop down to one less pill per day for a few days but do not totally stop taking the enzyme because you then interfere with your body’s tendency to adapt to and tolerate that product.  After a few day go back up to the dose that had caused a little diarrhea and you will likely have no problem.

As an option for those who want to take – as an example – 6/day of a systemic enzyme consider this effective variation.   Play with that 6/day dose by taking 5/day and 7/day on alternate days; or even 4/day and 8/day on alternate days.  This way, on the high days you are pushing yourself for detox but this is followed by a day of relative “rest” with the lower dose of enzymes so that you your gut does not stay irritated for a long time. This method also has the advantage you are not stopping your program; you are staying with it but modifying it for maximum benefit to you.

If you are taking these enzyme products you might consider trying this pattern of taking them for a few weeks.  I found I was experiencing toxic overload when I was taking about 12/day of Neprinol in addition to other systemic enzymes.  I did this higher/lower pattern and it really seemed to help.  Eventually I got to the point I could take up to 18/day of Neprinol with no problem at all.  This higher level of systemic enzyme therapy can be a little complicated, but it was definitely worthwhile for me.

Drugs Can Cause Peyronie’s Disease: Beta blockers & PDE5 inhibitors

Prescriptions drugs that start Peyronie’s disease

The cause of Peyronie's disease remains unknown.  However, among the more commonly suspected causes are injuries as during intercourse, penile trauma as during a difficult catheterization procedure or surgery, genetic predisposition, or a problem of the immune system.

Because medical Peyronie’s disease treatment is also poorly defined, with no standard drug receiving formal approval, one must wonder about the drugs that are currently being prescribed by medical doctors for their Peyronies patients.

Several prescription medications list Peyronie's disease among the potential side effects.  While no formal research exists that proves these medications cause Peyronie's disease, presumptive evidence and frequent patient complaints of strong association with these drugs supports these as possible causes.

  1. 1. Beta Blockers – These are the most common medications in popular use that list Peyronie's disease as a potential side effect.  Beta blockers is a class of drugs used for various indications, but particularly for the management of cardiac arrhythmias, protection of the heart after a myocardial infarction (heart attack), angina pectoris, atrial fibrillation, cardiac arrhythmia, congestive heart failure, glaucoma, migraine prevention, mitral valve prolapsed, and hypertension (high blood pressure). They tend to diminish the effects of epinephrine (adrenaline) and other stress hormones in the body, thus reducing cardiac demands.  If you have ever been treated for any of these conditions, and were treated with a beta blocker, this might explain a current case of Peyronie’s disease. Commonly prescribed beta blockers:

Acebutolol                  Alrenolol                     Atenolol
Betaxolol                 Bucindolol                     Carteolol
Carvedilol                   Celiprolol                    Esmolol
Labetalol                    Metoprolol                  Nadolol
Nebivolol                    Penbutolol                  Pindolol
Propranolol                Sotalol                        Timolol

  1. Interferon – This prescription medication is used to treat multiple sclerosis, leukemia, and hepatitis.  Its manufacturers list Peyronie's disease as a possible side effect.
  2. Dilantin – This is a well established anti-seizure medicine, also reported by its manufacturers as a potential cause of Peyronie’s disease.
  3. PDE5 drug group (Viagra, Cialis, Levitra) – this is a group of inhibitor drugs that block an enzyme process of the smooth muscle cells lining the blood vessels supplying the corpus cavernosa of the penis.  As a result of this influence, these drugs act to increase blood flow in the penis in response to sexual stimulation.   The maker of each of these three drugs advises that men with Peyronie’s disease should consult with their doctors due to possible adverse effects on the penis.

The bottom line concerning all these drugs is that every one of them has side-effects and related ways of complicating the problem of someone who is already sick.  Drugs should be used with great reserve and discretion, and avoided if at all possible.

Once PD is present and a man learns that there is no known medical treatment available, he should consider using Alternative Medicine for Peyronie’s treatment options.  This is an option that the Peyronie’s Disease Institute has researched and developed since 2002, with considerable success.