How To Treat Erectile Dysfunction Without The Little Blue Pill

Episode 36 40m


Erectile dysfunction is a very common problem among men. In fact, 10% of men under the age of 40 have erectile dysfunction and 60% of men experience erectile dysfunction by the age of 70. When Viagra, commonly referred to as the little blue pill, hit the market in the late 1990s, it opened the door for a conversation about this prevalent issue. And while traditional medicine has focused on targeting erectile dysfunction as a local problem, Functional Medicine recognizes that it is actually a systemic issue, often brought about by our ultra-processed, high-starch and sugar diets.

In this episode, Dr. Hyman sits down with Dr. George Papaicolaou to discuss the Functional Medicine approach to diagnosing and treating erectile dysfunction, and why it is so important to get to the root cause of this issue. George Papanicolaou is a graduate of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and is Board Certified in Family Medicine from Abington Memorial Hospital. He is also an Institute for Functional Medicine Practitioner. Upon graduation from his residency he joined the Indian Health Service. He worked on the Navajo reservation for 4 years at the Chinle Comprehensive Medical Facility where he served as the Outpatient Department Coordinator.

In 2000, he founded Cornerstone Family Practice in Rowley, MA. He practiced with a philosophy centered on personal relationships and treating the whole person, not just not the disease. He called that philosophy “Whole Life Wellness”. Over time as the healthcare system made it harder for patients to receive this kind of personal care Dr. Papanicolaou decided a change was needed. He began training in Functional Medicine through the Institute of Functional Medicine. In 2015, he established Cornerstone Personal Health – a practice dedicated entirely to Functional Medicine. Dr. Papanicolaou to join The UltraWellness Center in 2017.

In this conversation, Dr. Hyman and Dr. Papanicolaou discuss:

  • Why erectile dysfunction is such a common problem
  • The traditional medicine approach to treating erectile dysfunction
  • How Viagra works
  • How stress, pre-diabetes, insulin resistance, and poor metabolic health can lead to erectile dysfunction
  • The role that diet, alcohol, and sleep apnea can have in causing erectile dysfunction
  • Why testosterone drops as we age
  • Why lifestyle, meditation, and exercise can help improve erectile dysfunction
  • Up and coming treatments for erectile dysfunction including peptides, stem cells, shock wave, and exosome therapies


This episode is brought to you by Butcher Box, and Dr. Hyman’s Sleep Master Class. The Doctor’s Farmacy podcast works with a select group of sponsors to allow for ongoing production and allow it to be zero-cost to anyone who wishes to listen to and watch the podcast.

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Host & Guests


Automatically generated. Please forgive any typos or errors in the following transcript. It was generated by a third party and has not been subsequently reviewed by our team.

Dr. George Papanicolaou: See, all the blue pill does is fix that end problem. It fixes that, let's just make sure we get the erection and we maintain it, but there's reasons why we get there. Speaker 2: Hi, everyone just wanted to let you know that this episode contains some colorful language. So if you're listening with kids, you might want to save this episode for later. Dr. Mark Hyman: Welcome The Doctor's Farmacy. I'm Dr. Mark Hyman and that's pharmacy with an F. F-A-R-M-A-C-Y, a place for conversations that matter. And if you're a guy listening to this, or you're a woman who has a guy, you better listen up, because this is about a very common problem. It's known as ED, otherwise known as erectile dysfunction, which..

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Ep. 36 - How To Treat Erectile Dysfunction Without The Little Blue Pill