Get Your Mojo Back: Natural Libido Enhancers – Part 2
Nutritional and Lifestyle Causes
Unfortunately, not many traditionally-trained physicians consider nutritional components as a cause of low libido. However, more and more research points to gut health playing a major role in your health overall, and in your sexual health for sure. It is in the gut, where the nutrients for natural libido enhancers are absorbed.
One major fact that points out nutritional deficiencies as a cause of low libido can be seen in the fact that while post-menopausal women make up only 13 percent of the population, they take 30 percent of the drugs prescribed in the U.S. Prescription medications are notorious for causing nutritional deficits. Too little nutrition leads to low libido.
Some of the common prescription medications that lead to deficient nutrition include:
- diabetes med
Lifestyle habits can be natural libido enhancers. Drinking that glass of wine, can lead to increased desire for sex. But too much alcohol leads to low libido. Smoking can also decrease arousal for sex.
Excess fatigue from caring for young children or aging parents can take away your desire for sex.
Birth control pills have been said to lower sex drive also. This is a debate among medical professionals. Some believe the pills should take away the fear of getting pregnant and thus should increase sex drive.
Some symptoms of nutritional deficiency include:
- weight loss
- decreased immune system
- memory loss
Interestingly, many of these symptoms are the same you’ll see in AFS. All of them, in both conditions, can lead to low libido.
Certainly, any time a woman is depressed or anxious, libido will be low. Interest in and thoughts of sex are the last thing women with these conditions are concerned with.
In addition, to what may be called typical psychological causes of low libido, we have to think about relationship issues, as well. If the relationship between a woman and her partner is not going well, she will not be interested in sex. The sense of intimacy that needs to be there, in a good relationship, may be temporarily depressed. In this case, there may be thoughts of sex, but the act is not consummated. Poor communication, loss of trust in the other, lack of connection with the partner are all relationship difficulties that interfere with libido.
Stress can be a cause of low libido as well. In our society, stress is everywhere. Job stress, financial pressure, stress due to raising children, the stress of taking care of older parents, stress from environmental toxins all take a great toll on libido.
Addressing Low Libido and Natural Libido Enhancers
When considering natural libido enhancers, it’s important to adopt the appropriate viewpoint. Too many conventionally-trained physicians look at the body as a collection of organs to be approached individually. A much more comprehensive approach is seen in the NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) model of stress response. This model is more likely to lead to successful handling of the root issues behind low libido because of its insistence on viewing the body as a set of interconnected and interrelated systems. In the case of low libido, stress is one of the major causes. The hormonal system is affected greatly with too high levels of estrogen and too low levels of progesterone and testosterone. With increasing, and continuing stress, thyroid function slows, resulting in weight gain around the middle of the body. This then leads to issues with the metabolic system, especially the gut. Problems with the gut lead to lowered immune function and increased inflammation. The interaction of these systems leads to symptoms that include low libido. In order to have optimum intervention results, all these systems must be considered at the same time. Some other symptoms result from dysfunction in the neuro-affective system. Depression, anxiety, insomnia, and foggy thinking all originate in this system as it responds to the symptoms in the other systems. The symptoms, that come from stimulation of these systems, are those seen in AFS. They also are very similar to those seen in women with low libido from any of the other causes discussed above.
Medication Approaches to Low Libido
Dealing with low libido in women typically is approached first by prescribing medications. This choice is one made by conventionally-trained physicians who don’t consider natural libido enhancers.
Medical interventions, of this nature, typically have the highest risk of adverse side effects. They also may be the most costly in the long run. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is the most common way of dealing with low libido. It’s usually quick and fairly intense, but also leads to the most serious side effects. The risk of any of the several types of cancer, is high. This has been shown in several research studies.
Many healthcare professionals are reconsidering the use of HRT because of the increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer, blood clots, and heart disease.
Estrogen therapy is probably the most frequently used medication approach. One of the side effects of this therapy is a resulting estrogen dominance that significantly reduces testosterone and lowers libido. Oral estrogen, such as that prescribed for HRT, can lead to increased SHBG, and thus lower testosterone. Low libidois a result. This being said, Bioidentical hormone replacement ( bHRT), using estrogen along with testosterone, can also be considered.
Lifestyle Changes for Low Libido
Rather than resorting to medication as a method of treating low libido, changing your lifestyle is a better choice. It is one of the natural libido enhancers that shows good results with few, if any, unwanted side effects.
Changing your lifestyle is a low risk way to deal with low libido. However, it requires the most self-discipline. Because of this requirement, chances of failure are relatively high. What typically happens if failure occurs is you start off with high expectations, hit a plateau in your changes or fall back into old habits, then you feel guilt and low self-esteem. This then pushes you to give up trying.
But, some relatively simple lifestyle changes can lead to great benefits in changing hormone levels to more balanced and effective levels. This reduces the symptoms of low libido, AFS, and increases overall health.
Diet is one of the best lifestyle changes you can make. Eating healthy and balanced diets will go far toward your goal of natural libido enhancement. Fill your diet with fruit and vegetables and drink plenty of water daily.
Increase foods that contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These foods will help you balance your hormones.
In addition to diet, exercise is another key to naturally enhancing your libido. Yoga is an excellent exercise to help achieve this goal.
In every way possible, reduce stress in your life. Your body’s response to stress is a natural thing, but it sets in motion a cascade of responses that can lead to symptoms of AFS, which include low libido among many others. Resolve conflicts you may have in your life, make the active choice to enjoy whatever you do at work, keep your thoughts and speech positive in spite of the negativity around you in the world, do what you can to help others, and remember your spiritual self in the way you choose.
© Copyright 2017 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.