Have You Lost that Loving Feeling?
Have you lost that loving feeling? Well, you are not alone! Unfortunately, it is a very common complaint among men and women. It is estimated that between 35-50% of women age 45 to 58 and 15-20% of men report a significant drop in sex drive or libido. It is certainly one of the top complaints of my female menopausal patients along with hot flashes, night sweats and mood changes.
10 SURPRISING Causes of Low Libido
- Too much cheese! Cheese contains an enzyme called aromatase that converts testosterone to estrogen. This results in diminishing testosterone levels which is a key part of sex drive for both women and men.
- Sugar Excess- Insulin resistance brought on by excessive amounts of sugar not only drives down testosterone but also reduces growth hormone (GH) production. Researchers have found a direct link between GH, insulin levels and sexual function. Studies show insulin reduces your body’s ability to make growth hormone (GH) thus altering testosterone levels and reducing libido.
- Low Estrogen- Diminishing estrogen reduces vaginal lubrication and thins the genital tissues, both of which can make intercourse painful for some women.
- Stress Excess- When the stress hormone cortisol rises in response to daily pressures, it triggers a domino effect that results in lower testosterone and lower libido. Stress actually alters the physiology of the body and causes a dwindling libido.
- Dehydration- The body is made up of 2/3 water and increasing levels of dehydration causes fatigue, irritability, headaches and vaginal dryness which all put a damper on the libido.
- Fatigue- Not getting enough rest can diminish your libido as well as lead to depression and weight gain which further contributes to the issue.
- Weight gain-Research has shown that obese men struggle with erectile difficulty and that losing just a small percent of weight can help improve a man's sexual function. It is the same for women because being heavier than your ideal weight can lower your energy and keep you from getting into the mood.
- Medications- Certain medications share the common side effect of sexual dysfunction. Medications such as Beta-blockers, Benzodiazepines, anti-histamines and some antidepressants have all been shown to reduce libido dramatically in many cases.
- Popcorn! The bag’s lining of microwavable popcorn contains chemicals like perfluorooctanoic acid which decrease testosterone and has also been shown to affect women's fertility.
- Smoking- Smoking predisposes the arteries to develop atherosclerosis and decrease the rate of penile and vaginal blood flow.
Top Natural Libido Boosters
Maca- Improves overall sexual function
L-Arginine- Increases nitric oxide and genital circulation
Ginkgo biloba- Increases genital circulation and helps to counteract the negative side effects of anti-depressants
Tribulus- Improves overall sexual function
Eleutherococcus- Helps counteract the negative effects of stress while also noted to boost libido
Muira puama- Helps counteract the negative effects of stress while also noted to boost libido
Yohimbe- An alkaloid found in the bark of the West African evergreen has long been known to function as a natural Viagra
Libido Boosting Foods
Figs, bananas and avocados provide important vitamins and minerals that can potentially increase blood flow to the genitals and promote a healthy sex life.
Chocolate has been a symbol of desire not only because of its delectable taste but because of its power to improve sexual pleasure. According to an article published in the South African Journal of Clinical Nutrition, chocolate releases phenylethylamine and serotonin into the human system which can produce some aphrodisiac and mood-lifting effects.