The case of the missing libido
Did you used to enjoy a healthy sex life but now are more interested in sleep? Did you have a strong libido when you were younger (or before the kids arrived) but now you’re just not that interested in sex? Does it feel like a chore? Do you WANT to enjoy it but you’re just too overwhelmed by all the other responsibilities in your life?
You’re not alone. I’ve been there so I totally get it. When I was in my 20’s to mid 30’s I LOVED sex. I couldn’t get enough of it. But then between the job, the house, caring for older parents, getting sloppy with my eating and not working out, along with high stress levels, the weight started to pile on. And the bigger I got, the less I was interested in sex. Some of that was body image issues, although my husband never seemed to care about the weight gain. A lot of it was stress and my inability to cope with it effectively as well as my out of control hormones.
There are three main causes of low libido in women. Disregulated cortisol, thyroid and estrogen. Any one or a combination of the three can send your sex drive running for the hills.
I talked at length about what happens when cortisol gets out of whack here. In a nutshell, when you’re under acute stress (such as almost getting into a car accident), your adrenal glands (located just above your kidneys) release cortisol. Cortisol helps you cope in an emergency … think of being chased by a saber-toothed tiger. Your body is meant to release cortisol in this manner. The problems arise when you’re under chronic stress … you know … juggling children, parents, spouse, job, etc., etc., etc. and never taking time for self care. When cortisol keeps flooding your system you become wired and stressed and then it wears itself out. Levels plummet so you end up exhausted and the last thing on your mind is sex. You just want peace and quiet and sleep.
So how do you lower cortisol? The best ways are 1 or 2 squares of dark chocolate or raw cacoa powder in your smoothie or hot chocolate, the supplement phospathidylcholine, the adaptogen rhodiola and fish oil. These are in addition to a healthy, clean, anti-inflammatory diet consisting of predominantly vegetables, some fruit, lean proteins and some non-glutinous grains and approximately 2L of water every day. The other critical treatment is self-care. Whether it’s a weekly hot bath, girlfriend time, meditation or belly breathing, taking time out just for you is critical. It may seem like you’re shirking your responsibilities but in the long run, everyone will be happier if you take care of yourself first and foremost. A good friend of mine is a huge self-care advocate. Please visit her at www.resilientista.com for tips and tricks on how to take care of yourself. She just released her 2017 planner, which is so much more than just a calendar. I use it to make sure I’m on track with my life.
Another cause for missing libido is low thyroid. Twenty percent of North Americans have undiagnosed low thyroid. If your TSH level is over 2, you’re classified as subclinical. Most of the medical field does not recognize this as being a problem until you’re over 5. As you can see, there is a huge disconnect. How do you know if your thyroid is sluggish? You may experience mild depression, hair loss, weight gain and of course a missing sex drive.
What can you do for low thyroid? Coconut oil, vitamin D, copper, zinc, selenium and small amounts of iodine all help boost your thyroid. Other than adding a tablespoon of coconut oil to your daily diet, please consult a natural healthcare professional before supplementing with the others since too much copper, zinc, selenium and iodine can cause other health problems. Shoulder stands are an excellent addition to your self-care routine.
Estrogen … our little Diva hormone … can also cause libido issues. We are supposed to use the estrogen then process it through the liver then excrete it. When your liver is congested due to too many demands on it, estrogen recirculates in your body and wreaks havoc. Too much estrogen contributes to endometriosis and hormone-dependant cancers such as breast, ovarian and uterine. But not to fret, there are ways of getting your diva under control.
Beets are an amazing liver tonic, helping to detoxify excess estrogen. Whether in the form of juice, raw, roasted or steamed, beets are a powerhouse food. Fibre (35-45 grams per day, not per week) also helps to rid the body of estrogen. Fibre helps keep your digestive system moving and your bowel movements regular, allowing your body to excrete excess hormones. DIM ((Di-Indoly Methane) is a phytonutrient (plant nutrient) found in cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, bok choy, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, kohlrabi, rutabaga and turnip and helps remove excess estrogen from the body. It’s best to have them slightly cooked rather than raw since they are goitrogens and can interfere with your thyroid.
These are not the only reasons for a low sex drive but they are the main ones. Antidepressants and birth control pills can also cause low sex drive. Ironically, both too much and too little estrogen are also culprits as is low testosterone which is the main sex drive hormone.
So what else can we do to help rev up our sex drive? Meditation (known as self care), vitamin D, MACA and exercise (also known as self care) are all important things you can do.
I am always here to help in any way I can. You can contact me by email or ask to join the Sexy Steppers Facebook group where I provide a safe place for women to ask questions and talk about their sexual health and wellness challenges.
Wishing you an amazing day!
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