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Hormone Imbalance: How it's Killing Your Sex Drive

hormone imbalance
Sex.

More and better, am I right?

But it’s all fun and games until you’re choosing to run errands or scrub toilets over sexy time with your partner.

I see both men and women in my practice who describe their sex drive as “non-existent” and feel that they are to blame.

“If I don’t want to have sex with my partner, it’s because something is wrong with me, or we’re destined to live without it.”

I call bullshit.

The majority of people who experience low libido aren’t experiencing personal failings, they’re experiencing hormonal imbalances.

The most common culprits of low libido are imbalances in DHEA, estrogen, testosterone, and cortisol – stress KILLS our sex drive.

There is a possibility that other factors are influencing your sex drive, but if you’re experiencing any of the following, then you owe it to yourself to look to your hormones before accepting abstinence as your fate.

Some signs of hormonal imbalance:

  • Lack of interest in sex
  • Inability to climax
  • Infertility
  • Fatigue
  • Acne
  • Bloating
  • Breast tenderness
  • Irregular periods (timing, flow)
  • Mood swings
  • Rapid weight gain
  • Change in ability to respond to workouts/weight lifting
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

These are only a handful of the signs that show up when hormones are out of whack, and I urge you to dive deeper if you suspect an imbalance is to blame.

Not wanting to have sex is NOT normal.

Not wanting to have sex is NOT your fault.

Okay, now that we have that out of the way, we can work on getting your groove back.

Diet – What to Avoid

The foundation to balance in the body – hormonal or otherwise – is a healthy diet.

It is nearly impossible to maintain healthy biochemical levels when you’re adding sugar, excessive caffeine, alcohol, and processed junk to the fire.

First, extinguish the fire by removing the junk. Sugar and processed food have to go. Sugar and flour can spike insulin, estrogen and testosterone levels.

Coffee can be troublesome for those dealing with chronic stress and cortisol imbalances.

Drinking is also a culprit in hormonal imbalances; so while you’re working to get your mojo back, eliminate all alcohol.

Diet – What to Include

The next step in bringing your hormones into harmony is building them with the right components.

Just like anything else, we need proper nutrients to create, eliminate, and maintain hormone levels in the body.
Choose organic, pesticides can alter hormone levels in the body.

Eat a variety of plants to feed your microbiome, and focus on eating a rainbow to enhance your exposure to different phytonutrients.

Choose wild fish and grass fed meats to avoid synthetic hormones and antibiotics.

IF you eat dairy, it is CRITICAL that you choose organic and grass fed options, as dairy is one of the highest sources of synthetic hormones (this is how they keep conventional dairy cows producing milk after the calf is weaned.)

But even organic milk comes from pregnant cows (hello hormones,) so avoiding dairy is your best bet.

Supplements

Supplements can be a great way to resolve imbalances in the body, and I always recommend working with a Functional medicine professional to identify and monitor those imbalances.

Whole body support:

  • Omega 3 from high quality fish oil
  • B-complex
  • Magnesium
  • Vitamin D3
  • Vitamin C
  • Glutathione
  • Turmeric
  • Probiotics

Cortisol Management:
Adaptogens are amazing in that they adapt to balance the body’s stress response and are helpful in situations with both excess cortisol, and low levels of cortisol.

  • Ashwaganda
  • Astragalus
  • Holy basil
  • Maca root – I blend maca powder right into my bulletproof coffee in the mornings
  • Mucuna pruriens
  • Panax ginseng (great for libido and ED)

Stress Management:
In addition to supplements like adaptogens, there are a variety of ways you can naturally relieve stress levels. Here are some options (that don’t include quitting your demanding job or running away from your responsibilities.)

  • Breathing techniques (check out @the.holistic.psychologist)
  • Meditation
  • Gratitude journaling
  • Exercise (low and slow)
  • Yoga
  • Taking breaks from work and technology

In the bedroom

Change things up and communicate with your partner. Not being able to talk about your desires and needs leads to resentment and frustration, which on top of hormonal imbalance makes a healthy sex life impossible.

  • Make sex a priority
  • Look for subtle clues and feelings and act on them (you don’t need fireworks to initiate and often, getting started is the hardest part)
  • Explain to your partner what you like and ask their preferences in return. Don’t make assumptions on either side of this
  • Focus on pleasure over completion

To wrap things up

Look, there isn’t a magic pill that will open the floodgates of sexual interest and pleasure.

We often have years of dysfunction and imbalance working against us, so it is very important to be patient with your body and to resist the urge to give up.

Try the strategies listed above and let me know how they work for you!

If you’re not seeing the results you’d like, I urge you to see a Functional Medicine doctor to get a clear picture of the root cause.

Once you know the true cause, you can effectively fix the problem to and get your sex life back.

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