Are you suffering from a low sex drive? Do you find it hard to get aroused? Do you have a problem getting and maintaining an erection? Do you feel exhausted and fatigued all the time? A lot of these issues are related, and most of them are symptoms of a deficiency in your diet, or an underlying condition. The good news is that you can address a lot of these symptoms with a few simple lifestyle changes.
Sex drive is important, for both men and women. A man's desire to have sex is related to his testosterone levels. Having sex produces more testosterone in men. A man's testosterone levels are directly related to his desire for sex. Women aren't as dependent on testosterone for their libido, but still need it.
Testosterone: What You Need to Know
Testosterone is a hormone that is produced in your testes and adrenal glands. Your adrenal glands produce a precursor to testosterone, called androstenedione.
Testosterone is responsible for your sex drive and many other things, like your hair growth and muscle growth. Testosterone is also responsible for your libido, your motivation, your drive, your strength, your energy, your mood, your aggressiveness, and your ability to focus.
Testosterone levels in men tend to dip when they hit their mid-twenties. This is largely because your testosterone levels are dropping. You may find that when you hit your thirties, you don't have the same energy levels, the same motivation, the same sex drive, or the same focus that you used to have in your twenties.
For some men, this creates a low sex drive. A low sex drive can make it difficult to get and maintain an erection, also known as erectile dysfunction.
What Causes a Low Sex Drive?
There are many things that can contribute to a low sex drive. Stress, depression, poor sleep, alcohol consumption, recreational drug use, and caffeine consumption are some of the biggest contributors. Smoking is also a major contributor, as are prescription drugs. For men, there are several lifestyle changes that can help increase their sex drive.
Let's break these down to help you determine which changes you can make in your life. By identifying the cause, you can better work towards a solution.
Stress is a common cause of a low sex drive, especially for men. Stress increases cortisol levels, which are responsible for telling the body to produce other stress hormones. When stress gets out of hand, it can lead to irritability, anxiety, and depression, which are all symptoms of a low sex drive. The good news is that there are many different ways to reduce stress.
Meditation has been shown to help reduce stress. Exercising, spending time in nature, and even getting a massage can reduce stress. Most people need at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. Our bodies were made to move. By reducing stress, you can help increase your sex drive.
2. Poor Sleep
A lack of sleep is also a common contributor to a low sex drive. When you're tired, you don't have as much energy, and that makes it harder to be aroused. There are some lifestyle changes that can help improve your sleep. Exercise early in the day, and only in the morning. This will help you sleep better at night. Also, avoid caffeine, alcohol, and smoking in the evening. These things can all cause you to wake up in the middle of the night. Alcohol is the worst for this. Avoid it before you go to bed, and you'll have more energy during the day, and better quality sleep at night.
3. Alcohol Consumption
Alcohol is a depressant, and it also contains a lot of sugar. Sugar is a big contributor to a low sex drive for both men and women. Try to reduce the amount of alcohol you consume, and limit your sugar intake. This can help you feel more energy, and it can help improve your sex drive.
If you smoke, try to quit. Smoking is one of the worst things you can do for your health, and it's also a big contributor to a low sex drive. Smoking reduces the amount of oxygen that reaches your brain. When your brain is in low oxygen, you have less energy, and it's harder to be aroused. Smoking also raises your blood pressure, raises your heart rate, and reduces the amount of oxygen in your blood. All of these factors contribute to a low sex drive.
Quitting smoking will benefit you in many ways. Not only will you feel more energy, but your sex drive will increase. Your testosterone levels will also rise, and you'll be at lower risk for certain cancers.
5. Lack of Exercise
Exercise improves circulation, and increased circulation is a big factor in a high sex drive. Exercise also increases the amount of oxygen in your blood. When you're more aroused, your blood pressure and heart rate both go up. This is a good thing, because it means more blood flow to all of your body. Exercise can also help you sleep better at night, which means more energy during the day, and an increased sex drive.
6. Lack of Food
Your body needs food for energy. If you don't eat enough, you'll have less energy, and that makes it harder to be aroused. Try to eat at least 3 meals a day, and one small snack. This will help you get the energy you need to stay healthy and have a high sex drive.
7. Too Much Food or Obesity
If you eat too much food, it can cause your blood sugar to rise too high. This can cause your insulin levels to rise, and it can lead to a low sex drive. When your blood sugar is too high, it makes you tired and your energy levels drop. To avoid this, try to limit how much sugar and carbohydrates you eat. Try to stick to the low and medium glycemic load foods, and avoid high glycemic foods.
Obesity is another thing that can lead to a low sex drive. When you are overweight, it can lead to health problems, which can make you feel less energetic. It also makes you more self-conscious about yourself, which can also affect your sex drive. If you're overweight, try to lose weight through diet and exercise.
Lifestyle Approaches for Increasing Sex Drive
In general, it is important to have a healthy lifestyle with a good diet, exercise, adequate sleep, and socializing, as these factors can all positively affect a person's mood and sex drive.
For most people, the most effective way to increase sex drive is to treat any underlying medical problems that might be causing the low sex drive. If you are taking prescription medication, ask your doctor if it has any side effects that may be affecting your sex drive.
If you are having chronic pain, a lack of sex drive can be a side effect of many painkillers. If you are taking a medication that is decreasing your sex drive, your doctor may be able to change your medication or prescribe a different medication that will not have this side effect.
Sometimes, the cause of a low sex drive is an underlying medical condition. These may include neurological disorders, hormonal conditions, low hormone levels, or chronic pain. If your doctor suspects that an underlying medical condition causes your low sex drive, he or she should refer you to a specialist.
A specialist can conduct tests to determine if any medical conditions might be causing your low sex drive and can recommend treatments that will address those medical conditions and increase your sex drive.
If you do not have any underlying medical conditions and your doctor is unable to find any other causes for your low sex drive, several non-medical treatments can be very effective.
Non-Medical Approaches for Increasing Sex Drive
When a person's sex drive is low, it can be very frustrating. Low libido can cause a significant decrease in the quality of life for the person with low libido and for their partner. Feeling sexually frustrated can make it more difficult to achieve a satisfying sex life, which can make the problem worse, creating a vicious cycle.
The following non-medical approaches can be quite effective for increasing a person's sex drive, and often they are a good first step.
1. Horny Goat Weed has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine to increase libido. Horny Goat Weed contains a chemical called Icariin, which has been shown to increase the levels of two important sex hormones, testosterone, and Luteinizing Hormone (LH). Testosterone is important for a healthy sex drive in both males and females. LH is one of the most important hormones in the entire body. In males, it stimulates the testes to produce testosterone.
2. Maca is an herb that is native to the Andes Mountains of Peru. It has long been used as a natural remedy for treating sexual dysfunction, including low libido. The active chemical in Maca is Macamides, which has been shown to improve sexual function, including increasing sexual desires.
When to See a Physician
If you are having severe symptoms of low sex drive, such as a complete lack of interest in sex, there is a possibility that this is not a physiological problem. In these cases, it is often best to seek the advice of a physician, especially if you have chronic pain or a diagnosed medical condition. A doctor will be able to perform a physical examination and run tests to rule out any underlying medical conditions that may be causing the low sex drive.
This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical or other professional advice. Your specific circumstances should be discussed with a healthcare provider. All statements of opinion represent the writers' judgement at the time of publication and are subject to change. Phoenix and its affiliates provide no express or implied endorsements of third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products, or services.