Feel like you have no libido–as if it’s in hibernation or something?
You’re not alone!
I love talking on the blog about how libido is so much more than just physical–how it’s spiritual and emotional, too. And I totally believe that! And over the years I’ve given tons of tips on how to keep your head in the game and how to feel more “in the mood”.
But this last week I’ve been devouring some information that’s new to me about how the problem may simply be a physical one–and that’s good news, because it means that there are things you may be able to do to fix it!
When we lose our libido, we often wonder if there’s something wrong with the marriage. Why don’t I get turned on by my husband anymore? But maybe it’s simply that your hormones aren’t working properly, or you’re just too tired and achey. And that, my friends, has cures! Let’s take a look together.
Why Is Your Libido Sub-Zero?
I’ve been devouring the information in the Ultimate Healthy Meal Planning Bundle for the last few days. It’s a collection of 83 amazing resources, including ebooks, online courses, printables, and more, that can help you figure out how to live a healthier, more abundant life. It can teach you about real food, about making non-toxic cleaners, about making non-toxic beauty products, about going to a paleo diet if you want, or about how to start addressing food allergies.
But what I’ve been focusing on is all of the resources on hormones, because I never really understood this stuff.
Today I want to share with you what I’ve learned from three primary resources: Natural Hormone Balance Guide for Women, the Healing Hormones course, and the Perfect Periods course. They’re great–and I’m not even finished going through all the courses yet. I’m just taking notes like crazy!
The Healing Hormones course is subtitled, “No, you’re not crazy!” It’s for all those women who wonder why they’re so tired and stressed and achey and can’t figure it out. To you, today, I’d say: “No, you’re not frigid!” To all those of you who wonder why you have zero libido, there may be a simple answer. You may simply have an imbalance, and that’s good news. Because that can be fixed!
What is “Libido”?
Libido is the desire to have sex and the ability to enjoy it. For women, it’s highly dependent upon how we feel about our relationship, because brain studies have found that when women are aroused, the relationship and feeling centers of the brain light up (for men it’s different areas). But it’s not only that. It’s also largely hormonal. Our “sex” hormones (progesterone, testosterone, and, of course, estrogen) prepare the body to want and enjoy sex. Estrogen “lubricates” everything. Testosterone gives us desire. Progesterone regulates all of that. So when something is out of whack, you’re going to want chocolate more than sex. It’s that simple.
So let’s look at why!
Could you simply have poor nutrition?
Nutrition is everything. All of the cells in our bodies rely on the proper food to function at tip-top level. And if they don’t have what they need, they’ll be limping along, and they’ll often favour the vital things over the not-so-vital things (sex hormones).
Causes: Even people who look healthy can have poor nutrition! If you don’t get enough healthy fats, for instance (like coconut oil, avocados, fish, nuts), then your body will crave them. Even if you eat what looks like it’s healthy, like a vegan diet, your body could be crying out for things it’s missing, like protein. If you’re busy and you’re always grabbing food on the go, you could have some serious deficiencies.
Solutions: Eat lots of fiber! Add healthy fats to your diet. Eat more protein. Eat far fewer refined sugars, because they can cause “leaky gut”, which stops the intestine from absorbing nutrition.
Could you have adrenal fatigue?
Our adrenal glands work overtime in producing hormones. But the adrenals like to play triage: they look at certain deficiencies as “Defcon 5” and will work to fix those first. And one of the hormones our bodies really need is cortisol. It gives you energy, and regulates everything else in your body on sort of a time schedule (your bowels, your sleep, your energy, your digestion). But it depends on this 24 hour clock.
Causes: Our bodies work on a clock. So light=daytime. Eating protein=energy, it’s time to wake up! Eating carbs=it’s time to rest. That’s an oversimplification, but that’s roughly how it works.
Here’s something absolutely HILARIOUS I read in the Natural Hormone Balance Guide for Women. Dr. Kellogg was a bit of a quack. In the 1800s he started a sanitorium to help people deal with lust and masturbation. And one of his main “cures” was this neat cereal that he had developed that you eat with milk. You see, this big carb intake would lull the body into a contented, placid state, and then you wouldn’t feel the urge for lust anymore.
Well, Dr. Kellogg found out that people LIKED eating this cereal, and soon it became the breakfast staple everywhere.
So let’s look at our modern lifestyles: we get up before it’s light in the winter, feed our bodies massive amounts of carbs in the morning, and then keep our bodies up at night with artificial light. And we confuse the heck out of them!
Again, there’s more to it than that. But if your body is working overtime to produce cortisol, then your adrenals will get tired and won’t produce sex hormones as much.
Solution: Eat protein for breakfast, and avoid heavy carbs (like cereal, toast, and bagels). Wake up to natural light, or get lightbulbs in the winter that mimic it. Stay away from blue light at night. Keep carbs for dinner time. Stay away from caffeine, which confuses everything.
Could you have low progesterone?
Progesterone balances estrogen and regulates the metabolism. It’s made primarily in the ovaries, but also in the adrenal gland (and if you’re perimenopausal or postmenopausal, then you’re REALLY relying on that adrenal gland!).
Causes: If your adrenal glands are working overtime, you’ll likely have less progesterone. Also, if you’re producing TOO MUCH estrogen, then you’ll likely produce less progesterone, leading to a real imbalance.
Solution: Do everything above to regulate nutrition and cortisol. Stay away from beauty products with lots of chemicals, especially shampoos and body washes. Choose things like the Diva cup or cloth sanitary pads instead of disposable ones, because they can artificially introduce a weird chemical that mimics estrogen and can mess everything up. Do some moderate exercise four times a week. Try some essential oils, especially clary sage (that one’s helped me a lot!)
Could you have low estrogen?
The Healing Hormones course lays out so well what low estrogen does to us sexually–we can have painful sex, very little lubrication, and low desire.
Causes: Age decreases estrogen, so being perimenopausal or menopausal can hurt us. Having other imbalances, as above, can also affect estrogen.
Solution: Have sex regularly! (the more you do it–the more hormones you produce! Libido is use it or lose it!). Avoid caffeine. Don’t overexercise. Add lots of ground flax seed to your diet. And add some supplements. There are so many creams and capsules that you can take to help with low estrogen that are really safe.
Could you have low thyroid function?
When your thyroid isn’t functioning really well, it tends to “bind up” the sex hormones, leaving them unable to be properly used. And then, when thyroid production is low, you start producing fewer sex hormones, too. It’s a vicious cycle.
And some studies have shown that MOST people have at least mild hypothyroidism.
Causes: When your cortisol levels have been out of whack for a LONG time, this eventually affects the thyroid.
Solution: Avoid soy. Throw seaweed into your soups and stews! Stay away from broccoli and kale, but throw in lots of Vitamin C and Vitamin E. And no smoking!
But how do I know what I have?
I know. When we start to read all this stuff, we think: “I’ve got EVERYTHING!” But don’t worry; that’s likely not true.
Here are two simple approaches:
- Eat well, with good nutrition, avoiding processed foods, caffeine, and too much refined sugar. Try to eat properly to a 24-hour schedule. Do that, and no matter what the problem is, you’ll likely start to fix a lot of it.
- Take the Perfect Periods self-assessment quiz (it’s in lesson 3). I found this super helpful. And it gives you a huge list of “action steps”, including lifestyle adjustments, food adjustments, and even supplements you can take depending on what your issue is. I’ve listed some solutions here for these issues, and most of them are found in the Perfect Periods course. But she’s got so much more in it!
I know this is a LOT of information, but I find it really empowering. If you can figure out what’s triggering some of the ill-effects in your body, then you can stop it!
And wouldn’t that be worth it?