Many women struggle with libido when their hormones are out of balance.
The most common complaint we get is when women are moving toward peri-menopause, or are past menopause.
The body changes, and this drastically affects our interest in sex and intimacy.
Let’s have a look at some of the forces behind this, and what we can do about it.
Is it really just hormones?
Lost libido can come about for many reasons, and obviously the relationship you have with your partner needs to be looked at first, and couple counselling taken if needed.
However, even if you are single, a lost libido is a sign of hormone imbalance, even if the ramification are not so disruptive.
Here are some hormonal warning signs that may be causing low libido:
Fatigue: This can be a problem for so many reasons – accurate diagnosis is needed to discover the real reasons. The tops driving forces behind fatigue include but are not limited to:
- Low thyroid hormone. Thyroid function declines with age and is prominent at menopause. While this is considered ‘normal’, there are ways to support better thyroid health and age better.
- Nutrient deficiencies. B complex vitamins, iron, magnesium, zinc, all minerals, vitamin D – all can affect your libido in a round a bout way.
- Adrenal stress – again, as a woman approaches menopause, usually in her 40’s, adrenal hormones play the biggest role of her life to date because hormones produced by the ovaries are declining. Adrenal hormones pick up the slack by making DHEA, which is converted to estrogen and testosterone. If you enter this time of life with adrenal stress – and let’s face it, most women do – your body won’t make adequate sex hormones, resulting in hot flashes, irritable moods, period irregularities – and low libido! Only functional pathology done by a naturopath or functional doctor will identify adrenal balance. The best test is a 3-point salivary cortisol test.
I want my SEXY back!
Cerise (not her real name) was a 63 year old lady not happy with simply ‘putting up’ with her health symptoms.
She was retired with 2 adult children, and a great lifestyle.
She was also in a new and exciting romantic relationship (not intimate yet) and was really worried that she had zero libido. She really liked her gentleman friend, he was kind, funny, flattering. But she didn’t feel those butterflies when they kissed, and this worried her.
She had also put on some weight around the middle which she felt was affecting her confidence, and her energy day-to-day was really flat.
In fact, she was relying on coffee to keep herself going, but at night, had terrible sleep.
Let’s look at Cerise’s test results and how we helped her get her sexy back!
Cerise’s main goals around health were to lose weight, gain energy, and have a healthy libido again.
But first we needed to find out the real reason behind the symptoms – was it adrenal hormones, thyroid, diet, or another factor?
She had symptoms of heart palpitations, and mild insomnia, as well as exhaustion, so there could be several at factors at play.
We ran a full panel of testing for Cerise, covering all the hormone markers, food intolerances and nutritional status.
Her results showed active thyroid antibodies and sub-optimal thyroid hormones affecting her energy, mood, and so much more.
Stress affects Adrenals
Due to this thyroid imbalance affecting her entire body, her adrenal hormones were also low.
Cerise needed to help get her adrenals to a better function, as this drain on her hormones was affecting DHEA, another adrenal hormone that we rely on greatly in menopause. DHEA can turn into estrogen and testosterone – as long as we are not using up our adrenal hormones on cortisol and adrenaline first.
Cerise’s treatment included the following;
- Eat a low carb gluten and dairy free diet following her food intolerance list with plenty of green leafy vegetables, bone broth and in-bone fish such as sardines and tinned salmon for calcium.
- Herbal medicine tailored to her needs, addressing immune balance, stress response, hot flashes and memory improvement.
- Compounded nutritional formula containing the nutrients she needed in the most bio-available (absorbable) form.
She stuck to her treatment plan, and these are her results from the consult notes:
Results at 2 weeks:
- Much less hot flashes. Only through the night – none through the day.
- Enjoying her eating plan and getting used to not eating bread or crackers. Exploring different food choices.
- No reactions to herbs or supplements.
- Less joint pain.
Results at 8 weeks:
- Great energy – not tired through the day at all. Doesn’t want to nanna nap.
- Starting to lose some weight around middle.
- No heart palpitations
- Sleeping great! Only occasional hot flash – seems to be related to food if she eats the wrong food.
- Feels much more centered, in control and calm.
Result at week 16:
- Says she feel better than she did at 40!
- Is in a good weight range now.
- She is feeling her libido is back and is interested in an intimate relationship with her new boyfriend.
Cerise did have to work with both her GP and her Lucy Rose Naturopath to get these amazing results, as she was on a few medications. Her GP is very happy with her health improvements and keeping a close eye on her medication needs, but she is now only needing to be on 2 medications instead of 4, which is a great advantage for her future health.
If you would like to learn more about how we can help you get the most out of your life and your health, book in a FREE 15-minute call with a Lucy Rose naturopath.