By Jeffrey A. Morrison, M.D.
Every year, around this time, I have a steady stream of male and female patients come to see me to discuss an often sensitive and embarrassing topic: low libido, and how to improve it.
Since it’s almost Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d mention a few tips to consider about libido: What is it, why it’s low, and how to improve it.
The definition of libido is something to the effect of sexual energy and drive. When discussing this topic, most patients generally refer to either decreased sexual desire or decreased erectile strength.
In order to correct these issues, the goal is to identify and address the cause. Here are some of the most common causes for decreased sexual desire and erectile strength, with suggestions for addressing them:
Increased stress from work or home
If the mind is stressed, sex often falls to the bottom of the priority list. If stress stems from a personal situation, try meditating on why you feel stressed, and address it with yourself or the person you’re in conflict with.
Increased stress from too little sleep
Lack of sleep places a stress on the body just as interpersonal conflict places stress on the mind. Do your best to make time for 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night with all lights out and no electronic equipment in sight (including cell phones). Just think how much more time you’ll have for your loved one.
Low nitric oxide levels from poor diet and hardening of the arteries
The antioxidant nitric oxide (NO) is naturally produced in the body to help improve circulation. A number of factors can deplete NO, including smoking cigarettes, eating processed foods, diabetes and lack of exercise.
A whole-foods, cleansing diet and active lifestyle support nitric oxide production as well as overall health. If heart disease is an issue, speak with your doctor about options, including chelation therapy, which is known to improve circulation.
If you’ve addressed your stresses and are not finding quick improvement, here are some suggestions on ways to rapidly improve libido:
The Love Potions:
Dark Chocolate (>75%): This superfood has won the hearts of women on Valentine’s Day for many good reasons: It’s high in PEA (phenylethylamine), an organic compound known to induce the pleasure center of the brain, temporarily alleviating stress. Dark chocolate is also rich in flavonoids and L-arginine, which both increase NO (nitric oxide) levels. NO is the main chemical our body makes to improve circulation and also the way Viagra does its magic.
To help you choose a good chocolate, check out our staff’s favorite brands!
Fenugreek: This herb has been traditionally used for many purposes. Reported benefits include everything from improved blood sugar balance to improving lactation. It is also known to improve libido, possibly through enhanced production of oxytocin, a.k.a. “the cuddl
Her Synergy by Metagenics is an excellent fenugreek supplement.
Nitric Oxide (NO): Improve NO by staying active and even juicing fresh beets, which are high in nitrates and L-Ornithine, both NO precursors. The amino acid L-Arginine can also be taken at a dose of 1500mg to 3000mg to improve NO production. However, if you are prone to cold sores, L-Arginine should be limited since it can make them worse.
Neo40 is a safe way to improve NO without the risk of developing cold sores.
Nitri Nox rapidly increases NO and is very effective for improving erectile function. Use with caution if you are prone to cold sores.
Oxytocin: Also known as “the cuddle hormone,” oxytocin is produced in the brain and other organs in response to hugging, kissing, and being happy. It is thought that the oxytoxin produced after delivery helps improve connectedness between mother and newborn. It also helps to maintain connectedness in relationships.
Some patients simply do not produce very much oxytocin and consequently have less interest in staying connected with loved ones or in relationships.
Oxytocin is a hormone and requires a prescription to be dispensed from a compounding pharmacy. Taking oxytocin has been said to improve mood, decrease pain, maintain connectedness in relationships, and enhance orgasms.
Speak with your physician to see if a prescription for oxytocin is right for you.
I hope you found these tips useful. If you have any tips you’d like to share, please post in the comment section below or send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. I hope you’ll have fun with these “love potions” and enjoy the process of improving your libido.
To your health,
Jeffrey A. Morrison, M.D.