First of all it seems that I can’t watch TV without seeing a commercial for Viagra or something like it. I know that sexual dysfunction is a common problem for men. It is also a common problem for women. I get lots of questions from my female patients about how to feel better and more sexual. So this is a common problem! Don’t feel alone. Men can’t even seem to say the words “erection dysfunction.” Instead we talk in code and say “ED” and hope the other person knows what we are talking about. There are lots of things that can be done to help. Sex and reproduction are physical things that happen when the body is working fairly well, right? If you are bleeding or throwing up‚ then sex is not really on your mind. However, people forget about things that might be making the body stressed out and are not so obvious…like depression, exhaustion, chronic pain, heart disease, diabetes, and so on.
Let’s look at a couple of these for a minute. Take exhaustion for example. If you are so tired you don’t even want to do your normal fun things, what makes you think you would want to have sex? Depression has the same effect. As for other physical problems, you can feel all right, but have some underlying physical dysfunctions. In other words you will feel your most sexual when your body is in good health. And let’s not forget that if you have some emotional issues with your partner, then you’ll have problems as well. (However, that is not in the realm of things I can help with so we’ll stick to body chemistry here.) Keep in mind that some of the problems that cause low libido can be the same things that prevent pregnancy.
Let’s take the case that you love your partner, but are either having some problem with performing the sex act or you just don’t seem to want it. What can you do about it? Well the TV would have men just swallow Viagra for the rest of their lives and women take an anti-depressant. Well, from my perspective we have to take a step back and look at the whole body and the way it functions. There are some common stressors that can cause you problems: chronic infections, toxins, food allergies, hormone imbalances, and acupuncture problems. I won’t discuss in detail about how to treat them, but any of these stressors can cause overall health problems including trouble performing sexually or desiring sex. So if you don’t feel like yourself‚ then consider getting tested for hidden infections, toxins of all sorts, and food allergies. These can be major downers to feeling good. (And for those of you who haven’t visited my office that is what I test for on everyone!) These hidden stressors are what cause most fertility problems as well!
Another problem is hormone imbalances. We’ll look at those problems from a male and female point of view in a minute. Another problem is nutritional deficiencies. You can’t put junk food in your body and expect to feel great. You’ve got to eat good food. When and for how long? Well…as long as you want to feel good (your entire life). If you are ever feeling too good, then just eat bad food for a while and your enthusiasm and energy will drop. I promise! We eat too much sugar, too many bad fats, too many grains, and not enough fresh fruit, vegetables, and meats. Sometimes eating well needs a little extra help from some nutritional supplements. A good multi-vitamin and a fish oil are a great place to start. Don’t kid yourself and think that a cheap one-a-day vitamin tablet is cutting it. There is a 95% chance that the tablet is ending up in the toilet, still in the same shape as when you ate it. It doesn’t dissolve and then it has no chance of being absorbed. So you need a good multi-vitamin, not just a cheap one. There are good cheap ones and there are bad expensive ones; you just need to find a good one (whatever the cost) and stick with it. (I regularly test and identify which ones are good for a person and which ones are unnecessary.) Now let’s look at men and women individually.
If you rule out chronic infections, toxins, food allergies, and nutritional deficiencies, then women seem to have some hormonal issues that are real trouble- especially with the thyroid gland. Surprisingly, 95% of a woman’s problems stem from thyroid troubles. So as you might expect I spend a lot of time testing for and helping balance thyroid function. What does the thyroid do? The thyroid influences almost everything: digestion, energy, sleep, skin, hair, headaches…hmm what else? How about all of the other hormones in the body? In the hierarchy of things, the thyroid is more important than the ovaries or adrenal glands. When the thyroid has trouble, lots of other things don’t work right because the thyroid is so influential. What helps the thyroid? Well, certain minerals help the thyroid work better so I test for which ones are needed. Certain herbs seem to balance the thyroid as well. Sometimes Iodine can help the thyroid, but at other times it can overstimulate it. It is a finicky organ, but it responds really, really well when you feed it the right nutrition.
Most men’s sexual performance problems come from the heart. A common problem with sexual performance is erection difficulty. So what causes a man to have an erection in the first place? Blood flow and the brain telling the blood flow to get going! So if a man has a hidden heart problem, then he can have erection problems. I see it all of the time. Also, don’t forget that the nervous system has to tell the heart and blood vessels to do their job. If the brain has toxins in it, then you can have some misfiring of the nerves and things don’t work quite right. What helps the brain if toxins are in it? Detoxifying! That means taking some supplements for a month or two to get the junk out of your brain. Is it worth it? Definitely! And what about the heart? What does it need? Perpetual Viagra? No! How about some B-vitamins, magnesium, or fish oil. That will do the trick. So men if you have erection problems, then that is just the tip of an iceberg. Viagra is a band-aid to something going on with the heart or brain. Viagra does not heal the heart. It just whips it like a tired horse and forces it to work for an hour or two. The heart and brain (just like the rest of the body) respond and heal really well when you give it the right nutrition. The body is a healing machine if you just give it what it needs, clean it, and get out of the way.
Another hormone that makes us feel sexual, young, and vibrant is growth hormone. With time our levels of growth hormone can decrease and then we don’t have as much libido, muscle mass, energy, good sleep, and healing ability as when we were teens. In our teen years the growth hormone is at the highest level. So when someone is not feeling good sexually it is helpful to test to see if the pituitary gland is needing some nutritional help to heal. Or sometimes the body just needs some of the amino acids and vitamins that are the building blocks for growth hormone. We can test to see if you need some extra amino acids. Also, growth hormone is released more after intense exercise…another reason to stay fit and visit the gym as we get older.
So…in case you like to jump to the end and read the summary, this is for you. You could just feel in general “not well” and in that case it is hidden infections, toxins, or a food allergy. Women- ask me or your natural health care provider to check your thyroid. Men- you probably need something done to help with circulation and that means the heart. All of these things can be helped. If you have a problem with low sex-drive please mention it to me or your natural health care provider. There are specific things to test for and that can help with this condition. There is no need to keep it private and hope it “gets better.” Let’s do something about it!
About Lewis Cone, DC
Dr. Lewis Cone is a Chiropractor and Nutritionist. His practice primarily focuses on nutrition, ranging from colds to autoimmune disease. He can be reached at 972-880-8541.