Is Low Libido Linked to Weight Fluctuation?
There’s no doubt about it. Low libido and weight fluctuations are connected.
When you gain a bit of bloating around the middle, 10 pounds, 20 pounds or more, especially after a pregnancy or after the holiday feasting marathon, romance may be the last thing on your mind. In fact it’s common, especially for women, to lose confidence in the bedroom when they don’t feel confident about how their bodies look. But the link between weight and libido is more than psychological. Major fluctuations in weight can have a direct impact on libido.
How Hormones are Related to Libido
If your body weight is too high or too low, you can suffer from a low libido. What’s really happening here is that the amount of body fat is fluctuating and that affects your hormones, which are responsible for your libido.
Here’s how that works:
- When your Sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) levels increase, this makes testosterone levels fall because they are bound up. Since testosterone impacts your sex drive and your testosterone is not available for use, your libido takes a dive.
- When your weight increases, cholesterol levels can increase as well. This can be related to plaque buildup in the blood vessels. If the blood vessels that bring circulation to the pelvic area are clogged, this can also result in reduced libido.
What are Some Common Reasons for Unexpected Weight Gain?
PCOS Could Depress Your Drive
The initial cause of weight gain could be hormone related. For example, you could have high levels of testosterone related to Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).
If so, women may notice an increase in facial hair, acne, insulin resistance (frequent hunger), weight around the midsection, and higher blood sugar / triglyceride / cholesterol levels. If you see one or more of these symptoms, your best option is to get a diagnosis from your doctor who can create a plan of action.
A Thyroid Condition
Weight gain may also be caused by a thyroid condition. You could have an autoimmune thyroid condition or hypothyroidism, a condition in which your body doesn’t make enough thyroid hormone.
Symptoms of hypothyroidism include fatigue, hair thinning, slower mental processing, brain fog, memory loss, weight gain, higher LDL cholesterol levels, dry skin, feeling cold frequently, neck swelling, and changes in sleep patterns.
To determine whether you have hypothyroidism, you’ll need a diagnosis from your doctor and a full thyroid panel of tests; just a T4 and T3 test will not be enough for a proper diagnosis.
Another cause of weight gain could be fluid retention. This may be due to food intolerances, an underlying heart condition, or something as simple as eating too much salt.
To discover food intolerances, you can order an ALCAT test or ask your doctor to order a food intolerance test for you. The symptoms that accompany this are very wide and will always seem a bit random. For example, you might have bloating, headaches, nervous tics, and pain that switches from body part to body part.
A heart condition will need diagnosis from a cardiologist. Keep in mind that heart health is for all ages, so don’t presuppose that you are too young to have a heart condition. Bombardment of high electromagnetic fields from cell phones, cell phone towers, wireless technology, SMART meters, and electrical appliances, as well as unhealthy diets are causing heart conditions to become more and more common at an earlier age.
Finding out if you’re eating too much salt is the easiest thing to analyze. Find a site online that gives you the sodium content for different foods and then sit down with a pen and paper calculating your intake for the day. The ideal level is 2500 to 3000 mg daily.
How to Rekindle Your Libido
While you’re waiting to discover the real cause of your low libido, there are some things you can do on your own to start increasing your libido. Below is a list of six things to start:
- Start working out with a trainer who will help you set goals and meet them. The more you work out and start to see results, the better you will feel.
- Take time to relax and relieve stress. Weight fluctuation is not the only thing that impacts your libido, and stress is a major sex drive killer, so take control over the areas you can. Practice conscious breathing, get a massage, take time for a peaceful walk or to read a book each day, or implement other stress-relief mechanisms to keep yourself relaxed and happy.
- Make a conscious effort to silence negative self-talk and love your body. How you talk and think about yourself definitely impacts your willingness to be vulnerable with a partner. When you look in the mirror, build yourself up instead of tearing yourself down. You are a unique creation, with features and quirks and idiosyncrasies that make you who you are, and these things are beautiful!
- Try some herbal or natural aphrodisiacs. Horny goat weed is good for men and women. Damiana is great for women as is Suma (Brazilian ginseng) and Maca (Peruvian ginseng). Some fruits as well as chocolate also have aphrodisiac properties.
- Buy a new sexy outfit, lingerie, or even just pretty underwear under regular work clothes. Wearing something that makes you feel great can go a long way toward boosting your sex drive.
- Pay attention to the things about your spouse that you appreciate, and things you might take for granted. Increased feelings of affection and appreciation for your partner can not only help get you in the mood, they can help your spouse feel loved and increase intimacy in the bedroom.
No matter where you’re starting from, you can take action to keep your relationship healthy and active. Not only will you feel better about yourself, other areas of your relationship can be strengthened as well. Don’t let the daily cares of life, body insecurities, or stress get in the way of romance.