Low libido refers to a decrease in sexual desire. While it can be normal to have a low sexual desire from time to time, having low sexual desire for a prolonged period may be caused by an underlying issue. These issues can be caused by a number of things from hormone levels to lifestyle factors.
Some men may feel embarrassed to speak out about their issues with libido, although it is a completely normal condition. Up to 30% of all men have had a problem with their sexual drive at some point in their lives, so speak to your healthcare professional if you are affected.
Causes of Low Libido
Low testosterone levels are a main cause of low libido in men, with 1 in 4 men over 40 having this condition. Low testosterone has not been researched enough to know exactly how it affects your libido, but as testosterone levels drop so does your libido.
Low thyroid levels have also been known to cause a decrease in a male’s sex drive. Having an underactive thyroid can make you feel fatigued and even cause depression leading to lack of sexual desire. In rare cases, low levels of dopamine have also caused low libido. A dopamine deficiency can cause a depressive state and low interests in any form of sexuality or relationships.
Some medical conditions can cause low libido including obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and elevated cholesterol levels. Certain types of drugs or medication may also make an impact on your libido including HIV medications and certain chemicals found in hair loss remedy products.
Psychological issues like stress, anxiety, and depression can cause a dent in your sex drive, making finding arousal difficult whilst in a bad space of mind.
Improving Your Libido
There are many ways to help improve your levels of libido naturally although in cases where age is a factor, treatment may not be as effective. In men over 40 years of age studies have shown that 10 percent of them experience some type of sexual dysfunction. In men over 70 years of age this may rise to 80 percent.
Boosting your libido naturally by following a healthy lifestyle is a good way to start. Regular physical exercise, good diet, getting 8 hours of sleep and managing your stress levels are said to be the best natural ways to help libido.
Some other natural remedies and treatments include:
- Vitamin D: Getting enough vitamin D may increase testosterone levels. Direct sunlight for at least 15 mins per day can help.
- Vitamin A, E, zinc, and selenium: Almonds, seeds, leafy greens, and sweet potato contain good levels of vitamin A and E. Garlic and most seeds are high in zinc, and selenium can be found nuts and fish. These vitamin-filled foods are vital for testicular function.
- Calming teas – Valerian root, chamomile, and passionflower can help to calm the mind, increasing sexual libido. These types of herbs are also be known as nervines.
- Omega-3: This is found in a variety of saltwater fish and seafood as well as canola cooking oil and eggs. Fish oil lowers inflammation which is yet another cause of low testosterone.
- Herbal aphrodisiacs: There are various herbal aphrodisiacs available on the market today. These herbs may increase sexual desire for a short period although precautions must be taken if you have problems with blood pressure.
- Wild oats and stinging nettle root: Wild oats have been found to increase the production of testosterone in the body while the nettle root will help the testosterone stay active and accessible for use.
- Eating certain foods: While there is no scientific evidence to support the facts that certain foods contain properties that may increase libido, many people believe that foods like figs, bananas, avocado, and chocolate can do so.
Many treatments are available to help with libido issues, and it is recommended to meet with your healthcare professional to assess and diagnose what is causing the condition before trying to remedy the situation.