When you’re stressed, the last thing you’re probably thinking about is having sex. A decrease in libido is often traced to chronic stress, and in the world we are living in, chronic stress seems to be the norm. In this article, I’m discussing how stress and adrenal fatigue play a huge role in your sex drive. You’ll learn 3 tangible, all-natural tips on how to support adrenal health for a healthy libido. Let’s dive in.
Why is my Sex Drive Gone? Adrenal Fatigue might be the answer
When you think about sex hormones, you probably think about progesterone, testosterone, and estrogen—you probably think about the ovaries and testes. But the thing is, the adrenal glands also produce sex hormones.
The adrenal glands are located at the top of each kidney and they are responsible for a lot. There are two main parts of the adrenal gland: the medulla and the cortex. The cortex is responsible for producing stress hormones, which help to balance fluid and blood sugar levels. It’s the cortex where women make their own testosterone and didehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA, which helps to produce testosterone). Of course the amount of testosterone we as women produce is lower than men, but it is still a significant factor in our sex drive.
The medulla is responsible for generating the “fight or flight” response when we are stressed. When we are chronically stressed, the adrenals have to focus on producing cortisol and adrenaline, not so much testosterone. That gets put on the back burner.
Now, there are a lot fo levels of adrenal fatigue, but all can have an impact on sex drive. One of the main causes of adrenal fatigue is a dysregulated HPA axis caused by stress. That means, regulating stress levels is necessary for supporting adrenals and having a healthy sex drive. In fact, reproductive system is not high up on the list of “crucial to immediate survival” so it gets placed on the “do not expend energy” list.
So, can stress cause low libido? Let’s take a closer look at the symptoms of adrenal fatigue to see if AF from chronic stress may be the reason behind your low libido:
- Little to no sex drive
- Brain fog
- Extreme fatigue, lethargy, even after a “good night’s sleep”
- Tired by 2-3pm
- “Second wind” around 10 pm
- Anxiety, depression
- Sugar and salt cravings
- Inability to handle stressful situations
- Dry skin
- Dark circles under your eyes
- Lines on your finger tips
What Affects Sex Drive?
As a woman in the modern world, it’s almost impossible to have no stress. Up to 80% of Americans suffer from adrenal fatigue and don’t even know it. While there are other potential causes to your low libido, like birth control, antidepressants, and boredom, stress still makes number one.
If you have no sex drive whatsoever and you can relate to the symptoms listed above, then healing your adrenal fatigue is essential.
How to Boost Libido and Support Adrenals
First thing is first: regulating the HPA axis. The hypothalamus, pituitary, and adrenal axis is responsible for regulating stress. Think of it as your body’s stress response system. When this axis is dysregulated, we can experience low sex drive.
The root causes of HPA axis dysregulation include: perceived stress, blood sugar imbalances, poor quality sleep, and circadian rhythm disruption. In my opinion, all of these loop back to one thing: stress.
Now, stress doesn’t just have to look like financial problems and relationship issues. It can also look like processed foods that cause gut and brain inflammation. It can also be a poor night’s sleep. When you have adrenal fatigue, a poor night’s sleep is the norm. And oftentimes, cravings for processed foods are the norm as well. The key here is to tamp down stress.
3 Stress Management Techniques
1- Develop a morning & nighttime routine you can commit to
Your night’s determine your mornings, your mornings determine your days, your days determine your life. It’s that simple. Winding down at night is crucial for calming your nervous system, getting you into rest and digest, and allowing your adrenals to repair. A beneficial nighttime routine can look like stretching, taking a bath, journaling, self-massage, breathwork, reading a calming book. Whatever vibes with you, is going to be the best choice. Consistency is key here. I recommend not eating 2-3 hours before bed so that when you sleep, your body can just focus on sleeping, not digesting. Invest in a pair of blue light blocking glasses so that you can support healthy melatonin production, so that you can actually feel tired.
After your good night’s sleep, wake up to a morning routine you are excited about. This can look like journaling, meditating, gentle movement, a walk outside, dancing, jumping on a trampoline. Whatever it is, make sure you look forward to it! When suffering from adrenal fatigue, it’s essential to nourish your body. Herbs like nettles are incredible for rejuvenating the adrenals and boosting energy levels without caffeine. I suggest giving up caffeine for at least a month. Caffeine will further burn out the adrenal glands. I know this will be super hard in the beginning, but it will be worth it in the long run.
2- Keep Blood Sugar Balanced
When you are stressed, blood sugar levels get all out of whack and trigger inflammation. Eating balanced meals will help balance blood sugar. Too many processed carbs and sugary foods that lack healthy fats and protein, are the biggest culprit when it comes to dysregulated insulin levels.
If you have adrenal fatigue, chances are you struggle with blood sugar balance. Try eating smaller, consistent meals throughout the day. Always include healthy protein and fat.
3- Include Adaptogens in Your Daily Routine
Adaptogens are plants and herbs that help you adapt to emotional, physical, chemicals, and environmental stressors. On my adrenal healing journey, adaptogens helped me immensely! There are some adaptogens that are also aphrodisiacs, which are perfect for boosting libido. Here are some of my favorites:
Ashwagandha and schisandra are great for balancing hormones, tamping down stress, and supporting healthy energy and libido levels. These magic makers are both found in our Beauty Collagen Complex powder. Oh, and did I mention that lack of confidence can cause low sex drive? It should be obvious, but feeling beautiful on the outside can increase sex drive. Our Beauty Collagen Complex not only helps tamp down stress, balance hormones, and support a healthy gut—but it’s also clinically proven to foster tighter skin and a lovely glow. I love to add it to my morning smoothie or herbal tea. It’s vanilla honey flavor, and something I always look forward to.
Reishi is a wonderful longevity mushroom that helps calm the nervous system and get you into that rejuvenated state. Taking reishi daily will have the most effective results. Our Organic Immunity Greens contain 4 adaptogenic mushrooms including reishi to help regulate stress and support the adrenals. Not to mention it contains 12 supergreens necessary for proper adrenal and reproductive function. It has a delicious apple cinnamon flavor making it perfect for water, hot tea, and smoothies.
I hope this article has helped you understand the root cause behind your low sex drive. I hope you walk away with tangible tips to support your adrenals and foster a healthy libido. Let me know in the comments below what stress management techniques you are going to commit to.
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