I recently received the following question about the male libido.
“Occasionally, I have a loss of libido and was wondering if this is due to lack of satisfaction, stress, diet or circulation issues (diagnosed with peripheral vascular disease in the past but I believe I have been managing it quite well. I still smoke though).
“Wondering if there is anything I can do to increase my libido through either change of diet or vitamins that might be of help.”
For guys, temporary reduction in sex drive is pretty common. Stress, lack of sleep and sometimes alcohol can lead to a reduction in sex drive.
If there is a reduced sex drive over a longer period, there can be other medical causes that can be treated.
The most common medical causes of reduced sex drive in men are: depression; low testosterone levels; thyroid problems.
Depression is pretty common in men. About one in five suffer from it at some point.
The most common symptoms of depression are: poor sleep; low energy and sex drive; feeling of guilt; not finding things you used to enjoy enjoyable any more; poor concentration; anxiety; feeling like doing anything physical takes a huge effort; weight loss or gain; and, at its worst, feeling that life is not worth living.
If you feel you may be suffering from depression, see your doctor as there are different treatments available. Treatment does not have to mean medications for everyone.
Another common cause of reduced energy and sex drive in men is low testosterone.
Testosterone levels slowly decline as we get older, however, for some men the drop can be too rapid or sudden.
The main symptoms of low testosterone include: low energy, sex drive and mood; difficulty with erections; slow recovery from exercise; weight gain.
Thyroid dysfunction is not that common in men. However, sudden weight gain or loss, changes in skin and hair, and changes in energy levels are common with thyroid disease.
Stress is one of the biggest causes of reduced libido. Stress can come from many areas including work, home life, and family pressures. A key way to combat stress is to identify potential causes and start eliminating those you can.
Other strategies include making sure you have time allocated just for you each week where you can do whatever makes you happy. That might be sport, a trip to the park or time to yourself where you can read or rest.
Maintaining a healthy diet, getting regular movement in your day and reducing stress can be great first steps when it comes to libido recovery.
If you find that reduced sex drive is an ongoing problem, talk with your doctor.
INFO: If you have a topic you’d like Dr George to cover, post your question below.