dealing with sexual dysfunction naturally

SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION
CAN IT BE DEALT WITH NATURALLY?

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EyeCMore, AlicePopkorn, and Viktor Simonic (Wikimedia)

“Though diabetes and ED (Erectile Dysfunction) are two separate conditions, they tend to go hand-in-hand. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, men with diabetes are two to three times more likely to develop erectile dysfunction. In many cases, problems with achieving or maintaining an erection is an early clue that you may be diabetic, particularly in men 45 and under…….    There are several risk factors that increase your chances of complications from diabetes, including ED, including uncontrolled blood sugar, obesity, poor diet, inactivity…..”   From Adrienne Santos-Longhurst’s May 9, 2013 Healthline article titled, “The Connection Between Type II Diabetes and Erectile Dysfunction“.

“43% of American women, young and old suffer from some degree of sexual dysfunction (JAMA,1999).  Many of the same health problems that cause erectile dysfunction in men, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, as well as many medications used to treat these conditions, can cause sexual dysfunction in women.  And yet for most of this century doctors have dismissed women’s sexual complaints as either psychological or emotional.”   From the 2001 edition of For Women Only: A Revolutionary Guide to Overcoming Sexual Dysfunction and Reclaiming Your Sex Life, by sisters Jennifer Berman, MD, and Laura Berman, PhD

It has long been known that the biggest cause of Sexual Dysfunction in the male population is a combination of diet-induced OBESITY and / or UNCONTROLLED BLOOD SUGAR, as well as the various medications taken to treat them (HERE).   But, as you can see from the second quote above, science has been showing us for a very long time that these same two factors also hold true for females struggling with Sexual Dysfunction.  This is important to understand because it involves a paradigm shift. 

For the most part, Sexual Dysfunction in women has been chalked up to emotional / psychological problems or “hormonal” issues.  When we go ahead and throw in DEPRESSION, as well as the fact that the most popular medications used to treat it have an almost 100% chance of causing at least one of a wide array of potentially bizarre Sexual Dysfunctions (HERE), you can begin to understand that America has a serious problem on its hands.  Just Google “Sexless Marriage Divorce” and you’ll see what I mean.

To reiterate; according to a growing number of experts, most Sexual Dysfunctions, whether occuring in males or females, are not only physical in nature, but are largely being caused by the exact same factors. Follow me for a moment so I can show you why knowing this is such a big deal — particularly for those with the desire to turn things around.  Do all (or at least most) diseases have common origins?  I believe they do (HERE).  In fact, if you click on the link to “Uncontrolled Blood Sugar” above, you will see that the peer-reviewed scientific literature is tying Blood Sugar Dysregulation to almost every single disease process you can name —- including all of those based on INFLAMMATION

The real kick in the teeth though, is that since our Blood Sugar Guidelines here in America are extremely liberal (you are not considered diabetic until you are at an absurdly high 126mg/dL), huge numbers of people with “normal” blood sugar levels, would actually be considered diabetic when looked at through the lens of Functional Medicine.  For example, numerous physicians and experts in the field of FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE would say that anyone with a fasting blood sugar over 100mg/dL should be labeled as Diabetic.  Unfortunately, one of the chief side effects of Uncontrolled Blood Sugar (whether you are actually labeled as “Diabetic” or not) is that it destroys nerves via a process which results in Neuropathy.

NEUROPATHY AND SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION

NEUROPATHY (nerve damage) is serious stuff for many reasons.  When nerves become damaged by AGES (Advanced Glyclation End-products that are a byproduct of too much SUGAR / STARCH in the diet), bad things start to happen — really bad things.  According to a study published in the medical journal Current Molecular Medicine by researchers from the Department of Surgery at Columbia University’s Medical Center in New York, “AGEs affect nearly every type of cell and molecule in the body and are thought to be a factor in aging and age-related chronic diseases. They are also believed to play a causative role in the vascular complications of diabetes.”  And like I said a moment ago, the real bite in the butt is that for way too many people, their blood labs, at least early on in the disease process(s), will be “normal”.  What are the implications of having Blood Sugar readings that are “normal” yet uncontrolled?  As you can imagine, it’s like walking down a trail that looks safe, and then stumbling into a Burmese Tiger Pit that you had no idea was there.

Listen to Jenny Ruhl of Blood Sugar 101 explain how Uncontrolled Blood Sugar can be a debilitating and potentially / eventually deadly problem. “Because nerves are damaged by the “mildly” elevated blood sugar levels that most doctors ignore, almost one half of people with Type 2 diabetes already have detectable neuropathy by the time they have been diagnosed with diabetes.  Many other people who are never officially diagnosed with diabetes but have higher than normal blood sugars also get “diabetic” neuropathy. It may be a major cause of the impotence so common among men in their 40s and older.”  According to the most current research, her last sentence probably should have said “people“.

As a side not to this topic; AGES are being causally implicated in the development of Alzheimer’s Disease (HERE).  As sugar consumption, exposure to ALUMINUM, and one’s accumulative number of FLU SHOTS go up, so does Alzheimer’s Disease. 

Let me leave you with some cherry-picked quotes on the Neuropathy / Sexual Dysfunction / Blood Sugar link from our own government.  Here is the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) and National Institutes of Health (NIH).  The article is called, “What Sexual Problems Occur in Women with Diabetes?”

Both men and women with diabetes can develop sexual problems because of damage to nerves and small blood vessels…..  The body’s response to sexual stimuli is involuntary, governed by autonomic nerve signals that increase blood flow to the genitals and cause smooth muscle tissue to relax. Damage to these autonomic nerves [neuropathy] can hinder normal function. Reduced blood flow resulting from damage to blood vessels [usually the result of obesity, high blood pressure, and / or Inflammation-induced high cholesterol] can also contribute to sexual dysfunction.

What sexual problems can occur in women with diabetes? Many women with diabetes experience sexual problems. Although research about sexual problems in women with diabetes is limited, one study found 42 percent of women with type 2 diabetes experienced sexual dysfunction that may include.

  • decreased vaginal lubrication, resulting in vaginal dryness
  • uncomfortable or painful sexual intercourse
  • decreased or no desire for sexual activity
  • decreased or absent sexual response

Causes of sexual problems in women with diabetes include nerve damage, reduced blood flow to genital and vaginal tissues, and hormonal changes.


PCOS AND SEXUAL FUNCTION

One more thing I have to mention in our discussion on Female Sexual Dysfunction, hormonal issues, and Uncontrolled Blood Sugar, is PCOS (Poly-Cystic Ovarian Syndrome).  This disease is now widely believed to be the number one “women’s” health issue in America’s female population.  The known cause of PCOS?  Blood Sugar Dysregulation (yes, that can mean HYPOGLYCEMIA as well as high blood sugar — this is why I refer to it as “uncontrolled”).  Instead of dealing with underlying causes, PCOS is treated by the majority of the medical profession with Diabetic Drugs such as Metformin. 

Although testosterone drives both the male and female libidos, PCOS causes women to make so much testosterone that it actually suppresses their sex drive instead of heightening it.  At the same time, the extra testosterone causes women to increasingly take on sex characteristics that would be best described as ‘predominantly male‘.  Although there are a slew of these (male pattern baldness, HIGH CHOLESTEROL, hypertension / high blood pressure, to name a few), the two most common are hirtusism —overly hairy, and ABDOMINAL OBESITY.   The end result is all sorts of abnormal periods and INFERTILITY (sadly, PCOS is by far the number one reason that women who want to have babies cannot).

DEALING WITH SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION NATURALLY

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© Michel Royon / Wikimedia Commons

Let me start by saying that I completely realize that sex can be physiologically / psychologically complicated.  Sometimes extremely complicated.  I also realize that not all cases of Sexual Dysfunction, whether male or female, have a physical basis.  The cool thing is however, since such a great percentage of cases do, it is my belief that most of these can be effectively dealt with naturally. Remember that when you really start looking at these and other health problems from behind the scenes (I have a list below).  You’ll start to see that for the most part, the whole thing is just one big MESSED UP MISH MASH OF METABOLIC DYSFUNCTIONS that branch out and manifest themselves in a wide variety of problems we label and name as various “diseases”.  As is the case with most health problems, the thing you will need to address first is your diet.

What diet do I recommend for most of my patients —- particularly those who have no ‘overt’ Chronic Illnesses?  That’s easy to answer —- Paleo.  I am a huge fan of the PALEO DIET because I have not found anything else that even comes close to controlling the root cause of sickness and disease —- INFLAMMATION.  It is my opinion that the Paleo Diet will address most if not all of the underlying metabolic issues that cause or contribute not only to Sexual Dysfunctions, but to all sorts of other health problems as well.  Not that other therapies won’t have to be undertaken such as certain supplements like HSO’S / PGFO, BRAIN EXERCISES, an EXERCISE PROGRAM, etc, etc, but it is hard to argue with results.  Some of the other Chronic Health Problems that may have to be dealt with, include thing such as HERE, HERE, and HERE, as well as several others.  For more information on this topic, go HERE.

DRUGS TO ENHANCE FEMALE SEX DRIVE

A final note on drugs being used to enhance female sexual function.  Although there are a host of “Female Viagras” that have either failed to meet FDA criteria, or are currently in the works (HERE), the only drug treatment currently approved for women with sexual difficulties brought on by hormonal issues associated with menopause is HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy).  If you are going to proceed, do so with caution. The problem with HRT is that a number of large studies have shown it to be extremely dangerous (it elevates chances of strokes, certain types of cancer, as well as other problems).  Be aware that seeing someone who specializes in bio-identical hormones is definitely better.  However, it does not remove these risks —- no matter what Suzanne Somers might tell you.

The truth is, I would say many of the same things about the huge numbers of NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS that are being sold under the guise of “Performance Enhancement”.  Most of these junk products are good for little except lining the pockets of unscrupulous marketeers.  Trying to find a supplement to fix your problem without addressing the underlying cause of that problem is simply buying in to the UNFULFILLED PROMISE OF BIG PHARMA..

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