Here’s a scenario demonstrating why sex and adrenal fatigue don’t work well together:
You’ve worked all day, cooked dinner, taken care of the kids and gotten them into bed so you crawl into your own bed when your partner gives you that “lets have sex” look? You know it’s been a few days (or maybe weeks) and you should be happy that he’s still interested but you just don’t have the mojo that you once did.
So you have 2 choices: you can have sex even though your libido is in the basement or you can pull the cover over your head and hope he goes away? Neither choice is a good one so you ask yourself what the hell is wrong with you.
As we age and pass child bearing years our ovaries begin to decrease their production of sex hormones in preparation for menopause where we finally get to stop having our monthly visitior. We still will need estrogen, progesterone and testosterone for our libido so other body parts need to pick up some of the slack from the ovaries and that’s where the adrenal glands come in.
What Are Your Adrenals And What Do They Do
If you’re the typical 40 or 50 something woman who works full time (or not), has kids (or not), lives in today’s go go go world you more than likely are dealing with adrenal insufficiency or more commonly known as adrenal fatigue.
Your adrenal glands are 2 small walnut sized glands that sit on top of your kidneys. They are physically small but they have a very big job. The hormones that they produce are responsible for
- regulating blood pressure,
- aiding blood glucose metabolism,
- speeding up heart rate
- Producing sex hormones which give us our sexual mojo.
Over time when they get overworked they won’t produce enough hormones to do the job that’s necessary for the body to function properly and become fatigued. Some symptoms of adrenal fatigue are
- inability to deal with stress,
- high blood sugar
- low sex drive.
Yep you not wanting to get it on could be a symptom of adrenal fatigue.
Why Your Adrenals Are So Important For Your Sex Drive
Post puberty up until menopause your ovaries and fat cells are the main producers of sex hormones: estrogen, testosterone and progesterone. During perimenopause your ovaries start to slow down production and the adrenals pick up the slack producing these hormones.
When you’re in full blown menopause the adrenals (and fat cells) are responsible for pretty much all production. If your adrenals are already depleted they don’t have any reserve left to pick up the slack. Symptoms can get worse. Symptoms include:
- hot flashes,
- vaginal dryness
- loss of libido
How To Heal Those Adrenals
Even though some folks think that sex is essential to keeping them alive it acutally isn’t. Things like your blood sugar being in the right range and speeding up your heart when you have to run from a tiger are essential to survival so your adrenals give the hormones responsible for those things priority over the sex hormones.
So what can you do? The amazing thing about the human body is that it can heal if it’s given the right tools. Taking the stress off of the adrenals is key to getting your mojo back. If you can work on things to take the pressure off of them they can put their energy into making more of your sex hormones.
If you stop demanding so much adrenaline by slowing down then the adrenals have more reserve to produce your sex hormones. If you keep your blood sugar balanced and manage your stress levels then you won’t need as much cortisol either and guess what? More energy to focus on your sex hormones.
Here are some steps you can take to get your mojo back.
- Rest is the best thing to do to help them heal. Sleeping minimum of 8 hours a night would be great but if you can’t stay asleep that long, stay in bed for 8 hours. Rest as much as you can throughout the day. Take power naps if you can. Sit on the couch and just be. Don’t fall into the trap of doing more. The adrenals have told you that more is not better.
- Don’t consume stimulants like caffeine. Every time you consume caffeine it tells the adrenals to pump out more hormones like adrenaline to get you going. But after a while your adrenals can’t keep up even though they’re getting prodded to do so. Think about squeezing a dry sponge hoping to get water out of it. Does it work? Uh no. Neither will caffeine or any other stimulants over time and you’ll end up feeling worse.
- If your blood pressure is low then eat as much salt as you can. Salt helps to raise your blood pressure. Aldosterone is a hormone that the adrenals produce that regulate water and salt balance in the body which regulates blood pressure. If aldosterone is low then your blood pressure will be low too. This can make you fee ldizzy and fatigued. Eating salt helps you to retain more water which helps to raise your blood pressure. Don’t use iodized salt tho which has been bleached. Use Celtic sea salt or Redmonds real salt which have the added benefit of natural minerals.
- Eat foods rich in B vitamins. The B vitamins are involved in tons of chemical reactions within the body including in the adrenal glands. Dark leafy greens, beans, grass fed meat and eggs are all good sources of B vitamins.
- Eat a good amount of healthy fats. Avocados, olives, olive oil, nuts and seeds and their butters are good sources. Almost every hormone in your body is made up of fat so having a diet rich in good sources of fat can help with hormone production.
- Decrease consumption of alcohol and sugar. Both alcohol and sugar cause blood sugar swings which puts more stress on the adrenals. Work on eating foods focused on protein, fiber and fats to keep your blood sugar more even keeled. When your blood sugar stays more even keel you don’t need as much cortisol to regulate it so you don’t need to produce as much which gives the adrenals a break.
It takes time to fully heal your adrenals so be patient. Pay attention to how you’re feeling because you will start to feel small changes when you implement these changes. Little changes build on each other and as you heal maybe you’ll be the one giving the “let’s have sex” look soon.
Want more information and support for healing? Reach out to me by email or on Instagram and let me know how I can help. Also join my private Facebook group Thyroid, Adrenal and Gut Healing for Women.