Dr. Eric Osansky, Guest
Thyroid Nation

6 Natural tips to improve low libido or sex drive.

Many people with thyroid conditions discover that they have a decrease in their libido.  This obviously is a sensitive topic to cover, but because of the impact this common problem has on these people’s lives, as well as affecting the relationships they’re in, I’d like to discuss how natural thyroid treatments can possibly help to improve your sex life. But why is it so common for people with thyroid disorders to have a decrease in their sex drive? Hormones are a big part of it, as many people with thyroid disorders have a hormonal imbalance which can lead to many different symptoms, and loss of libido is one of the most common symptoms. As for which hormones are causing the loss of libido, this can vary. For example, some women have a testosterone deficiency which can lead to a loss of libido.

In this case, the obvious solution would be to restore their testosterone levels back to normal. Many medical doctors advise their patients with such a deficiency to take bioidentical testosterone. This can definitely help restore one’s libido, but the problem is that taking this approach doesn’t always fix the root cause of the problem. In other words, it doesn’t address what caused the testosterone deficiency in the first place. This is where natural treatment methods can be so valuable, as I’ll discuss shortly. Estrogen dominance can also affect one’s libido. This involves an imbalance in the hormones estrogen and progesterone, and is usually due to a progesterone deficiency. Once again, giving someone natural progesterone can possibly help with this condition, but it probably won’t correct the underlying cause. A deficiency in the hormone DHEA can also lead to problems with libido.

Thyroid hormone deficiency can also affect one’s sex drive. As a result, people with hypothyroidism are more inclined to have a loss of libido than someone who has a hyperthyroid condition. Putting someone on synthetic or natural thyroid hormone may help, but just as is the case with the other hormone deficiencies, taking this approach won’t fix the problem. And even though people with hypothyroidism are more likely to have a loss of libido or no sex drive when compared with hyperthyroid patients, there are also people with hyperthyroidism who have a decrease in libido as well. So one can’t assume that a person with a specific thyroid condition will have a loss of libido, while other types of conditions won’t, as there is no set pattern.

How To Permanently Restore One’s Sex Drive

While giving bioidentical hormones can frequently help to restore one’s libido, most people can accomplish this by following a natural treatment protocol under the guidance of a competent natural endocrine doctor. The benefits of natural treatment methods is that they get to the underlying cause of the problem, rather than just managing the symptoms. There will typically be a few steps involved when following such a protocol:

  1. Fill out a case history, have an exam performed, etc. This, of course, is what most doctors will do, as they will require their new patients to complete a case history, list any medications they are taking, will perform a physical exam, etc. This will give the doctor some information as to what is possibly causing the patient’s loss of libido.  For example, taking certain medications can decrease one’s sex drive.  So while a hormonal imbalance is a frequent cause, sometimes just switching to a different medication or an alternative supplement or herb will help with this.  
  2. Additional testing. Most people with thyroid conditions have already received blood tests, such as a TSH, free T3 & T4, perhaps tests for thyroid antibodies, etc. And while sometimes a deficiency in thyroid hormone can be causing the decrease in sex drive, as mentioned above, other hormones can be responsible for this as well. This is why any male or female with a thyroid condition who is experiencing a decrease in libido should obtain a saliva-based hormone panel. The reason why you want to do saliva-based testing is because it tests the free levels of the hormone, rather than the bound form, which is what most blood tests measure. Diagnos-Techs is the company I personally use for hormone testing. They use valid reference ranges, and also have a fairly quick turnaround time. The hormones tested in an expanded female hormone panel include estradiol, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA, FSH, and LH. The expanded male hormone test measures the levels of androstenedione, testosterone, Dihydrotestosterone, Estrone, Progesterone, DHEA, FSH, and LH.
  3. Change in diet. Following just about any natural treatment protocol will usually require a change in one’s diet. This means minimizing, or in some cases completely cutting out the refined foods and sugars you eat. Eating as much organic foods as possible is also recommended. Part of the reason for this is because many of the foods we eat contain synthetic hormones, and eating organic is the best way to ensure that you won’t consume these artificial hormones, which in turn can lead to a hormone imbalance. (Endocrine-disrupting hormones – EDCs)
  4. A purification program might be necessary. If you have a buildup of synthetic hormones, or even natural hormones in your body (from taking too much natural testosterone or progesterone, etc.), then a purification program will help to clean out your body, and can aid in restoring the hormonal imbalance back to normal.
  5. Nutritional supplements and/or herbs. Certain nutritional supplements and/or herbs might also be given to help restore your health back to normal. While there are specific supplements and herbs people can use for libido problems, frequently this problem can be corrected without taking such supplements. After all, the overall goal is to restore one’s health back to normal, and not to have to rely on taking supplements and herbs for the loss of libido.
  6. Changes in other lifestyle factors. Changes in other lifestyle factors are also important to restoring one’s health, including balancing the hormones. Getting adequate sleep each night, exercising regularly, and doing a good job of managing stress can all lead to problems with the endocrine system, and therefore lead to hormone imbalance.

When To Use Bioidentical Hormones To Restore Libido

So when should someone with a hormone imbalance take bioidentical hormones to correct a libido problem? Well, if someone is having a hormonal imbalance due to removal of a gland, then they probably will need to take either a synthetic or natural hormone. For example, if someone has a complete thyroidectomy and becomes hypothyroid, and they have a resulting decrease in their sex drive, then they will need to take synthetic or natural thyroid hormone to correct the problem. Obviously taking thyroid hormone will be important not only to restore one’s libido, but for their overall health as well. Similarly, a woman who has a hysterectomy with her ovaries removed will most likely need to take bioidentical hormones as well. On the other hand, most people who haven’t had any glands or organs removed can frequently have their libido restored by following a natural treatment protocol, without taking any bioidentical hormones. So with my patients, I will evaluate each one on an individual basis, and will try to do everything I can to restore their health back to normal without giving them any natural hormones. Sometimes this isn’t possible, and some people might, therefore, need to take some bioidentical testosterone, progesterone, DHEA, or sometimes even estrogen. If they haven’t had any glands removed then these natural hormones should be taken on a temporary basis.   

Additional Causes Of Loss Of Libido

While a hormone imbalance is a frequent cause of libido problems, there can be other reasons behind this as well. I mentioned earlier that some medications can lead to a decrease in sex drive. Also, many people with thyroid conditions have adrenal problems which lead to a feeling of exhaustion, which also can cause or contribute to this problem. Depression is another condition that can negatively affect one’s sex life. In summary, many people with thyroid conditions who also have a loss of libido can use natural thyroid treatment methods to dramatically improve their sex drive. While taking this approach isn’t an easy process, as it most likely will involve lifestyle changes on the part of the patient, as well as additional testing to determine if a hormonal imbalance is causing the problem, the good news is that many people with a loss of libido won’t need to take bioidentical hormones, but can have these problems permanently corrected through a natural thyroid treatment protocol. So if you have a loss of libido, consult with a natural endocrine doctor to find out if natural treatment methods can benefit you.

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About the Author

drericosanskyDr. Eric Osansky received a Master of Science degree in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine from the University of Western States. Dr. Osansky is a Certified Nutrition Specialist, which requires advanced-degree education qualifications, completing and passing an examination, and substantial nutrition experience. Although he’s not an herbalist, Dr. Osansky has received a certificate of herbal therapy through the Australian College of Phytotherapy. is a licensed healthcare professional who focuses his practice on conditions such as hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, and hyperthyroidism and Graves’ Disease. For more information, please visit his Facebook page and website, NaturalEndocrineSolutions.com.

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 Questions or anything to add about low sex drive when you have thyroid disease? We’d love your thoughts in the comments section!