We know it has something to do with sex. We know it's a good thing, and most
of us want to have it ... but what is the "L word" (libido, that is)
"Libido" is medically defined, in part, as "sexual drive, conscious or
unconscious" and "variously identified as the sex urge, desire for pleasure or
This gives us some insight into the science of the libido. If we want a
livelier libido, experts say, we should try ways to boost it both consciously
and unconsciously, with an emphasis on the "P" word -- pleasure.
Sexuality is yet another example of the vital connection between mind, body,
and spirit. At first glance, sex seems like mostly a physical matter. So if you
are having libido issues, you should look at physical (body-related) solutions,
right? And for some people -- those who have sexual dysfunctions arising from a
medical condition -- that may be the answer. It's also true that the general
state of our health can affect our libidos (and we all know how important good
nutrition and regular exercise are for our health).
But we shouldn't neglect the importance of the mind and spirit in relation
to libido, according to Louanne Cole Weston, PhD, a board-certified sex
therapist in California.
Think back to some of your best sex. What was going on? Was it following
great conversation or a relaxing soak in a hot tub? Were you sharing your heart
and soul with the one you loved? Were you on vacation with your partner and in
"letting-go" mode, shedding all the stress from home and work?
It stands to reason that some people are having libido issues partly because
of our crazy, stressed-out lives these days; there's simply less time for
connecting with our partners. Moving our minds and bodies from "being
productive" to "being intimate" mode takes time and attention, says Weston.
One researcher actually came up with a name for this phenomenon -- "Hurried
Woman Syndrome." Brent Bost, MD, a researcher in private practice in Beaumont,
Texas, coined the term to describe a trio of complaints he and other
obstetrician/gynecologists see often in their patients: fatigue, weight
gain, and decreased libido. In a recent survey of ob-gyns, 64% said stress
was the main cause of these symptoms.
Treatment for "Hurried Woman Syndrome" can include a balanced
diet, cognitive-behavioral therapy to help patients cope with stress, and,
potentially, antidepressants, Bost
A Balanced Diet to the Rescue
If you're feeling hurried and harried, give the balanced-diet option a
gander to start with. You have nothing to lose, and improved health (and,
possibly, improved libido) to gain.
I'm not going to cite all sorts of statistics on the shocking percentage of
women today who complain of low libido. Suffice it to say that if this
describes you, you know who you are -- and you should take comfort in knowing
you are definitely not alone.
By "balanced diet," Bost means not skipping meals, not overeating, and
including plenty of nutritious plant foods (fruits and vegetables, whole
grains, and beans) along with lean meats, fish, and low-fat dairy foods. It's
about eating a diet that isn't too high in fat, protein, sugar, or processed
foods. And here's some good news for you -- you're already doing this on the
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic eating plan!