Men of all ages can experience a low sex drive at some point in their lives, which can be frustrating, and although we may put it down to stress, tiredness or fatigue, it could actually be a sign of a gut imbalance.
Gut Health + Libido
Gut health usually refers to the entire digestive tract from the esophagus to the rectum. When suffering from common digestive stress or serious disorders it can easily put one out of the mood. Studies have documented the high rates of sexual dysfunction from low libido to erectile dysfunction among those with gut health problems.
Your digestive tract’s main role is to digest food and absorb nutrients, however, it also contains millions of neurons that play a role in emotional response. This is why sometimes we can feel emotions in the gut (a sinking feeling, butterflies, etc) and with a gut imbalance, it can affect your desire for sex, as it is closely linked with your emotional state, which is why your libido could be connected to your gut health.
Gut Health + Diet
What you eat can also play a part in gut health as it affects hormones, blood sugar, energy and mood in a good or bad way. Reviewing your diet and ensuring you’re maintaining a happy, healthy gut, could help improve your sexual health – and can even help prevent erectile dysfunction.
Alcohol, too much sugar, antibiotics and stress can also cause havoc on your gut flora causing an imbalance resulting in mental and physical issues. Fortunately, you can improve the gut flora – and your libido – with lifestyle changes and probiotics. But how do you know if you have a gut imbalance?
There are several ways an unhealthy gut may present itself including:
- Upset stomach. This can include gas, bloating, constipation or diarrhoea.
- Skin irritation. A disruption in the gut can cause inflammation with one of the many precursors being acne or eczema.
- Unintentional weight changes. An imbalanced gut can damage the body’s ability to absorb nutrients, regulate blood sugar and store fat.
- Sleep problems, fatigue or mood swings. The majority of the body’s serotonin, a hormone that affects mood and sleep, is produced in the gut.
The best way to determine if you have a gut imbalance is to speak with your doctor.
How to improve your gut health?
There are many ways to improve your gut health, as well as supplementing probiotics, whether in a capsule form or drink or increase the number of fermented foods you eat, including sauerkraut, kefir, yoghurt, kombucha, apple cider vinegar and kimchi.
Other ways to improve your gut health include:
- Lower your stress levels
- Get enough sleep
- Stay hydrated
- Reduce processed, high-sugar and high-fat foods
- Increase fibre intake
Note: This information presented is not intended to help treat, diagnose or substitute for professional medical advice. We always recommend speaking with your doctor for more information.