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Sneaky issues wrecking your libido

Just can’t get in the mood? Before you blame your low libido on menopause or age, take a look at other sneaky issues that could be wrecking your sex drive. They’re all incredibly common — and fortunately — easy to fix!

Low iron


When’s the last time you had your iron levels checked? According to a study of Iranian women, sexual function and satisfaction were significantly lower in women with iron deficiency anemia. Other signs of anemia include loss of energy, difficulty concentrating and dizziness.

Vitamin D deficiency

It’s estimated that half of all US adults are deficient in Vitamin D. Why does this matter for your sex life? As multiple studies have shown Vitamin D deficiency can lead to depression and sexual dysfunction in healthy women and men. Symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency include bone pain, muscle weakness and aches, and mood changes. Need to stock up on the sunshine vitamin? Find out how to get enough Vitamin D for optimal supplementation.

Adrenal fatigue

When the adrenal glands are put under excessive stress, they begin pumping out higher and higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol, over time entering a state of adrenal fatigue. As research shows, higher cortisol levels can hormonally interfere with sexual arousal. Signs that you’re in a state of adrenal dysfunction can range from fatigue and brain fog to belly fat and food cravings. Taking steps to reduce stress in your life and nourish your adrenal glands with beneficial adaptogens can help cortisol levels return to normal — and your sex drive to return to normal too!

Low thyroid

As many as 1 in 8 women will experience low thyroid, a condition that can result in lethargy, weight gain, hair loss, fuzzy thinking — and low libido. Studies have also shown hypothyroidism (the official name for low thyroid) can impair female sexual function, including desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasm, satisfaction and pain. Could your thyroid use extra support? Take our quiz to find out if you’re experiencing low thyroid symptoms and what you can to do naturally support healthy thyroid function.

Leptin resistance

Leptin is a hormone produced in the fat cells that sends signals to your brain that you’re hungry or full and also helps to regulate the body’s energy expenditure. Sometimes the brain can’t correctly recognize (or respond to) the hormone’s signals. This is a condition called leptin resistance. As a result, you may eat more and still feel hungry.

The real trouble for your sex drive is that leptin resistance has been shown to lower testosterone levels, which decreases libido in both men and women. If you know or suspect that you have leptin resistance, one way to re-regulate the hormone is to to limit refined sugars, refined grains, and other inflammatory foods. Focus instead on anti-inflammatory foods and get plenty of sleep.

Interested in learning more about the causes of low libido — and solutions for a more satisfying sex drive? Read our feature article: Increase your libido and sex drive in menopause.

Last Updated: November 10, 2022
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