Dr. Mack’s Top 5 for Addressing Low Sex Drive:
#1. Sex and Hormones:
Hormones – Testosterone is the hormone in both men and women that supports sex drive, and it can definitely be low! The best way to determine testosterone levels is with a blood test. Interestingly, testosterone is diurnal, meaning that it is higher in the morning than in the evening. This means that patients need to have a morning blood draw to get an accurate testosterone reading. There are MANY herbs and nutrients we use to support the body’s natural testosterone production before we consider exogenous testosterone hormone therapy.
Thyroid – Thyroid dysfunction can make you tired. It you’re tired, you probably aren’t all that excited about sex. Again, with a little herbal and nutrient support, patients can see improvements in thyroid function and an increase in their sex drive. I always test thyroid health when considering a case of low libido.
Comfort – One major aspect of low sex drive, especially in female patients, is pain or discomfort with intercourse (also know as dyspareunia.) As women age, their estrogen levels decrease and estrogen-sensitive tissues become less supple. Vaginal tissues are sensitive to estrogen, and vaginal dryness on account of falling estrogen levels is very common. This can happen after pregnancy, too (not just with age!) Vaginal suppositories or creams can be supremely useful in making sex less uncomfortable which usually makes it much more appealing! I can’t tell you how many patients I’ve treated for low libido who have adequate testosterone and thyroid function, but discomfort with intercourse. As soon as we address the underlying cause and it doesn’t hurt anymore, their sex drive improves!
#4. Physical Touch:
Physical Touch – Fostering connection with your partner outside of sex is so important for making sex comfortable, enjoyable, and desirable. Holding hands, cuddling, and hugging are all lovely ways to nurture intimacy without having actual intercourse. Sometimes, we need to start with more caring touch, and build the physical connection back into a relationship before getting into to the more sexy stuff.
#5. Sex and Herbs:
Favorite Herb – My favorite herbal medicine to support sex drive is Lepidium meyenii, also known as Maca. This herb has seen recent rise in popularity, and many of my patients report adding powdered maca to their morning smoothies. I caution my patients that too much Maca can cause elevated blood pressure, so please always consult your physician before taking an herbal medicine. Also, herbs tend to work better, longer, when taken in combination, so I rarely use this herb alone. Studies have shown that patients on SSRI antidepressant medication (which has caused low libido), experience increased sexual desire when supplementing with Maca. In my clinical practice, I have seen an increase in serum testosterone levels in both men and women in whom I have prescribed Maca (among other things.)
Have questions about sex drive, libido, hormones, or other aspects of how to have a healthy, happy sex life? Send me a message, or call Spring to schedule a consult! 406-586-2626.
Anxiety, depression, and anger. These mental health “symptoms” run rampant in our modern-day culture. Antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications are some of the most prescribed medications in our country. An article published by the American Association of Naturopathic Medicine reports that “20.9 million American adults suffer from a mood disorder, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.” While many of these medications are life-saving and life-improving, many people are looking for alternatives to medications or ways to make their medications work better.
At Spring Integrative Health we find that combining all of the tools (conventional medicine, pharmaceuticals, natural and holistic interventions) get the BIGGEST results. Here are our top interventions for vibrant mental health:
1. Manage Stress
Stress is the NUMBER ONE contributing factor to anxiety, depression, frustration and anger. Our lives in the United States are full of family, society, and personal pressure to perform at our peak levels at all times. Also, many of us have a history of trauma or dysfunction in our lives. These are huge contributing factors to our total stress levels. Talk to your mental health provider and/or doctor on ways to manage your stress from a physical and emotional level. (We are huge fans of Meditation and Mindfullness here at Spring).
2. Treat the Whole Body
3. Reach Out
Isolating when you are feeling blue or anxious can often make the symptoms worse. Having a good team of counselors, doctors, friends and family has been shown to have a positive effect on depression.
4. Check Your Vitamin Status
Often nutrient deficiencies will increase your risk for developing depression and anxiety. Being deficient can also make these feelings worse if you are already experiencing them. A doctor can check for levels of vital nutrients in your body such as folate, B12 or vitamin D.
At Spring Integrative Health we take a multidisciplinary approach to your mental health. We believe health encompasses good physical, mental and emotional health!
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health issues please reach out! 406-586-2626 or Contact us here on our website!
Hey, busy moms and dads out there! I’m here to help you deal with the school stress that often comes along with this time of year. It is back-to-school time (already)! Summer was too short, but hopefully, you got some adventures and some time to relax before the school stress kicked in! September marks a time to get organized and establish routines, not only for the kids but for the whole family. Transitioning from summer-fun to autumn schedules can be stressful! Often we are busy setting new routines, buying school supplies and fall clothing, and trying to get back-on-track with health. I’m here to help you deal with the school stress that often comes along with this time of year!
Keeping the Peace
Many people can feel stressed, fatigued, and anxious about starting new schedules and commitments. Here are some ways to keep the peace during this transition time and make sure your fall goals do not lead to winter burn-out!
- Set realistic schedules and expectations. YOU ARE NOT A SUPERHERO (well at least most of us aren’t). You do not have to say ‘yes’ to everything and everyone. Set boundaries and limits with the kids. Realize that everyone, including kids, needs at least 20% of their day (that is 2.4 hours) of downtime. This means quiet reflection, resting, reading, quite family or community time. This does not include video games or action-packed screen time!
- Breathing! It sounds simple but most of us are panting (shallow breathing) throughout our days. Remember to do BIG belly breaths when stressed. A great adrenal fatigue and stress support breath you can do when feeling stretched mentally or emotionally is the four-cornered-breath (see below)
- Drink water. Seriously people! Again it sounds easy but I dare you to drink 90 oz per day and see how this makes you feel better!
- Try some adrenal support: ask your favorite Naturopathic doc about herbs that can really help prevent adrenal fatigue and stress-related burnout.
Good luck with the fall-transition.
- Find an object nearby that has four corners – a window, hanging art, etc.
- Focus your gaze on the upper right-hand corner of the object and inhale a deep belly breath for a count of four. Fill your lungs!
- Move your attention to the lower right-hand corner and hold your breath for a count of four.
- Move your focus to the lower left-hand corner and exhale for a count of four.
- Lastly, shift your gaze to the upper left-hand corner, hold the exhale for a count of four.
- Inhale count of four, hold count of four, exhale count of four, hold exhale for a count of four. Repeat at least three times!
- Thank yourself for taking a moment to relax!
We had a patient write us a letter that was so good, we had to share it!
I can’t give enough praise to the team at Spring Integrative Health. I was lucky enough to be introduced to Dr. Bonville through another staff member. I had a prior unpleasant experience with a naturopathic physician and I was hesitant to encounter another. I had run out of options with every doctor pointing at the other when I thought I’d try again because I had nothing to lose.
During my first appointment Dr. Bonville listened to my health history and ordered a set of tests. My results were the intolerance of several types of food. She instructed me that my body would be going through a “detox” upon omitting these foods from my diet and if I had any questions she would be readily available to assist me. I took her up on that and emailed her several times a day with questions regarding what I was experiencing or if certain foods were ok. Not ONCE did I feel like a burden. Not ONCE was I made to feel like my questions were silly even though I had already asked. And not ONCE was I ignored. My body through scary and alarming processes for a few weeks. Dr. Bonville was able to help guide me through with support and information, and still continues to guide me as I progress forward in health.
Dr. Bonville changed my life in one office visit where countless other physicians failed over the span of 18 years. I am finally able to pursue a life of health instead of the continual struggle of roadblocks I had been running into.
I can only tell you the staff here are committed to their patients. Besides the resources they have on hand, and the resources they will guide you to, they are starting up a support group for those of us who have food intolerances. I do not know of any other practitioners that would go to these lengths to see that we are being taken care of. If you’re tired of not having answers or a lack of direction, Spring Integrative Health may be your answer.
We feel very lucky that we were able to make such a significant difference in this patient’s life.