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‘This, in turn, causes a release of hormones from the pituitary gland that suppress libido.’Indeed, a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that almost 95 per cent of men and 68 per cent of women receiving opioid medicine long term reported a decreased sex drive.
The effect is linked to how long and how high a dose of opiate you are taking.
‘As with any of these products — for libido or otherwise — some of them really are very dangerous, and I would advise against buying anything off the internet.‘Some products are made in appalling conditions in Asia and can actually be poisonous.
Others may be laced with traces of heavy metals which could negatively affect your libido.’When it comes to sex, good blood flow is important, says Dr Tomlinson.
‘Low iron levels are thought to reduce the quality of blood flow and so sap energy,’ she explains.
‘If you’re exhausted, sex is obviously the last thing you feel like doing.’‘The best source of easily absorbable iron is a nice juicy steak,’ adds Helen Bond.
‘Not only does diabetes cause nerve damage, which means you’re less sensitive to touch, but 50 per cent of men with diabetes will eventually suffer from erectile dysfunction (caused by narrowed arteries and nerve damage) and low testosterone, which are huge reasons for low sex drive.’A romantic three-course meal doesn’t translate into action in the bedroom, says dietician Helen Bond.
It’s thought the drug alters levels of important brain chemicals called neurotransmitters that affect mood and other bodily functions.‘Many women try to get thin so they are more attractive, but the irony is it can kill their sex life and defeat the point of trying to be thin in the first place,’ says GP Sarah Brewer.Other good sources of zinc include beans, nuts and oysters.’‘These can sometimes significantly reduce libido and cause erectile dysfunction,’ explains Dr Graham Jackson, consultant cardiologist at Guy’s & St Thomas’s Hospital.‘Because they reduce heart rate and blood flow, not as much blood gets to the genitals.’ The worst offenders are diuretics and beta-blockers such as propranolol and atenolol, according to a review of blood pressure medication in this month’s issue of International Journal of Clinical Practice.Over-the-counter cold and flu remedies are well-known libido dampeners, says Dr John Tomlinson, a GP specialist in men’s sexual health and trustee of the Sexual Advice Association.
Those that contain diphenhydramine or pseudoephedrine not only affect your sex drive but can cause erectile dysfunction, he says.In a separate study, they found it also significantly lowered sperm concentration and motility.However, this research has not been repeated elsewhere.‘Why this is so is not clear, but I have certainly seen it in my patients,’ he adds.