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What sorts of things -- medicine, supplements, mind and body approaches --
can be done for a flagging libido? -- Mary Shomon
DRS. RICHARD AND KARILEE SHAMES ANSWER
This can indeed be a difficult area, perhaps one of the least
talked-about and most distressing aspects of low thyroid conditions. because
in addition to having the same complex biochemical aspects that the more
purely physical ailments have, there is often now even more emotional overlay
to cope with. Keep in mind that emotional overlay with a thyroid sufferer is
in part due to the compromised brain function that somehow is linked to
memory loss, depression, and anxiety. These brain difficulties are known to
be a direct result of the lack of proper brain stimulation by thyroid
hormone. We consider this challenge to be one that begs for creative
solutions, as well as the optimal medication and supplementation.
First of all, if low libido is affecting your life, once again make sure that
your thyroid correction is as exactly right for you as possible. You may need
a different brand of thyroxine, you may need T-3 added to your thyroxine
regime, you may do better on natural thyroid hormone. If you are already on
natural thyroid, you could benefit from adding synthetic T-3 and/or T-4
added. For some people, an excellent way to accomplish this is with the
synthetic combo called Thyrolar. This fixed combination does not serve
everyone well, and many do better with two different pill bottles, one of T-3
and one of T-4, so as to get a more personalized ration of the two. If you
are on natural thyroid and it is working reasonably well, you still might
benefit from changing brands of natural thyroid. In addition to Armour, there
is Naturethroid, Westroid, the new Bio-Throid, and the old standby Proloid.
In addition to these medication possibilities, make sure your vitamin intake
is strong. That means: a high quality multivitamin and multimineral (not from
discount drug store); plenty of extra antioxidants, which help with
inflammation of the gland through eliminating free radicals; extra amino
acids, generally a couple of grams a day of mixed high-quality aminos; to
ensure entry of thyroid hormone into the cells, take a full dose of Omega 3,
6, and 9 fatty acids. This means adding to your fish or flax oils some
primrose or borage oil.
We suggest doing everything possible to balance your life, including
meditation, exercise, stress-reduction maneuvers, counseling with the
opportunity for safe emotional discharge, and simply taking time off to do
nothing in particular. This program, with the last suggestions in particular,
can be highly effective in freeing up creativity, or sexual energy, that has
been hidden or locked inside.
As we have detailed in our book THYROID POWER, there are many other loving
actions one can take with oneself and one's partner to overcome this
challenge. An energy-compromised person must guard her energy carefully,
making decisions about where to spend it just as one must when considering
financial expenditures. When one person has this condition, the couple must
work together diligently to protect their energetic investment, often
necessitating a thoughtful decision-making process that honors the needs of
the unit. This kind of teamwork becomes even more critical when caring for
children, aging parents, or in highly demanding work situations.
The actual day-to-day spark can be more forthcoming if the non-affected
partner can contribute to re-establishing more energy flow through supportive
behavior, including massaging sore muscles, reminding the affected person to
exercise, eat properly, take the assorted supplements mentioned, eat
nutritionally-charged foods that work to enhance energy (less and less sugar
and junk food, more low-fat protein and less carbs).
The partner can lovingly remind the affected person of his or her needs
without coming across as demanding or blaming. This can, under the right
circumstances, become an interesting challenge for the pair. It seems to
require the pursuit of romance much like the playful seduction applied in the
earlier courting days of the relationship. While this can be perceived as a
burden to tired working couples or parents of young children, it is a
challenge worthy of the time and space needed to maintain harmony. If a
person is not in a committed relationship, she or he must be even more
protective of oneself and ones energy, in order to create the possibility of
a more balanced life. The truth is, this is a big challenge, and one must
make very wise decisions about where to spend time and commitment. (July, 2002)
Dr. Richard Shames has practiced for over 30 years, written and lectured
widely on thyroid-related topics, and is considered an expert in the field.
He practices in San Rafael, CA. Karilee Shames has been an assistant professor of nursing, and has led thyroid support groups for many years. In addition to writing their popular book, Thyroid Power, they are regular contributors to Thyroid-Info.com, and provide a service offering thyroid coaching education sessions to consumers nationwide by telephone. For more information, see their site, www.Thyroidpower.com.