The “fall back” from daylight saving is linked to an uptick in car accidents and poor mood, but doctors say careful attention to sleep hygiene and a gradual adjustment of your bedtime may help.
As clocks across America “fall back” an hour at 2 a.m. on Nov. 6, internal clocks may lag behind. “Changes, even small ones, in your sleep can impact almost every area of your body from your skin to your cardiovascular system,” said Dr. Marri Horvat of the Cleveland Sleep Disorders Clinic.
What can you do to get better sleep?
Sleep specialists say it’s a good idea to establish a nighttime routine leading up to and following the switch. Horvat recommends “making the shift slowly over several days” by “going to bed and waking up 10 to 15 minutes later each day.” Ideally, this routine would include a “winding down” period of at least an hour before bedtime when you stop screen time, turn down the thermostat (between 60-75 degrees), and do a relaxing activity. The greatest relaxation technique before bedtime is listening to soothing music.
Another tip is to exercise outdoors. Moderate intensity aerobic exercise during the day, as long as it’s at least two to four hours before bedtime, increases sleep quality and duration. Also, exercising outdoors is recommended since natural sunlight during the day can help with the switch.
According to doctors, avoiding caffeine and alcohol in the evenings can also help and it’s best to avoid snacks close to bedtime.
Although napping can’t replace a good night’s sleep, it can help supplement it. Even a five-minute nap shows improved attention and short-term memory.
“Healthy sleep begins with attitude and awareness,” said Dr. Emerson Wickwire, director of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. “Set aside 7.5 or 8 hours for sleep and enjoy it!”
Source: How to beat the negative health effects of daylight saving time (msn.com)
As the cost-of-living rises, so do our work loads and stress levels, which in turn can drastically affect our mental health.
With many focusing on increasing their workload to keep up with the growing demands and pressures of the economy, there has been a significant rise in concerning health issues.
Healthista spoke to Jess Hillard, Nutritionist from leading sports nutrition brand Warrior, who reveals the surprising signs that could be contributing to poor mental health.
#1 Longer Working Hours
To compensate for the rise in the cost of living, many are taking on extra jobs and working longer hours. These long working hours can massively aggravate anxiety, depression, and eventual burnout.
Symptoms of overworking can be seen through weight fluctuations, constant fatigue, lack of sleep and frequently feeling run down which all in turn lead towards a weakened immune system.
The health issues that coincide with overworking are extensive and can escalate into serious problems rapidly. Studies have shown that those who work 55 to 65+ hours per week have considerably worse mental health when compared to those who work less than 40 hours per week.
Studies also found that those who overwork, are at a greater risk of cardiovascular disease (e.g. type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure). This is mostly due to eating habits, stress, relying on alcohol, lack of sleep and physical activity, all of which can be triggered by the stress of overworking.
To help keep our overall health in check and avoid an eventual burnout we really should be limiting our working hours to around 40 hours per week.
#2 Poor Diet Choices
As well as over doing it when it comes to work, there is a strong link between what we eat and our mental health. Our diet plays a huge role in our mental wellbeing. This is due to our eating times, habits, as well as micro and macro nutrients that come with diet.
A meta-analysis done across ten different countries showed that a diet with high intake of fruit, vegetables, fish, whole grains, olive oil and low-fat dairy, was associated with a decreased risk of depression.
Not only this but research has also shown that individuals with a high intake of ‘unhealthy foods’ (high in saturated fats, low fibre, little fruit and veg), with a lower nutrient-density, are associated with smaller left hippocampal volume.
This is the area of the brain that is connected to stress, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease. The reasoning to why these foods decrease the size of this area of the brain are not yet clear.
#3 Deficient in Protein
Something which often gets overlooked when identifying the reasons why someone’s mental health might be suffering is their protein intake.
Protein intake has been seen to link to high levels of dopamine, which control mood regulation within the brain. Protein consists of amino acids which help the body to rebuild muscle fibres. Some amino acids cannot be produced naturally in the body, so we need to supplement them through food or vitamins.
Despite often feeling tired throughout the day, many highly stressed people have difficulty getting off to sleep or staying asleep through the night, which can have a huge impact on mental health.
Getting a second wind of energy just as you should be going to bed is a classic sign that our adrenal glands (which control are stress response) are struggling.
Stress hormones can cause hyperarousal, upsetting the balance between sleep and wakefulness. This creates a vicious cycle, as stressful situations are much more difficult to cope with when you are tired, leading to further stress.
#5 Not Getting the Right Nutrients
A nutrient that greatly affects brain health, corresponding with mental health, is omega 3. This is found in foods such as oily fish, flaxseed, walnuts, olive oil.
Cell signaling and structure of cell membranes within the brain are changed by omega-3 fatty acids which can act as an antidepressant.
Research within this area is growing through time and is showing positive effects with using omega-3 fatty acids to help treat depression and bipolar related depression too.
It is worth noting that if you do not eat oily fish two to three times per week or taking on high levels of plant-based sources in the form of flaxseed, olive oils etc, it may be worth supplementing or even better, trying to increase these whole food forms into your diet more often.
Source: Overworked and exhausted? 5 reasons your mental health may be suffering (healthista.com)
“Upping your vitamin intake is a great way to get more valuable nutrients into your diet, boosting immunity, gut health, and energy,” nutritionist Rebekah Lamb stated. “Vitamins have a whole host of benefits, and can improve the health of your hair, skin, and nails.” Eating a well-balanced, healthy diet is key in getting the nutrients required by your body.
Yet, in the modern day, lives can feel super busy, which could result in a sub-par diet.
This is where supplements come in handy, but “there is such a thing as too many vitamins”.
Lamb cautioned: “When a person greatly exceeds their recommended daily intake of vitamins over a sustained period of time, they could suffer a vitamin overdose.”
Take, for instance, vitamin D, which “can lead to abnormally high levels of calcium in your blood”.
Lamb warned that overdosing on vitamin D could lead to “high blood pressure [and] kidney stones”.
High blood pressure
An ideal blood pressure reading should be between 90/60mmHg to 120/80mmHg, the NHS says.
If you are below the age of 80 and your blood pressure exceeds 120/80mmHg, then you are on your way to life-threatening conditions.
High blood pressure (specified as above 140/90mmHg) increases the likelihood of a person having a stroke or heart attack.
The condition also hikes your risk of:
Peripheral arterial disease
“Around a third of adults in the UK have high blood pressure, although many will not realise it,” the NHS adds.
This is because the condition is mostly symptomless; you must have your blood pressure tested for an accurate reading.
If you are told you have high blood pressure, you will need to incorporate more exercise into your daily life and cut down on fatty foods (and perhaps regulate your vitamin D usage).
Article by Chanel Georgina
Source: Vitamin D supplement toxicity could lead to ‘extremely painful’ health condition (msn.com)
Once you’ve ruled out something like bruising from bumping into furniture on a late-night trip to the bathroom, you might start running through the list of other possible causes of knee pain to help determine your treatment options — and whether or not you’ll still be able to tackle the workout you had planned for today.
Here, Joshua Goldman, MD, an orthopedic surgeon and associate clinical professor at UCLA, explains why you might wake up with knee pain and what to do when it happens.
1. You Have Runner’s Knee
An ache in the front of the knee and around your kneecap in the morning can be a sign of runner’s knee, or patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS), according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). It happens when the kneecap gets misaligned and no longer sits in the trochlear groove — the notch at the end of the femur bone.
This type of injury can result from overuse of the knee or under-conditioning of the hip and inner quadricep muscles. While PFPS is quite common in runners, it can also occur from many other sports and activities.
Icing your knee before bed can reduce swelling and minimize overnight symptoms. You can treat persistent discomfort with the standard RICE method — which stands for rest, ice, compression and elevation — by staying off the affected leg, applying ice at 20-minute intervals, wrapping it lightly with a bandage and elevating your knee above your heart whenever possible, according to the AAOS.
In the long term, physical therapy can correct any hip weakness or quadricep imbalance to help with recovery and prevent future injury.
2. You Have Iliotibial Band Syndrome
Iliotibial band syndrome, or ITBS for short, is similar in origin to runner’s knee. While this pain is more common during activity, it can also manifest as aching overnight.
The IT band is a thick, fibrous band of tissue that starts in the front of the hip, runs along the side of the thigh and anchors on the outside of the tibia (shin bone) below the knee, Dr. Goldman explains. If you have weak hip muscles, the IT band will overcompensate to try to stabilize the leg. As it does so, it can create friction over the front of the knee, which manifests as a sharp, stabbing pain.
Knee pain from ITBS is treated with ice at the site of pain, stretching of the IT band and physical therapy to correct the hip weakness. Use a foam roller on the outer thigh before bed to help relax the IT band and prevent pain when you wake up.
3. You Have Osteoarthritis
As we reach middle age, we often see signs of cartilage degeneration in the knee from old injuries or genetic predispositions. This is called osteoarthritis, per the Cleveland Clinic.
It’s fairly normal to wake up with creaky joints, especially as we age. If your discomfort eases as you go about your morning routine, there’s no cause for further investigation. But, if your morning knee pain aches around the kneecap, along the joint line in the middle of the knee and on either side of the knee, it could be caused by osteoarthritis.
This pain is classically worse in the morning upon waking and improves over the course of the day as the joint “loosens up,” Dr. Goldman explains.
Knee osteoarthritis can be diagnosed with an X-ray. While there is no “cure” for degenerative changes in the knee, there are several treatments that can help minimize symptoms including anti-inflammatory medication, steroid injections, hyaluronic acid injections, platelet-rich plasma injections and knee replacement surgery, Dr. Goldman says.
Lifestyle changes can help ease morning knee pain and keep you more comfortable throughout the day as well. Try these steps, from Rhode Island Hospitals and Health Services, to get the creaks out of your joints:
Circle your ankles
Extend your legs in bed
Bend at the knee and hip before getting out of bed
Follow up with a hot shower to ease your muscles
Add in periods of gentle activity throughout the day
Dr. Goldman points out that hip osteoarthritis can masquerade as knee pain. If you are an older adult with normal knee X-rays, talk to your doctor about getting a hip X-ray as well.
4. You Tore Your Meniscus
If you wake up with a swollen knee that delivers a sharp pain when you step on it or twist it, you might be dealing with a torn meniscus — i.e., torn cartilage in the knee, Dr. Goldman says.
The meniscus — cartilage that serves as a shock absorber and cushion between the bones of your knee — is a commonly injured part of the knee. A tear can happen to anyone, regardless of fitness level, ability or age, from contact sports, a fall or even an awkward twist as you stand up from a chair.
Most often, you’ll hear a popping sound when it tears. But sometimes, you won’t notice the injury for two to three days, when it begins to swell or cause pain upon waking in the morning, according to the AAOS.
If you suspect you might have a meniscal tear, apply ice and stay off the affected leg. If your mobility is limited or the pain and swelling increase, you’ll need to see an orthopedist.
An orthopedic visit will likely begin with a McMurray test, a series of manipulations of the leg to determine the areas of pain and discomfort, according to the Cleveland Clinic. This will likely be followed by an MRI or other imaging test.
A doctor might prescribe the RICE method along with anti-inflammatory medication or possibly arthroscopic surgery, depending on the type and location of the injury.
5. You Tore a Ligament
If your knee locks or buckles and you have trouble supporting your weight when you stand, especially when you first get up out of bed in the morning but also throughout the day, it might be a sign of a significant tear in the anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, per the Mayo Clinic.
If you suspect you have a torn knee ligament, immediately apply the RICE method and consult a doctor.
A torn knee ligament can’t heal on its own and requires immediate medical attention. Follow-up treatments may include physical therapy or surgery.
Hello readers, I’m back at it after a lengthy layoff. My first post on my return is one whose subject is quite important to me, breast cancer. Do you know someone afflicted with it? I do. So, what can you do about it?
Each year in the United States, more than 200,000 women get breast cancer, and more than 40,000 women die from the disease. Except for skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women.
Because of personal and family medical history, some women are at higher risk for breast cancer. About 1 in 8 women born today in the United States will get breast cancer at some point.
Here are the main breast cancer symptoms to watch out for.
Skin irritation or dimpling
A rough patch of skin that feels scaly or thicker than usual or skin that starts to dimple can signal breast cancer, says Joseph Weber, MD, a breast surgical oncologist at Aurora Health Care in Milwaukee. With some breast cancers, channels that go from the inside of the breast to the skin become blocked, resulting in skin changes that make the breast look like it’s covered with an orange peel.
Breast or nipple pain
Many things can cause pain in your breasts or nipples, like PMS, pregnancy, or even menopause. But if you notice persistent pain along with other breast cancer symptoms, it’s important to report the experience to your doctor—regardless of if it’s a sharp twinge or a dull ache.
Some breast cancers will cause what’s called nipple inversion or retraction, in which the nipple turns inward. Typically, that’s because a mass is growing inside the breast and changes its shape, Dr. Weber explains. In the recent research, 7 percent of the women who were diagnosed with breast cancer reported nipple abnormalities.
Another possible nipple abnormality can be discharge that’s not breast milk. Nipple discharge is, thankfully, most often not cancer, but it’s important to see a doctor immediately if the discharge comes out without you touching or squeezing the nipple, especially if it’s bloody and only affecting one side.
Color or texture changes
This can include redness, darkening, scaliness, or thickening of the nipple or breast skin. One type of breast cancer called Paget disease—a rare form that starts at your breast ducts and spreads to the nipple and areola—is often accompanied by a rash.
Swelling of all or part of a breast
Inflammatory breast cancer often starts with red, inflamed skin that swells as cancer cells clog the vessels that carry lymph fluid.
One bit of good news: fewer women are getting breast cancer than ever before. “Cancer is not an inevitability. Women have more control over the disease than they think,” says Margaret I. Cuomo, MD, author of A World Without Cancer. “Everything we do from the moment we wake—from what we eat and drink to whether or not we exercise and avoid BPA, parabens, and other carcinogenic chemicals—is a factor that can turn on or off the genetic switches in our bodies, including ones that could lead to cancer. The risk of many cancers, including breast cancer, can be significantly reduced by living a healthy lifestyle.”
But lifestyle choices, diet, stress levels and exercise all play a role in your overall chances of developing breast cancer — and they are in your hands.
Your blood pressure will be probably be taken at a checkup, so avoid coffee right before your appointment: it could affect the results. “Using coffee or other caffeine such as energy drinks or colas within an hour of having your blood pressure measured can make the number artificially higher,” says James Dewar, MD, vice chairman of family medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC). “The same goes for tobacco products and over-the-counter decongestant medications.” Don’t miss everything you should know about coffee and high blood pressure.
Don’t eat a high-fat meal before getting blood drawn
You should also skip the fettucini alfredo before a regular blood workup. “If you wouldn’t normally have a high-fat meal, then don’t do it, so your physician can get an accurate picture of your health,” says Deepa Iyengar, MD, associate professor of family and community medicine at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth and an attending physician at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center. Unusually large meals could skew test results. In fact, you may need to avoid eating in general. “If your blood work will include a measurement of cholesterol or other fats, it is best to avoid any calories for eight to ten hours before the test is drawn,” says Dr. Dewar. “Your blood sugar and certain fats in the blood called triglycerides can be increased for a bit after you eat.” And you may not have a choice: you’ll probably be told to fast and only drink water before a regular blood workup, says Dr. Iyengar
Do drink lots of water before a physical
In general, it’s a good idea to hydrate before seeing the doc for a checkup. “Being well hydrated at the time of a physical will make your pulse and blood pressure at their best,” Dr. Dewar says. “If you are having blood work or urine testing done, being mildly dehydrated can cause artificial abnormalities in the testing that can confuse the results.” You do want the doctor to picture your normal lifestyle, but you should be drinking lots of water anyways.
Do eat as you normally would before a checkup
You don’t need to change your eating habits before an annual appointment, even if you want to seem healthy. “Your providers would like you to be honest and upfront about your lifestyle and diet so they can have an accurate history of your health and provide you with the best possible care,” says Gregory John Galbreath, MD, a PIH Health physician in Whittier, CA. After all, a few days of healthier eating probably won’t matter. “It takes a long time for a diet to change cholesterol and blood sugar, so a dietary change of a few days or meals isn’t going to do much,” Dr. Dewar says. Changes occur over the long term, so just eat healthy as often as you can.
Read more about what to do or not do by clicking the link below.
Despite what you may have been told in the past, you don’t have to give up bread in order to be healthy. If you don’t have a gluten intolerance or allergy, you can still consume it on a regular basis while simultaneously pursuing your specific health goals.
Bread is not the enemy, but it’s important to recognize that certain types are much lower quality than others. For example, many varieties of store-bought bread come packed with added sugars and preservatives to help it stay fresh on the shelf for long periods of time.
Continue reading to learn about some of the lowest-quality breads you may want to avoid next time you’re at the store.
1. Wonder Bread Classic White
“White bread has all the nutrients processed out and is notoriously unhealthy. Additionally, this highly processed bread contains preservatives and other inflammatory ingredients,” says Morgyn Clair, MS, RDN, author at Fit Healthy Momma.
“If you do eat white bread or any other type of bread without having a digestive issue, then there is no need to avoid these products completely. However, when choosing between different types of breads, try to stick with those made with whole wheat flour instead of white flour so that you can feel better after eating them,” says Ronald Smith, RD.
2. Fran’s Thick Sliced Texas Toast
Texas toast is delicious, but buying packaged versions on grocery store shelves often leads to too many trans fats and sugar. According to Clair, this bread makes the list as one of the worst-quality choices. “This highly processed bread has tons of calories and very little fiber,” says Clair.
3. Pure Joy Cinnamon Bread
This cinnamon bread makes for a yummy treat, but you may want to think twice before making it a staple in your diet.
“This bread actually has frosting and lots of extra cinnamon sugar. I would treat this bread as a dessert and eat in very modest portions because there are over 240 calories in just one slice,” says Clair.
4. Marketside Vanilla Brioche
A slice of something like this vanilla brioche loaf may sound like a delicious way to start your day, but dietitians warn that you may want to only consume in moderation.
“This bread has more calories and sugar than many others. Generally, brioche-style bread has very little fiber and nutrients and is calorie-dense,” says Clair.
5. Sun Maid Cinnamon Swirl Raisin Bread
And lastly, reaching for some packaged cinnamon raisin bread may be fine once and a while, but be careful if this is part of your daily routine.
“This bread has 8 grams added sugars and virtually no fiber or other nutrients. Also, there is not a lot of protein. Because of this, this bread is one of the worst-quality choices,” says Clair.
The word inflammation has a bad reputation. It seems to be associated with negative consequences like pain, swelling, disease, or perhaps a byproduct of just general poor health. There are a couple of classifications of inflammation recognized in healthcare: acute and chronic inflammation, and there are some big differences between the two.
Acute inflammation is characterized by the healing of injured body tissue. Acute inflammation is short-term, lasting minutes to days, and is a result of injury, irritation, or infection. During recovery of this type of inflammatory process, signs like redness, swelling, heat, and soreness in the affected area might be apparent as damaged tissue is being addressed and new tissue is being synthesized. This is a normal physiologic response to the body’s exposure to physical stress and its subsequent necessary repair.
Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, as stated in this review in the British Journal of Nutrition, is an indicator of a failure to regulate homeostasis, thus contributing to the perpetuation and progression of disease. This is a result of a misfiring in the body’s physiologic response when there is no real trigger, but inflammation is still activated. Most chronic inflammation is systemic (not localized to just one area of the body) and is mild or “low-grade.” Chronic inflammation can become the root of many diseases, including heart disease, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, obesity, cancer, and rheumatoid arthritis.
One method of protection against inflammation is a nutrient-dense diet which includes an array of vegetables and fruits, nuts and seeds, legumes (beans and peas), whole grains, and up to two servings a week of fish that supply omega-3 fats. Certain plant-based foods have been studied for their potential inflammatory-fighting benefits, including these top five anti-inflammatory fruits. Read on for more on how to eat healthy.
Cranberries don’t get nearly enough credit year-round. Instead, most cranberry intake is cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving or cranberry juice to defend against a urinary tract infection (UTI). Cranberries instead can be enjoyed frozen in a smoothie, dried in a trail mix, or fresh in a salad. Cranberries have a high content of bioactive compounds, which are associated with antioxidant activity. One primary bioactive compound in cranberries is a flavonoid called quercetin. These flavonoids have been studied for their role in decreasing inflammation, inhibiting the buildup of fatty substances in the arteries, and for their anti-cancer effects.
Oranges, whether they be navel oranges or mandarins, contain hesperetin, a citrus flavonoid. Hesperetin offers protection against inflammation that can lead to neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and multiple sclerosis.
Blueberries are a recognizable fruit probably making its way into your breakfast routine via oatmeal, yogurt, or muffins. Now there is even more reason to include blueberries regularly in your diet: its inflammatory-reducing function may decrease insulin resistance, a hallmark of developing type 2 diabetes. A 2018 review in Advances in Clinical and Experimental Medicine suspects this could be attributed to blueberry’s “anthocyanin” content and its ability to alter certain hormones associated with the body’s use of glucose.
Grapefruit, along with other fruits like lemons, limes, and oranges, is categorized as a citrus fruit. Naringin, a major compound found in tomatoes, grapefruit, and other citrus fruits, can suppress inflammatory reactions, as reported in a research article in Bioscience Reports in 2020. This occurs through naringin’s capability to reduce the effectiveness of pro-inflammatory “cytokines,” which are known to contribute to cell damage. Grapefruit also is an excellent source of vitamin A and vitamin C, which are both key vitamins in immune function.
Strawberries are not only appreciated as a juicy, wholesome, summertime fruit but also a flavor that can make just about anything from desserts to beverages taste great. Keep up with consuming strawberries, but now armed with the knowledge that this fruit is exceptionally rich in a flavonoid called ellagic acid. Ellagic acid is anti-inflammatory and antibacterial and can also boost protection against cancer.
We know the drill. You come home late after a long day, cook dinner, and basically just melt right into bed. Your partner, of course, was wishing for other plans. While most of us shrug this off to stress or exhaustion (which it can be!), there are other reasons you might not get as excited to get down to business tonight. It’s normal to not be in the mood every now and then (I mean, sometimes we just want to sleep!); however, when it becomes a consistent occurrence, there could be something deeper going on.
A low libido seriously sucks, but it’s something most of us will go through at some point. Instead of causing yourself more stress, we looked into all the reasons you’re not too keen on doing much in the bedroom right now — besides sleep.
We all know how it feels to get home and still have a to-do list. Whether you’re experiencing work, school, or personal stress, it’s easy to let that get into your head and discourage you from engaging in time with your partner.
Try one of these — might I add, wonderful — ways to reduce your day to day stress, so you and your partner can get back to it. You could also start adding some self-care to your routine, or if you’re feeling ~spicy~, treat yourself with a little me time. We promise you’ll feel renewed.
2. Certain medications
Antidepressants, some anti-anxiety medications, blood pressure medications, and more can have a low sex drive as a side effect. If you’ve started taking a new medication recently, look back at the list of side effects your pharmacist gave you (that you probably wanted to throw out and thought again that it might be important). If you think it’s impacting your life or your relationships, you can talk to your doctor about another option.
3. Pregnancy or breastfeeding
Pregnancy and breastfeeding cause a lot of changes to occur within your body. Your hormones are raging, which can cause fluctuations in your sex drive. One day you might want to go at it like rabbits, and another, you’re not interested at all. Understand that this is just a change in your body, and it won’t last forever.
Aside from your hormones, the other side effects of pregnancy can turn you off from sex. Nausea and fatigue in the first trimester just make sex uncomfortable — who wants to go at it when they feel sick!? Then, as your body grows and changes (woohoo! A baby!), traditional sex positions can feel kinda awkward, and women can sometimes be self-conscious about their pregnant bodies. Be kind to yourself, you’re about to birth another human into the world!
4. Lack of sleep
Along with stress, we completely understand. Whether you had a work report due at 8am, you had a scary dream (I watch too much AHS), or you stayed up reading (#guilty), you didn’t get your full eight hours last night. And that’s okay! It’s when you continuously forgo sleep that you start to notice a consistent decrease in your libido.
Try some lavender oil in your diffuser, turn off your electronics an hour before bed, or my personal favorite, give yourself a good Saturday morning to sleep until noon.
5. Negative body image
When you don’t feel comfortable or accepting of your body, it’s hard to want someone else to see you naked. Continued fear and self-consciousness when having sex is enough to make you never want to do it again. Yoga, meditation, or buying a cute new set of lingerie are all examples of ways you can start to gain a little confidence (and maybe feel a little sexier, too!).
6. Mental health issues
If you’re struggling with depression (Seasonal Affective Disorder included) or anxiety, it can significantly impact your sex drive. This can have to do with medication, issues with trust, anxiety and worry about your partner — the list goes on. Because there are so many ways mental illness can affect your libido, reach out to your doctor to discuss ways in which you can either bring it back or make it easier on yourself.
7. Relationship issues
You and your partner might have gotten in a fight recently, or you feel as though you can’t trust him or her. There are many different issues that you and your partner can experience that might lower your libido. If you’re experiencing conflict, talk with your partner openly and honestly. The conflict might be stressful and hard to deal with at first, but you’ll be grateful when it’s over and you and your partner feel closer than ever.
8. Conditions that make sex painful
Vulvodynia and endometriosis are known to cause painful sex, which can not really make you super excited to get in the sack, right? If you suffer with these conditions, talk to your doctor about treatments. You can also talk to your partner about different positions that might reduce or avoid pain. You deserve to feel good during sex, not uncomfortable!
9. Birth control
Again with the hormones! Birth control pills can sometimes lower the hormones in your body — like testosterone — that make you want to have sex. Luckily, there are alternatives, such as non-hormonal IUDs, condoms, and diaphragms. You could also talk with your doctor about trying a different birth control pill or option, like the NuvaRing.