The Link Between Sugar Cravings and Libido

The Link Between Sugar Cravings and Libido

When doing research on sugar and on sugar cravings, you can read all about weight gain, diabetes, heart disease and liver failure. While these are all true, there’s not a whole lot of available information on one special truth regarding sugar cravings: It is inexplicably linked to your sex drive.

That’s right, if you are having trouble in the bedroom or if your libido is low, it may have a surprising source: your insulin levels. Although many people instinctively understand this (especially women who crave sugar and chocolate right before their period), it’s not really talked about in depth. But it is very important to understand how our body functions so that we can make the right changes. Here’s what happens.

  • When you give in to a sugar craving, you increase the blood sugar level.
  • This causes your body to react and tells your pancreas to increase your insulin level. Insulin is a hormone.
  • Insulin is used by the body to control many other hormones and bodily processes. The sex hormones are transported through the body by sex hormone-blinding globulin (SHBG). SHGB is shown to be decreased with an increase in the blood insulin levels.
  • This drop in SHBG causes the body to slow down production of sex hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.
  • In effect, the higher and more unstable the insulin levels, the lower our sex hormones become.

When our body stops producing sex hormones at the optimal level, it can not only decrease the desire for sex, it can increase belly fat, create problems with memory and contribute to a lower muscle mass. These hormones also affect fertility and total health. For those with higher insulin levels and lower sex hormone levels, we often see issues such as polycystic ovarian syndrome, erectile dysfunction, cancer, and heart disease.

Increased blood sugar levels also lead to a temporary increase in our serotonin and norepinephrine levels. These give us a great rush and make us feel oh-so-good — but only for the moment. Once these levels crash, we start to feel tired and out of sorts, which also decreases your libido. That’s why that big old bowl of pasta for dinner often leads to an early bedtime without a desire for intimacy.

Adding to this, a decreased libido can often cause emotional overeating. This means you eat to avoid emotions, which can lead to spiking insulin, which can negatively impact your sex hormones, which can then lead to sugar cravings. This is simply a vicious cycle.

If you see yourself in this cycle, you can stop it. And the first step to stopping this cycle is gathering information and understanding what is happening within your body by your diet choices. Once you understand what is happening, you can make better choices.

The bottom line is that it is to your advantage, health-wise and sex-wise, to limit your sugar intake. It may take awhile, but you should eventually get your hormones back in check. However, if you feel that you are really struggling or not seeing results, you should visit your doctor for a blood test that shows you your sex hormone levels.

Even if you’ve struggled with a low libido for awhile, don’t give up. There is hope and there is help. And the biggest hope for better sex may just exist on the end of your fork.