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Can a Diabetes Diet Improve Female Sex Drive?

Emma | August 21st, 2012

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A recent study revealed that women diabetics suffer from higher rates of sexual dissatisfaction than do women without the disease. Even more, among female diabetics, women taking insulin were most likely to report moderate to high levels of dissatisfaction with their sex lives. For these women, the diabetes diet, which entails healthy eating and exercise, may be part of the solution to lowering their dependence on insulin and other medications, and improving their sex lives.

Female diabetics report unfulfilling sex lives

A study of almost 2,300 California women aged 40 to 80 years has revealed that more than 33% of diabetic women receiving insulin treatments are moderately to very dissatisfied with their sex lives. About 25% of diabetic women not taking insulin reported similar levels of dissatisfaction, whereas fewer than 20% of non-diabetics expressed dissatisfaction. Among the results, researchers found that women who took insulin reported more problems with lubrication and achieving orgasm than did their counterparts not on insulin. Additionally, women suffering diabetes side effects like kidney or heart disease were less likely to be sexually active at least once per month.  Researchers accounted for a variety of differentiating factors, including weight, relationship status, age, race, and estrogen treatment.

Head researcher Dr. Alison Huang of the University of California, San Francisco, concluded, “It’s not that diabetic women are not interested in sexual activity… The diabetic women in the study had more sexual problems, but they were just as interested in sexual activities and had a similar level of sexual activity as women without diabetes.” Dr. Huang postulates that the stress and burden of living with a chronic disease like diabetes may affect women’s sex drives, while elevated blood sugar levels may cause nerve damage.

Diabetic diet for weight loss could improve sexual satisfaction

For women diabetics suffering from an unsatisfactory sex life, a diabetes diet may be the answer. A medically supervised diabetic diet for weight loss can help patients control their blood sugar with exercise and food. In some cases, type 2 diabetics are able to reduce or completely eliminate their dependence on medication. The diabetes diet plan is also effective at preventing the onset of diabetes; in fact, a National Institutes of Health study estimates that 58% of pre-diabetics can reduce their risk of diabetes through diet alone. It is also possible that the diabetes diet may reduce or eliminate several of the factors that cause women to become “moderately” to “very” dissatisfied with their sexual activity.

Qualified medical professionals should monitor the diabetes diet

The best diet for diabetics is one that combines healthy food choices with exercise, and that is closely monitored by healthcare professionals. For patients with a significant amount of weight to lose, speaking with a doctor is especially important: weight loss can affect blood sugar levels, which means that a physician is required to check and adjust insulin and other medications accordingly.  With so many patients receiving type 2 diabetes diagnosis, medically supervised weight loss programs are popping up all over the country.

Dr. Michael Kaplan is the  founder and chief medical officer for one of the largest networks of physicians specializing in medically supervised weight loss programs, The Center for Medical Weight Loss (CMWL).  Dr. Kaplan maintains that the best diabetic diet is one that provides lifestyle changes, not “silver bullet solutions.” According to Kaplan, “When patients lose 5-10% of their body weight, it is a given that they will reduce their blood sugar signficantly; many no longer need medication.”  In light of the California study, that incentive may prove even stronger for women wishing to reduce or get off insulin.

No one understands your condition and potential for weight loss like a medical professional. If you’d like to find out more about the diabetes diet and how it can help you – or your sex life – there may be a CMWL Center in your area. To find out more, enter your zip code into the box at the top right of this page. Be sure to ask if your local Center is currently running speical introductory offers to first-time visitors.