Is Gluten Intolerance Ruining Your Sex Life?

on Jul6
by Dr. Vikki Petersen | Print the article |

Has Your Libido Dropped Out of Sight?

If your libido isn’t at the level you desire you’re not alone. As a man you have approximately 18 million other men who share your dilemma. Women also suffer and it isn’t a rare condition by any means. There are medications for erectile dysfunction and crèmes to enhance a woman’s sensitivity. Where does gluten intolerance fit into this? Let’s explore:

Gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley is known to cause digestive problems. As a food it makes sense that it would create digestive disturbances. But did you know that gluten intolerance is responsible for over 300 diseases and conditions, most of which have nothing to do with the digestive tract? It is gluten’s ability to leave the digestive tract and wreck havoc throughout the body that has earned it the label of ‘the great masquerader’.

Gluten Intolerance Absolutely Affects Hormone Levels

The nervous system and hormonal systems of the body are confirmed by many research studies to be greatly affected by those suffering with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. Symptoms such as libido problems, infertility, miscarriage, mood swings, depression and more are common. Commonly women suffer from irregular periods and trouble with menopause in addition to those symptoms already mentioned.

Here is Our 4 Step Program

Therefore if libido issues are an issue for you or your partner I’d like you to consider the type of clinical nutrition program that we utilize with our patients, quite successfully:

1.    Discover if you’re suffering with a gluten intolerance. As mentioned, gluten is a known stressor to the hormonal systems of the body. While everyone with a gluten intolerance is not affected the same way, a hormonal related problem is one of the most common issues that we see.

2.    Discover if your adrenal glands are stressed. The adrenal glands are the stress glands in the body and they perform an enormous number of functions. One of them is to make the precursor hormones to the sex hormones. This is critical for maintaining normal libido and sex hormone balance.

You may have noticed that when you are under a great deal of stress, your libido is less active. This is explained by overworked adrenal glands. When such a problem is very temporary, they tend to bounce back with no extra assistance. But when chronically stressed, the adrenal glands literally stop making the precursor hormones in the needed quantities and various unwanted symptoms can result.

Gluten intolerance puts long term stress on the adrenal glands, thus contributing to the hormonal imbalance that so many with this problem experience.

The good news is that the adrenal glands can be brought back to health with a natural program that includes no drugs or surgery.

3.    Evaluate if you have a problem with dairy products (many do) or if you are consuming too many hormone-laden animal products. Estrogen is given to our cattle and cows to plump them up faster. Unfortunately when you consume dairy products or eat meat you too are consuming these artificial, non-human estrogens. Estrogen may be a female hormone but in its synthetic state it is not good.

For men it is dangerous because men shouldn’t have much estrogen in their bodies. Men are developing ‘breasts’ and ‘big bellies’ and blood tests frequently reveal high estrogen and low testosterone levels. This will contribute to decreased libido as well as causing other hormonal problems.

4. Women over the age of 45 may be suffering from decreased hormonal levels that are affecting their libido. One of the programs we utilize here at the clinic is bio-identical hormones that safely restore hormonal imbalance to those whom we find to have decreased levels on laboratory tests.

The system we use is unique, tailored exactly to each individual and completely safe and effective.

Low Libido Isn’t ‘All in Your Head’

Intimacy with one’s partner is a normal and natural function that should be effortless and enjoyable. There are many who blame the problem completely on psychological based issues. While I’m not ruling that out completely I do feel that more often than not the problem is physically based. Further, I am very opposed to using dangerous mind-altering antidepressants that, along with many life-threatening side effects, also lower the libido of those who take them while doing nothing to correct the underlying root cause of the symptoms they are supposedly ‘treating’.

Research Studies Confirm the Physical Association with Gluten Intolerance

As regards gluten intolerance, the studies that I will cite in the references below include data that show a complete resolution of depression simply as a result of a gluten-free diet – no drugs were utilized. Another cited men’s infertility being restored to normal as a result of a gluten-free diet, with that being the sole treatment.

A study in Digestive Diseases found an increased level of a hormone that causes infertility in 25% of the patients they evaluated who suffered with celiac disease. Another study showed that men’s hormones were in an ‘inactive state’ predominantly until a gluten-free diet was instituted, after which time the hormones were restored to their active, fertile state.

Finally a 2010 study from the Journal of Reproductive Health confirmed that gluten intolerance was indeed the culprit causing a long list of reproductive symptoms that had been reported in prior studies.

Life can be very busy and stressful. When one has found a partner they love and trust it is nice to be able to share an intimacy with them. If you are not enjoying a libido level that you desire, please give me a call and I can help you to discover why, whether it’s due to gluten intolerance or some other cause. And, by the way, I don’t think that just because you’re in your 40s or 50s, you can’t have an active libido. That is not at all what we find with our patients.

I hope this was helpful. Feel free to ask questions or come visit us at our destination clinic. We treat patients from across the country as well as internationally. We are here to help!

To your good health,
Dr Vikki Petersen, DC, CCN
Founder of HealthNOW Medical Center
Author of “The Gluten Effect”

Gynecological & Obsteric Investigation. 2001;51(1):3-7. “Celiac disease: fertility and pregnancy”
Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology. 2004 Aug;38(7):567 -74. “Gynecologic & obstetric findings related to nutritional status & adherence to a g-free diet in Brazilian patients w/ CD”

Lancet. 1977 Feb 5;1(8006):280-2. “Reversible insensitivity to androgens in men w/ untreated gluten enteropathy”

Journal of Reproductive Medicine. 2010 Jan-Feb;55(1-2):3-8. “CD & its effect on human reproduction: a review”

Digestive Diseases. 1994 May-Jun;12(3):186-90. “Infertility, obstetric & gynaecological problems in CD”
BMC Psychiatry. 2005 Mar 17;5:14. “Gluten-free diet may alleviate depressive & behavioural sxs in adolescents w/ CD: a prospective follow-up case-series study.”

Annals Italian Medicine Internal. 2005 Jul-Sep;20(3):143-57.
“Reproductive aspects of celiac disease”

Permission is granted to re-post this article in its entirety with credit to Dr Vikki Petersen & HealthNOW Medical Center and a clickable link back to this page. Dr Vikki Petersen, DC, CCN is founder of HealthNOW Medical Center and the author of “The Gluten Effect”.  She has been featured in national magazines, international medical journals and is a frequent headlined speaker.

The Author

9 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. Sean N


    I am 21 years old(male) and not only do i have celiacs strongly, my lactose intolerace has been very sensitive.I currently take lactose pills when eating dairy but after reading I was slightly concerned about my hormone levels with the estrogen and possibly affecting my sex drive. Should i see someone and or get some tests done? Thank you

    06 Jul
  2. 2

    Hello Sean,

    It might be best to avoid dairy products all together. The lactose pills help somewhat, but they don’t negate most of the negative aspects of dairy. You can definitely get your hormonal levels tested. It’s hard to elaborate much more than that without knowing any history.

    If you’d like assistance I invite you to call for a free health analysis – 408-733-0400. You are very young so there is no reason for you not to enjoy optimal health if you get the correct help.

    Let me know if we can assist.

    Dr Vikki

    06 Jul
  3. Pirthi Raj


    l have celiac disease l want to increase testostrom level

    06 Jul
  4. Aasem


    I have been gluten free for 3 weeks. My libdo is not their anymore. I don’t consume dairy or sugar as I have allergies to those foods as well. Nothing has really changed from 3 weeks ago and after the 2nd week of being gluten free, my libido sky-rocketd then crashed at week 3.

    I know I can’t have gluten b/c of the hormonal imabalance and skin reashes I have endured. When will this go away? How long will it take to be normal, please help.

    Thanks for your time,


    06 Jul
  5. 5

    This is an excellent article! I posted a link to it on my company FB page, and wanted to thank you both for your lovely writing style and the rock solid content. Well done!

    06 Jul
  6. 6

    Thank you!!! And you are welcome!

    Dr Vikki Petersen

    06 Jul
  7. 7

    Thank you so much Annemarie!

    06 Jul
  8. Angie K


    I was just searching the web if I could find any info on something I noticed this week. I went wheat-free 6 days ago and for the last 48 hours, I noticed that my libido has improved. I tried searching “wheat-free and libido”nothing then I tried “gluten and libido”….BINGO I found your article. Thank you for this!

    06 Jul
  9. 9

    You are most welcome!

    06 Jul

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