Shortie Says – 12/4/09

I have just started taking birth control pills, and among other things, I have noticed that my sex drive is significantly lower than it used to be. Is this normal?
–Dry as the Desert

Dear Dry as the Desert,
Birth control pills can influence sexual energy. Some women on the pill experience a lower libido and a decrease in sexual arousal. In most cases, a decrease in vaginal lubrication also occurs.

It may make sense to speak with your gynecologist or women’s health nurse practitioner about a possible relationship between a lower sex drive and the oral contraception. If the birth control pills are, in fact, putting a damper on your libido, another birth control pill, or an alternate method of contraception altogether, could be prescribed that may improve the way you feel.

Birth control pills may not be the only reason that your libido is lower. Other medications can have an effect on your arousal. If you start taking any new medication around the same time that you begin to notice a difference in your sex drive, mention this to the health care provider that you’re prescribed to the medication. You may need to change the dosage, or even try a different medication, instead. Do not stop taking your medication without first talking with your provider.

Your problem may not be medication related at all. Make sure that there are no underlying issues between you and your partner. Stress and relationship issues may also affect your ability to be aroused.

I heard that most people trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy eating lifestyle eat whole grains. Why are whole grains healthier than white grains? Does this make it okay for dieters to eat whole grain bread and rice?
–Grain Crazy

Dear Grain Crazy,
Whole grains are healthier than white grains because they contain more vitamins, minerals, and fiber than refined grains like white rice and white bleached flour. This is due to the bran that stays attached to the grain kernel in whole grain ingredients, and is removed in refined grains.

Although whole grain products are generally lower in fat, they still contain calories. Bread and grains are easy to overeat. Be conscience of the portions you are eating. Remember that although whole grain foods are low in fat, they still have calories that can be stored and used as fat if they are not burned up through activity.

I am having a problem with sweaty feet. I wash my feet multiple times a day, but they are still stinky. Please help!
–Stinky Sneakers

Dear Stinky Sneakers,
Perspiration does have an odor, but should not cause such smelly problems for you. Oftentimes odor is caused by bacteria in your skin or your clothing (or in your sneakers). Try washing your feet with antibacterial soap and powdering your feet with cornstarch before you put on your socks and shoes to keep your feet dry. Moisture provides a perfect environment for bacteria to grow. You could also try soaking your feet in Epsom salts or vinegar once a day. Some other tips to consider: wearing cotton socks, change the pads in the bottom of your shoes, and if the problem is completely unbearable, purchase a new pair of shoes. If the problem remains, make an appointment to visit your physician.

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