Hiding under the sheets: A surprising source of bedroom troubles

Keep that spark alive well into your 60s, 70s, and beyond!

Problems in the bedroom are extremely common among both men and women once they reach a certain age.

In fact, nearly 50 percent of men ages 40 to 70 suffer from some level of erectile dysfunction (ED).1 And up to 86 percent of postmenopausal women struggle with some kind of sexual dysfunction, too.2

Of course, men often find their flagging virility disturbing enough to seek medical treatment. So, it’s not uncommon for their bedside tables to host the little blue pill. (Doctors write nearly four million prescriptions for this ED drug annually.3)

Meanwhile, women often suffer in silence—blaming low libido on their age.

But what if I told you that a SHARED hidden culprit could trigger sexual dysfunction in both men and women?

It’s a chronic disease that actually starts in your gut. And if left untreated, could lead to more serious, life-threatening complications… inside and outside of the bedroom.

A bigger problem lurks
in the shadows

Plenty of research links sexual dysfunction in men and women to several underlying health conditions, including Type 2 diabetes and heart disease, as well as to certain lifestyle factors, such as smoking or obesity.

But there’s another common culprit that doesn’t get much attention… inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Not to be confused with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which is a less serious gut condition, IBD involves chronic inflammation in your digestive tract.4 And it affects almost 5 million people around the world.5

Crohn’s disease, a type of IBD, causes inflammation and sores (ulcers) along your digestive tract—from your mouth to your rectum. Whereas ulcerative colitis, another type of IBD, typically causes inflammation and sores in your large intestine (colon) and rectum.

Both conditions can lead to chronic diarrhea, rectal bleeding, abdominal pain, fatigue, and weight loss.

And we’re now learning that IBD can also extinguish the flame in the bedroom for both men and women…

According to a 2022 study published in Frontiers Endocrinology, 62 percent of women and 44 percent of men with any type of IBD suffer from some kind of sexual dysfunction.6

Across the board, they have lower sexual desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasm, and satisfaction than healthy controls.

Plus, earlier this year, researchers zeroed in on the experiences of men specifically…

Using sophisticated statistical tools, they analyzed the effect of IBD on ED in about 95,000 men. They concluded that IBD, especially Crohn’s disease, can actually cause ED.7

And unfortunately, women with IBD seem to suffer the same fate…

In a 2023 study published in the International Journal of Impotence Research, 61 percent of women with IBD suffered from some kind of sexual dysfunction.8

Here again, they struggled with impaired sexual desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasm, and satisfaction. They also experienced more pain during sex than healthy controls.

In addition, other research suggests that the worse the IBD symptoms, the more severe the problems under the sheets in BOTH men and women!

While we still need more research to figure out exactly how IBD causes so many intimacy problems, we do know that gut imbalances, inflammation, and even nutritional deficiencies seem to play a HUGE role.

Look closely for signs of trouble

In the largest study to date looking at how the gut behaves in IBD sufferers, researchers followed 132 men and women with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis for one year.9

They analyzed blood and stools samples as well as colon tissue biopsies to assess exactly how IBD changes the gut’s biochemistry.

It turns out, during periods of worsening IBD symptoms, men and women showed clear signs of gut dysbiosis, which is an imbalance in the gut.

There are three types of gut imbalances (and it’s possible to have all three):

1.) Not enough “good” bacteria in your gut.

2.) Too much “bad” bacteria in your gut.

Not enough bacterial “diversity”—meaning you have fewer overall strains of different kinds of bacteria in your gut compared to a healthy gut.

The men and women with IBD also showed signs of increased inflammation as well as low levels of vitamins B5 and B3.

Fortunately, there are many options to correct these signs of IBD. And as an added bonus, your sexual relationships may just improve too!

Reap the benefits IN (and OUT)
of the bedroom

To improve your health and happiness in (and out) of the bedroom, I recommend a few key steps…

First, make sure to follow a Mediterranean-style diet that naturally reduces inflammation. Start by eliminating processed sugar and carbs, which drive inflammation in your gut. Then, fill up with nutrient-dense, whole foods—including grass-fed and -finished meat, organic poultry, wild-caught fish and seafood, fresh produce, and healthy fats from nuts, avocados, eggs, and more.

I suggest tossing in some deep-colored berries each day as well, as we know they can really help turn down the heat in your gut.10

In fact, a wealth of evidence suggests that the flavonoids in blueberries (as well as cherries, blackberries, and cranberries) help regulate the immune response that has gone haywire in IBD sufferers.11

You can also enhance your healthy diet with foods that contain active probiotics. Skip the processed, sugary yogurts, which contain questionable amounts of active probiotic cultures. Instead, opt for things like sauerkraut, kefir, tempeh, kimchi, and kombucha.

Second, you may want to consider trying an elimination diet to see if any particular kind of food seems to inflame your gut. Common culprits are dairy, citrus fruits, nightshade vegetables, and gluten.

Third, revisit your supplement choices. And—this one is a MUST—always make sure to incorporate a high-quality probiotic supplement into your daily regimen. This will help boost your supply of good bacteria, reduce inflammation, and get your gut back on track.

Not to mention people who suffer from inflammatory problems like IBD often experience an improvement in fatigue, mood, and social withdrawal when they take a probiotic.12 All of which can certainly only help matters in the bedroom.

Here are a few tips to remember when looking for a good probiotic supplement:

  • Avoid too many colony forming units (CFUs). A lot of probiotic products on the market try to “WOW” you with the number of CFUs they deliver. But billions of CFUs are not good for you. In fact, ingesting too many of any one type of bacteria can trigger an autoimmune response and cause complete havoc in your body.
  • Find a product that contains multiple, different strains of probiotics. Remember, diversity is the key here, not quantity.
  • Look for a formula with prebiotics and postbiotics, too. Choose a supplement that also contains prebiotics, which are basically “food” for probiotics, and postbiotics, which are generated by probiotics. All three will make your supplement more effective and longer lasting.

Based on the findings of the large gut health study I mentioned earlier, you may also want to add in a high-quality B complex supplement. Look for one that contains 55 mg of B5 and B6, the two nutrients IBD patients often lack.

Furthermore, many studies show that IBD sufferers also have low levels of vitamin D. And one recent study of 18 people with Crohn’s disease found that after supplementing with vitamin D for 24 weeks, a whopping 67 percent of the participants went into remission.13

The participants started out with 25 mcg (1,000 IU) of D a day and worked their way up to 125 mcg (5,000 IU). But I regularly recommend taking up to 250 mcg (10,000 IU) of vitamin D3 daily—especially if blood testing shows persistently low levels of the nutrient.

Finally, I encourage my patients struggling with IBD to take 380 mg per day of deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL) to reduce gut inflammation.

Stress-free bathroom visits
lead to steamier nights

Supporting your gut health by making a few important dietary changes and adding a few key supplements to your regimen should not only turn down the heat in your gut…

But also, turn UP the heat in the bedroom.

For more tips on how to naturally lower inflammation and get your gut back on track, check out my Essential Guide to Combatting Inflammation by clicking here or calling 1-866-747-9421 and asking for order code EOV34600.

Try this perfect summer salad

Here’s a delicious, light salad recipe to try this summer. It doesn’t contain mayonnaise, so it holds up well in the heat—making it the perfect addition to your next summer cookout or barbeque. Plus, it’s got loads of healthy vegetables, herbs, and fats—to keep your waistline in check.

Quinoa Salad


3 quarts water

1½ cups quinoa, rinsed

5 pickling cucumbers, peeled, trimmed, and cut into ½-inch dices

1 small red onion, cut into ¼-inch dices

1 large tomato, cored, seeded, and diced

1 bunch parsley, stems discarded and leaves chopped

2 bunches mint, stems discarded and leaves chopped

½ cup macadamia nut oil

¼ cup champagne vinegar

Juice of 1 lemon

1½ teaspoons coarse sea salt

¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 heads endive, trimmed and separated into individual spears

1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced


  1. In a large saucepan, bring the water to a boil over medium heat. Add the quinoa, stir once, and return to a boil. Cook uncovered for 12 minutes. Strain the quinoa and rinse well under cold water, shaking the colander well to remove all moisture.
  2. Transfer the quinoa to a large bowl. Add the cucumbers, onion, tomato, parsley, mint, oil, vinegar, lemon juice, and salt and pepper, and toss well.
  3. To serve, spoon the quinoa mixture onto endive spears and top with avocado.

To a healthier you,

Fred Pescatore, M.D.