By Dr. George Moricz

The arrival of Valentine’s Day every February brings renewed attention to our romantic relationships. As we age, though, it can be difficult to keep the relationship spark alive after the chocolate runs out and red roses get tossed.

Just like cell phones, laptops and electric toothbrushes, our bodies continue to consume energy, and certain systems need to be recharged. Most of us are familiar with the common sex hormones – testosterone and estrogen – that help regulate desire and passion in our minds, as well the physical reproductive process.

However, when it comes to relationships, the biggest threat is an empty tank. Before you jump start your life, you need to jump start your natural energy. This jump start is not with adrenaline or a caffeine-fueled energy drink, rather the proper balance of the naturally occurring hormones found in each of us.

In advance of Valentine’s Day, Naples Center for Functional Medicine visited ABC7 in Southwest Florida to discuss how to keep the relationship spark alive. A transcript of that conversation follows:

Watch Video

ABC7: Well, we are only two days away from Valentines Day. Some are still looking for gifts to give their significant other, this year others may still be looking for ways to keep the fire burning. The good news – there are some ways to get the magic back, and this morning, we have Dr. George Moricz, an anti-aging expert at Naples Center for Functional Medicine. He’s going to tell us what functional medicine is, how we can recharge our hormonal batteries and our love life, really.

They call you “Dr. Love,” which I think is pretty cool.

Moricz: The Love Doctor is in. Especially around Valentine’s Day, the question is, what puts the spark back in your love life? People may think we are going to talk about sex hormones, growth hormones, which are all relevant. But for a lot of people, the biggest relationship killer is that they’ve run out of gas. They’re just tired. So sleep and energy and so forth. So that’s one factor that has to be considered before you jumpstart your love life. You need to jumpstart your natural energy, and I don’t mean with adrenaline, and I don’t mean with 5-hour energy drinks.

The other surprising hormone that people don’t think about is the maternal hormone, oxytocin. It’s the one that gets you into labor, that bonds you with your baby breastfeeding. It’s a social chemical. It’s a bonding chemical and has a role in sexual response. So, when you look at patients who are low in oxytocin, you can look at how many times they smile a minute, look at eye contact, you know, those are the bonding chemicals. So, you do you need some level of oxytocin, even if you’re in the right relationship.

ABC7: So how do you know if you have enough and, you know, if you’re depleted in one of those areas?

Moricz: Well, there are ways to test a lot of times through questionnaires and interviews, as long as they have enough other hormones on board. So, for instance, in women, you want to be what I call estrogen-primed, you want to have enough sex hormones, and that’s how it works in pregnancy too, you have a lot of the right sex hormones. And then oxytocin kicks in. But clinically, you really can tell when you’re talking with people about how they feel. The eye contact and smiling factors one, the friendly factor, the social factor, so it’s a wonderful chemical when replaced correctly. Now you do have to look at other chemicals. But once you help people with oxytocin, it opens up a whole channel of possibilities.

ABC7: That’s really interesting. I’d never heard of that. And this is in men as well as men as well, right?

Moricz: With men as well. Particularly what became of interest. So, I see people with pain syndromes, people with emotional trauma. There’s a part of the brain called the amygdala, and that’s an aggression center. And oxytocin seems to regulate it. So, everything from autism, post-traumatic stress disorder, there’s ways of using it so when people come in pain and they’re not feeling right, a lot of times this is a missing chemical that could easily be corrected, along with the other environment of natural hormones.

ABC7: It’s interesting. Functional medicine – people might not be aware of what exactly that is. And it’s a different approach and a holistic approach in many ways to solving major problems for all of us.

Moricz: It may be the best approach. So I always tell people functional medicine works best when you’re 20. It goes root cause rather than traditional medicine, which mandates things, but really, if you’re 50 or 60 or 70-plus, you have to rewind back to 20. So anti-aging medicine is basically getting you youthful first, so you can be healthy, and then root cause approaches like functional medicine really make a lot of sense.

ABC7: So many of us when we do get to that middle age, you know, you do kind of lose that fire, right because life gets in the way. People are tired and people are worn out. How do you treat your patients and get that back that youthful energy?

Moricz: Well, you do need to do a good evaluation. You can do some testing, but you have to really get into the world that the person’s in. What is their night (and) day like? What are they doing right now for energy? What are the nutrients missing? What are the natural hormones, peptides and actual chemicals that could be missing in their life? So clinical experience helps, and then getting to know your patient. You need a little bit of time with them.

ABC7: That makes sense. So you can evaluate them and then figure out I’m sure nobody’s a cookie cutter – every case would be different.

Moricz: That’s the problem with a magic bullet. Most people you know, I’m usually not the first doctor people see. They’ve seen five or 10 different doctors, and they need someone to look at it, like engineering. You know, you have a house. When it settles you rewind it back to the blueprint. So all of us have this youthful magical blueprint when we were younger and it’s the perfect pattern of natural chemicals. And when you rewind people back to that, most medical problems aren’t really medical problems at all.

ABC7: Interesting. A lot has to do with psychology, I’m sure as well.

Moricz: Well, it’s all tied in because we have hormones, and you have neuro hormones and what we’re finding is that they’re the same chemicals.

ABC7: So, somebody’s watching right now and they can’t get to you this week. What would you recommend? What’s one thing that or several things that they could do now to try and reinvigorate their life? Whether it be their love life or just their day-to-day life in general?

Moricz: Well, you know, we live in a world of normal lab medicine, where you go to the doctor, you know, feeling right, and they say your labs are normal. Well, these are the same labs they did when you were 20 and normal. So one thing I’ve done is I created a guide, “The 5 Biggest Lies About Having Your Lab Test Done,” and it’s it’s free and very valuable and when they call in on the number below, what we can do is get them a copy of it and give them an idea of where they may really be. In other words, would this even make sense to them?

ABC7: Interesting. So, in other words, we will definitely put a link to the phone number there. So, when we’re talking about labs, many of us with our annual physical get the cholesterol and that kind of thing. You’re talking about going deeper here.

Moricz: But even if some of the things are testing you know, they’re telling you you’re the class average of an unhealthy age group. So, you’re at a class reunion, you take the average of people’s body fat and abnormal labs, and you say you’re a C-minus. And then the doctor says you’re normal and keeps insisting that you’re normal. But inside you know, that’s not really true. So this guide may just get them started. And if that made sense, then they can maybe go the next step and see you know, if I like this, then you might love exploring what we can do for them.

 ABC7: When do you think it’s time for someone to reach out to you if you know if they’re interested in trying to get a little more pep in their step?

Moricz: Well, I find that first of all, aging really starts in the late 20s, early 30s. So, between 30 and 50 we usually are missing some changes in the body. Unfortunately, in the world where we call menopause – 51 for women on average and men in the 50s with andropause, the male menopause, we’re waiting too late and we’re only attacking two little things. As if, from 30 to 50, only two or three little hormones changed in your life.

ABC7: Yeah, and when much more I’m sure has.

Moricz: So, if someone is beyond that point, certainly they would want to get involved. But even from 30s to 50s, I used to see clients 30 to 45 all the time, and they were smart enough to know that something like this with the right expert could actually help them. Like, why wait for the check engine light you know. Why wait for the tow truck to bring your car and you know, you’d want to do a little diagnostic ahead of time.

ABC7: Makes a lot of sense. How can we get in touch with you and in your team?

Moricz Well, with the number below, call the Naples Center for Functional Medicine. Make sure to mention that you’ve heard about the free guide, that and then they can show them what an experience might like might be for them as part of that program.

ABC7: Thank you so much. We always appreciate your insight and some fantastic advice and as mentioned, we’ll be sure to put links on our website as well. Happy Valentine’s Day.

As always, consult with your physician prior to making any substantial lifestyle, health or nutritional changes.

For questions, please contact our office at 239-649-7400.

READ MORE: Functional medicine and diagnostic testing

READ MORE: Anti-aging, functional health expert Dr. George Moricz joins Naples Center for Functional Medicine

Discover more about your hormone health today!

Call us at 239-649-7400 or complete the form below to learn more about natural remedies for hormone health and how functional medicine can apply to your wellness journey.