There's a lot of misconceptions and beliefs surrounding this popular topic. And yes, there's a lot of studies you can find about sex. So today, we're going to have another educational discussion and we hope that you'll learn how sex affects your health and life.
Garrett Halweg: Welcome back [inaudible 00:00:01] Nation. My name is Dr. Garrett Halweg. I'm at the Costa Mesa clinic, and this is Ms. Parker. This is our therapy dog, and she's going to help us out today. Our topic today is sex. Before we get started though, do you know anyone with Alzheimer's disease or dementia? Do you have a family member with dementia? Do you want to know if you're going to get dementia? For a pretty simple test, about $200 cost, we can get an APOE E/4 genotype testing that will look at your specific risks. Genes are the biggest contributor of whether or not you are going to develop dementia. This is a very simple test.
Now why is it important to get it right now? Well, there's things that we can do about it. If we intervene early we can actually change the outcome. We can even prevent or reverse. I've seen radiologic evidence for the reversal, for the growth of a hippocampal volume, which is the structure that controls memory. This is exciting stuff, and so I want you to be aware of this, and know that we can look at your genetic risks. Even, you might have a genotype that is protective that actually, you will probably achieve a very old age and never develop dementia. That's an important thing to know as well.
Let's get back to our topic. Our topic at hand is sex. Sex is a very basic and powerful drive. It is much akin to our hunger drive. I talked a couple of posts back about food. Our hunger drive is good but it can be problematic in certain ways. Obesity, right? 60% of Americans are obese. This is a problem. Sex, like that, is a powerful, basic drive that can bring unnecessary problems into our lives. I want to make sure that we talk about sex and you have a healthy understanding of sex.
First of all, let's talk about amount. How much? One study recently showed that couples that have sex at least one time per week have a greater happiness than couples who have sex less than one time a week. It's a matter of having sex at least one time per week. Now if couples had sex more than one time per week, that was okay, but they didn't show that they were any happier than the couples having sex just one time per week. I'm going to give you three typical scenarios of how this can go wrong, how you sex drive lead to problems.
The first one I would say is pornography. Pornography is harmless right? Wrong. Pornography viewing equals pornography addiction. You say, "I don't believe that. That's not true. It's harmless, it's a victimless thing. No problem. It doesn't cause any problems." Well I would challenge you this. This is a very typical scenario, and this study actually suggests that pornography viewing is pornography addiction in every sense of the word of addiction. It absolutely poisons relationships, it tanks productivity in occupational pursuits, in hobbies, in creativity, it completely destroys families, and it even robs you of your happiness, of your joy. By definition, if you did something that you knew was detrimental to your brain health, and you continue in that pursuit, you continue pornography knowing that it's bad for you, that is by definition, addiction.
Let me paint a scenario. This is a typical scenario. Wife catches husband viewing internet pornography, and I work with this couple and I ask them to give that up. I rehabilitate the couple. They find an increased joy because all this attention, all this time, all this energy from this natural, basic drive, but very powerful drive, all this time and attention is taken away from the relationship. When they return that attention, and time, and energy, and effort, and resources into their loved one, it changes things. I've seen radical transformation. It causes growth in ways that are unbelievable really. I mean 2,000 years ago Jesus even said, "Hey if you look on a woman with lust, you've created it in your heart." I think that is incredible wisdom. It speaks to the fact that when we put our attention, time and energy into other things outside of the things that we're trying to build up, they get torn down. It's just like eating. If you start out dinner with chocolate chip cookie, that's not putting our emphasis of our hunger drive in the right place. Instead we should focus on the substance, the vegetables, the good carbohydrates and protein that we need to build up our body and our brain.
Let me give you another scenario. Many times people come in on anti-depressants, or anti-anxiety medications, or high blood pressure, and they have problems with erectile dysfunction, or their sex drive, or even achieving orgasm. I want you to know that I work with many couples, and change their medication,