Often I am faced with patients who desperately want to let go of extra pounds, but just can’t seem to do it. Bless their hearts, they have tried every diet, every strategy, exercised 2 hours per day and don’t lose a pound. Fortunately, when looking at these patients through the lens of naturopathic medicine, I can help. Each person is unique. Each has a different reason. Today I would like to share with you how I look for underlying causes of weight challenges.
First, one must check for hormone imbalances. Suboptimal hormones can put you in a “freeze zone” in regards to weight loss. Second, one must put a plan together to optimize the body chemistry so it returns to its natural state… and natural size. Thyroid is a hormone that controls metabolism or how much energy is used in the resting state. Most doctors check different markers and have different ranges. So this change can make an extraordinary difference in how one feels.
Fatigue, weight gain, depression, constipation, hair loss, cold sensitivity, high cholesterol are symptoms of suboptimal thyroid function. Adrenal glands control our energy and respond to stress. If you happen to be fatigued after a nights rest, you may consider evaluating your adrenal function. Stress increases the hormone cortisol which increases cravings, especially for sugar and fat. It also makes the body store fat in the abdominal area, around the vital organs. So under-active adrenals make us too tired to get in our full workouts, and excessive adrenal function makes us eat the wrong foods! Inflammation is when the body is in “alarm” mode. This produces excess water weight. If you have stiffness in your hands and feet in the morning, or chronic pain, think inflammation. There are many, many causes of inflammation, and the causes are different for each and every one. If all major inflammatory diseases are ruled out, the best way to control inflammation is through diet.
First, I use food intolerance testing to find exactly what foods and food combinations are causing inflammation. Second, I will recommend moving toward an anti-inflammatory diet. Third, I check morning fasting insulin. Insulin is a hormone that controls blood sugar and so much more. If insulin is high, losing weight is difficult. Why would insulin be high you ask? If sugar is in your blood and you are not using it for energy (sedentary), then your will secrete insulin to lower blood sugar. With our habits, we will teach our pancreas how much insulin we need on a daily basis. If we have a history of eating high carb meals or snacks, we most likely will have high insulin. Our cells get tired of insulin always knocking to let more glucose into the cells, then it becomes resistant – insulin resistant. There are specific diets and monitoring needed in this case. Insulin also controls lipids (cholesterol, triglycerides, etc).
Once all these are in check, then the answer to weight loss is simply in input vs. output!
Be well! Naturally! For more information, you may contact me with your questions and concerns, or call 480-607-0299 for a free phone consult.