Most people, nutritionists and traditional doctors only focus on diet and exercise. Furthermore, opinions about what comprises a healthy diet and effective exercise are varied and conflicting. Much of the information is simply outdated or does not align with our body’s physiology and most recent research data.
Though diet and exercise are crucial pieces of the weight loss puzzle, there are other culprits to weight issues that are equally important but rarely addressed. YOU MAY BE SURPRISED….
UNDERLYING HEALTH ISSUES CAUSING WEIGHT PROBLEMS
One of the most common statements we hear from our patients regarding weight problems is: “My weight and health drastically changed since my… (car accident, surgery, death of a loved one, birth of my last baby, divorce, job loss, etc).”
Many times it is a traumatic, stressful event that sends our body into a tailspin. The body does not distinguish between stressors – negative and positive ones like having a baby – and will attempt to ‘deal’ with them in several different ways. Unfortunately, many of these compensatory responses will slow down our metabolism and cause weight gain.
The following issues are most commonly associated with undesirable changes in body composition. While you may have addressed already some of these issues, if you are still struggling with weight loss or if it has been quite some time since your last labs, it is prudent to recheck some lab-work before embarking on a weight loss program. Sometimes minor ‘tweaks’ can make a big difference
- Thyroid Dysfunction – Under stress the body will down-regulate the thyroid leading to a sluggish metabolism
- Adrenal Dysfunction/Fatigue – Exhausted adrenals not only cause fatigue but they also down-regulate the body’s response to thyroid and sex hormones. Too much cortisol in response to chronic stress can independently cause increased fat deposition.
- Sex Hormone Imbalance – Too much Estrogen and/or insufficient Progesterone cause increased fat. It is difficult to build muscle without optimal Testosterone levels.
- Neurotransmitter Imbalances – Low Serotonin can cause carbohydrate cravings, insomnia and emotional eating. Low Norepinephrine levels can impede the conversion of fat into energy.
- Abnormal glucose metabolism – Insulin resistance is the first indicator, which causes cravings and a slower metabolism leading to weight gain and eventually diabetes.
- Nutritional deficiencies – The lack of key nutrients such as CoQ10, Magnesium or specific B-vitamins slow the body’s ability to convert glucose into energy.
- Food allergies – Sensitivities and allergies to specific foods are often overlooked as causes of weight gain. They are best evaluated via a blood test and are very helpful in designing a customized diet.
- Toxins – Toxins, like Mercury, can poison metabolic pathways and slow weight loss. All weight loss involves detoxification. The better we detoxify the easier we loose weight.
- Lack of Sleep and Water
When dealing with underlying health issues data is key. First, underlying issues have to be identified but equally important is the follow-up to ensure that issues are improving or have been resolved.
We will never be able to escape all of life’s challenges BUT we can fortify our body so it can deal with them in a more optimal manner.