In our last article we discussed that there are significant numbers of obese people who genuinely cannot lose weight no matter how much or what they tried. Calorie intake (reduction) and exercise were not the answers. We discussed several of the potential metabolic and neurologic dysfunctional mechanisms in their bodies that could be contributing to their inability to lose weight and to their frustration. Topics reviewed were Thyroid- (misdiagnosed or mismanaged) stress, hypercortisolism, blood sugar, SIBO (look it up), and endotoximia. This month we will cover food, food allergies, hormones, aromatization, toxins, birth control pills and estrogen HRT us further impediments to weight loss.
Food- It’s not about the calories for the patient who can’t lose weight despite riding their bike 20 miles per day while eating only 1600 calories in that same 24 hours. We’ve observed that in certain cases its about what foods they’re eating. If you’re eating according to the present day “food pyramid” that’s your first problem. The base of the food pyramid is loaded with grains. Those of you who “can’t” lose weight may be eating inflammatory foods among which the most prevalent are the grains i.e. wheat, barley and rye. These are the gluten grains. If you find your sensitive to these foods just know that you may have a “leaky gut”- which leads to other food sensitivities (and also an inability to lose weight) as well as to other cross sensitivities to non-gluten grains. These sensitivities must be discovered and eliminated in order to lose weight if this is part of your problem.
Hormones- It’s hormones that’s the problem!! Yes and no. Its hormones but not in the way many people think. If you are on birth control pills or hormones replacement therapy there is a good chance you have excess estrogen in your system. When you have too much estrogen in your system it cannot be easily cleared by the gall bladder (if you still have one) and the liver. Estrogen then is stored in your fat cells. When this occurs the fat cells do not “let go” and “dissolve” until the estrogen in out of your system (more about this below). More importantly too much estrogen causes a person to not be able to convert inactive thyroid hormone (T4) to active thyroid hormonal (T3) by preventing T4 from getting to the liver or small intestines where it’s converted and creates energy and the ability to mobilize fats from the system. People who have this phenomenon occur have the same symptoms as someone who has a true hypothyroid. The main symptom of this poor conversion mechanism is putting on excess weight that they can’t lose. Estrogens also suppress TSH and causes low thyroid symptoms and exacerbate Hoshimoto’s Thyroiditis. You can access articles on this at powerhealthtalk.com. It’s not my intention to beat up only on estrogen. There are many other medications that can interfere with thyroid function. Some of the more popular ones are glucocorticoids, iodides, tamoxfin, anabolic steroids, furosimides, salicylates, phenobarbitols carbomazapines, ameraderoma and Beta-adrenergic antagonists drugs. If they alter T4 and T3 thyroid metabolism you will not be able to lose weight.
Aromatization- If you are a female this term means that you suffer from insulin resistance (also loosely referred to as Syndrome X, metabolic syndrome or pre diabetes) and you change or aromatize your excess estrogen into testosterone. You may grow facial hair, gain weight, be fatigued or develop PCOS among the many other possible insulin resistant symptoms. If you are a male you may also suffer from pre diabetes, Syndrome X, metabolic syndrome and or insulin resistance and you will convert your testosterone into estrogen. Men get “man boobs” among the many other above mentioned symptoms and also cannot lose weight no matter how they try. Too much estrogen in men= inability to lose weight and many debilitating health issues. Too much estrogen in women= inability to lose weight and many debilitating health issues. This clinical presentation is very common in men and women who cannot lose weight.
Lastly toxins can play a role in lack of ability to lose weight in two ways.
1) They can damage the pancreas and cause the above discussed insulin resistance, undiagnosed Diabetes Type II, or even type I diabetes
2) Or they will store in the fat cells (like excess estrogens) and the fat cells in question will not release to be dissolved with diet or exercise because the bodies innate intelligence understands that to do so would be to poison itself. Thus in both situations the toxins need to be cleared to begin the weight loss process.
These are many of challenges to the patient unable to lose weight. There are more. The science is well documented and leads us to one unalterable conclusion for the person who cannot lose weight no matter what. Only a comprehensive history, exam and testing protocols that assess all of these factors at once and result in a treatment program that returns the patients physiology to homeostatic optimum function- better known as health- is the answer. Canned one size fit all plans are doomed to fail in virtually all of these cases. Hope this information helps and good luck.