By Robert Gilliland, B.S., D.C. –
OK, it’s February. You’ve had a month to make good on your New Year’s resolutions. Are you still struggling to lose weight despite eating less and exercising more? If so, you may have an underlying metabolic disorder. Most individuals can lose that extra holiday weight with a combination of mindful eating and exercise. But for some, no amount of diet and exercise will allow you to lose weight until you correct your underlying metabolic malfunction. For some, weight gain is a side effect of a more serious health issue.
Does This Sound Familiar?
You can’t lose weight with ANY diet or exercise plan. Are you just as tired when you wake up, as you were when you went to bed the night before? Do you get fatigued easily? Do you have chronic constipation? Headaches? Brain fog? Hair loss? Do you lack motivation? Are you always cold? These are classic symptoms of a hypothyroid. If you researched your symptoms you probably came to the conclusion that there is something wrong with your thyroid. Maybe you even had your doctor test you for an underactive thyroid? Were you surprised when your tests came back normal? Did you think your doctor missed something? Well, if you have these symptoms, your intuition was right. There may not be anything wrong with your thyroid…. but there is definitely something wrong!
Some Reasons You May Not Be Able To Lose Weight
When patients come to me for weight loss I look for the underling cause. I have a checklist. (This is not the complete list.)
- First, I check the thyroid. There are 6 patterns that can cause hypothyroid symptoms… and only one, primary hypothyroidism, will be resolved using thyroid hormones. The other 5 are not related to thyroid function, but rather one of the things, or combination of things, listed below.
- The liver’s main function is to get rid of toxins in your body. When you have more toxins than it can handle, your liver tucks them away in fat cells. Fat cells neutralize toxins.
- Imbalances in the immune system will cause an increase in TH17 activity resulting in increased inflammation.
- Parasites gobble up B vitamins that could potentially decrease energy production and fuel utilization.
- Dysbiosis: Altered gut bacteria can cause increased calorie utilization from your food.
- Insulin resistance: The blood sugar that your cells need to make fuel (ATP) is not adequately getting into your cells. This allows more glucose to stay in your blood stream and allows for water retention. This leads to increased weight and fatigue.
- Reactive hypoglycemia: Blood glucose levels fall quickly so you may reach for a sugary snack to bring your glucose levels up quickly, likely these are calorie dense not nutrient dense.
- Anemia: All cells need oxygen and glucose in order to make ATP. To make sure cellular processes happen, if this is a stomach cell, then maybe you aren’t producing hydrochloric acid that you need to start the digestion process.
- Hyper cortisol: This is going to cause altered feedback throughout the body, which will cause water retention, likely due to increased aldosterone production. This also impacts the hippocampus, which will in turn decrease output to the thyroid gland. Also, blood sugar is mobilized from fat, muscle, liver glycogen stores and, if not utilized, can add to insulin resistance. Blood sugar is usually restored as abdominal fat. Cortisol issues are usually also due to the sympathetic nervous system over firing… digestion is a parasympathetic process.
- Hypo cortisol: May allow frequent drops in blood sugar, causing you to reach for sugary snacks to bring you blood sugar up. If this happens too much, your body may go into starvation mode, holding onto more of everything that you put in.
- Excess estrogen: Will cause fat deposition, usually occurs in tandem with blood sugar/ adrenal/ insulin related issues.
- Excess progesterone: The case is usually for decreased progesterone, so there is an estrogen/progesterone imbalance, causing your body to lean toward fat storage. Progesterone in women helps to stimulate TPO enzyme to produce thyroid hormone.
- Hypochlorhydria (Low Stomach Acid): Can be caused by many things, but this sets up the whole digestion cascade… helps to digest protein. You need an acidic food bolus entering the small intestine to trigger your pancreas to release enzymes, and gall bladder to release bile and Cholecystikinen (CCK, one of the Satiety hormones). This also helps to establish healthy gut flora. If you have decreased breakdown of food, you are probably not absorbing the nutrients that you need and you eat more food to get those nutrients.
We Can Help!
All of the above are correctable, typically without the use of drugs. So before you turn to the latest fad diet or exercise program…. get a thorough checkup. Why struggle through another year when you don’t have to?
To learn more or to schedule an appointment for a checkup, please call Southwest Natural Healing Center at 239-444-3106, or visit us online at www.swfthyroid.com.