By Robert Gilliland, B.S., D.C. –
Are you frustrated because you can’t lose weight no matter how little you eat or how much you exercise? Do you find it almost impossible to make it through the day without running out of energy? Have you been to doctors who told you there’s nothing wrong with you?
You’re not alone. Over 27 million women in America fit this pattern of excessive weight gain and fatigue.
What Can You Do About It?
First of all, you need to find a physician who is willing to dig deeper. Apparently you are not in the disease category yet, meaning that your test results are not outside the laboratory range. But what does normal really mean? You might be surprised at the answer. To be outside the ‘normal’ ranges you have to be in the lowest 5 percent. Let’s say 100 people visited the lab you used for your blood work. 95 of those people will be considered normal…. no matter how bad their results are. A bell-shaped curve is used to determine normal. ‘Normal’ doesn’t mean healthy, it just means that you are as healthy as 95 percent of the sick people who have had their blood work done in that particular lab. Simply put, normal doesn’t equal healthy.
What Can Cause Fatigue And Weight Gain?
Hypothyroid – Thyroid hormone is instrumental in speeding up your metabolism. If you aren’t getting enough thyroid hormone in your cells, specifically T3 (the biologically available one), your metabolism can slow down as much as 50 percent. This can cause both fatigue and an inability to lose weight. Standard thyroid blood tests are TSH and some combination of total and free T3 and T4. It appears that most doctors are content with keeping your TSH level within a very wide rage of some where between 0.5 – 5.0. The optimal range is 1.8 – 3.0.
If your TSH is up, down and then normal on consecutive visits or your doctor is continuously changing your thyroid hormone dosage, you might want to request that they run an autoantibody test to rule out an auto-immune thyroid. If you have an autoimmune thyroid your TSH level can go up and down with or without medication. The real problem is your immune system. It only becomes a thyroid gland issue when your immune system destroys enough thyroid tissue…. or the thyroid hormone itself shrinks the thyroid gland to the point that you become dependent on thyroid hormones.
There are 6 patterns that cause hypothyroid symptoms and only one of those patterns, primary hypothyroidism, will be diagnosed and effectively treated using standard thyroid screening tests and thyroid hormone therapy.
Anemia – Having vitamin B12 deficiency means that your body does not have enough of this vitamin. You need B12 to make red blood cells, which carry oxygen through your body. Not having enough B12 can lead to anemia, which means your body does not have enough red blood cells to do the job. This can make you feel weak and tired. Having low iron means that your red blood cells can’t carry enough oxygen to your cells. This too can make you feel weak and tired. If you are not producing enough stomach acid your body cannot metabolize B vitamins no matter how many vitamins you take. Also, be cautious when using supplemental iron for low blood serum levels. You may have enough iron in your body in the form of ferritin (storage form of iron), indicating no need or additional iron. Always have your ferritin level checked before supplementing with iron.
Adrenals -You have two adrenal glands sitting on the top of each kidney. The main function, with regards to fatigue and weight gain, are the release of cortisol and adrenaline. Too little cortisol can leave you fatigued. Too much cortisol can make you hold on to weight.
One Patient’s Experience
Recently I had a patient who had all normal test results (according to standard laboratory ranges). She came to me in tears because she knew something was wrong with her but every doctor she went to say she was fine, and according to laboratory ranges she was. However, when I looked at her results using functional ranges she was outside normal in a dozen categories. She had low blood sugar, low stomach acid, and low cortisol output in the morning, she had parasites, gut dysbiosis, food allergies and an autoimmune thyroid.
After eliminating the things she was allergic to and giving her the nutritional support her body needed, she was able to lose weight and had enough energy to make it through the day. These changes didn’t happen overnight, it took a few months, but in the end she was very happy.
To learn more about fatigue and Weight Gain, come to one of my free seminars on Saturday, November 17th and 24th @ 1pm. at 27499 Riverview Center Blvd, Bonita Springs, FL. Seating is limited so call and reserve your seat now, 239-444-3106.