You have tried everything to lose weight…
You have tried the latest and greatest diet or fat-melting workout. You have tried weight loss supplements or prescription medications, but you are now heavier than ever. Sound familiar?
Humans are very successful as a species because we can store energy (fat) very efficiently and have multiple ways to store this energy. Therefore for long term success, physicians must look at metabolic and endocrinological factors leading to weight gain and not assume it is a matter of will-power to eat less and exercise more.
We need to identify the underlying causes of the inability to lose weight, including hormonal deficiencies, thyroid imbalance, leptin resistance, insulin resistance, mitochondrial dysfunction, metabolic insufficiency, setpoint abnormalities, and vitamin deficiencies. Diet and exercise are rarely successful for long-term weight loss if such metabolic disturbances are left untreated. There are a wide range of methods to treat these conditions, ultimately leading to weight loss.
Let’s Talk About Leptin!
Leptin is the hormone that has been found to be a significant regulator of body weight and metabolism, and dysfunctional leptin signaling results in one of the many vicious cycles that prevent individuals from losing weight. With increased weight gain, leptin is secreted as a signal to the body to stop storing fat. Leptin stimulates metabolism, reduces appetite, and signals the body to burn fat. Research has shown that the majority of overweight individuals that are having difficulty losing weight have varying degrees of leptin resistance. The leptin is then unable to produce its typical effects of weight loss, with the severity correlating with the degree of obesity and difficulty losing weight.
Leptin resistance in the hypothalamus is sensed as starvation to the brain and causes increased production of leptin. When this happens, multiple mechanisms are activated to increase fat stores as the body perceives a state of deprivation. Base leptin levels and the degree of leptin resistance are a good predictor of a person’s likelihood of achieving successful weight loss with dieting. Leptin levels greater than 12 ng/dl indicate leptin resistance, and as with insulin, the higher the leptin the more resistance is present.
Symptoms Commonly Seen With Leptin Resistance:
- Cellular hypothyroidism (tests look normal, TSH can look suppressed, poor conversion into T3)
- Increased appetite
- Increased insulin resistance
- Inhibition of fat breakdown
If a person is not able to lose weight despite decreasing caloric intake, there is usually a problem with leptin resistance that needs to be treated. With treatment, dramatic weight loss can be obtained.
For more information on how to treat leptin resistance or determine if you have elevated leptin levels visit us at Avalon Natural Medicine and Aesthetics. We will review your dieting history, complete labs, rule out other causes for weight gain, and design a comprehensive plan to help you achieve the results you have been working toward.