ONE LIFE | ONE BODY: Hormone Therapy and Your Waistline 101
By Erik Vose, ND
Now is the time more than ever to re-enforce those weight-loss health habits for yourself. In this blog I will briefly explain some of the science behind weight loss, why it’s so hard, and how to actually make it happen.
As a naturopathic medical doctor (ND or NMD), I am steeped in the science of weight loss and have a few clinical pearls to share with you. I commonly see overweight patients who have serious hormonal or psychological obstacles to losing weight, and treating these issues can open the door for more typical weight loss strategies to actually work.
Putting yourself first is not selfish. Most of my overweight patients have three things in common:
1) They are very giving people, often pushing their stress down in the attempt to care for others.
2) They have hormonal imbalances, with estrogen dominance and elevated insulin.
3) The fat cells accumulate environmental toxins, which disrupt hormone levels and make it hard to exercise and lose the weight.
I will briefly explain how either of these alone will cause weight gain, and when combined these factors create a giant hurdle to keeping the weight off.
WHY WE GAIN WEIGHT: THE SCIENCE BEHIND WEIGHT GAIN
When we eat carbohydrate rich foods, our body produces insulin. Insulin and psychological stress together cause the body to make and store fat. Normally, we burn off the fat when we use our muscles. But when the body thinks it’s starving because of chronic stress, we store up fat instead of burning it off. Cortisol is the hormone that causes fat storage in response to chronic stress. When our adrenal glands are stressed out, we make cortisol instead of the sex hormones testosterone and estrogen. Because of this, chronic stress can cause low testosterone, which ends up adding weight to an already overweight body. Toxin accumulation in fat is another major player in preventing weight loss. When we start to lose weight, we release the fat soluble toxins in our body which makes us feel horrible. This is one reason why weight loss is so hard – because we look to foods to help us feel better when we are feeling bad. Many common toxins also disrupt the hormone system, causing all kinds of problems including blocking our body from secreting testosterone in our adrenal glands to naturally removing estrogen from our body through our liver. This is why its so important to work with an alternative medical provider who can help you replace your hormones WHILE supporting your natural detoxification pathways.
WHY WE GAIN WEIGHT: THE SCIENCE BEHIND TESTOSTERONE DEFICIENCY
Testosterone increases our metabolism, causing our muscles to grow and therefore use more energy. With more testosterone, we burn more fat. Low testosterone is very common, according to some estimates around 40% in men 40 and older. The more fat that we have the more testosterone we turn into estrogen through an enzyme called aromatase. This aromatase enzyme is also expressed in chronic inflammation. According to conventional science (the American Diabetes Association), testosterone deficiency is associated with type 2 diabetes. Type II diabetes (insulin resistance) and testosterone deficiency go hand in hand. Trying to get diabetic patients to lose weight is notoriously difficult, and this is in part due to absent testosterone.
WHATS THE POINT?
To lose weight we use three main approaches:
1) Detoxification/cleansing the body
2) Balancing hormones
3) Addressing psychological stressors and beliefs
We need to detox first and foremost, but this is hard when its so tough to exercise. This is where testosterone comes in: it helps you exercise. Trying to lose weight without balanced testosterone is almost impossible. There are many treatments for increasing testosterone, however replacement is something to seriously consider. In both men and women, testosterone replacement works to speed up weight loss and reduce chronic inflammation.
To learn more, join us for a round table discussion 7pm on Tuesday, January 19th at Erewhon in Calabasas to hear about the science behind weight loss and ask your questions. At this talk you will hear about the comprehensive treatment strategy to address the underlying hormonal and psychological obstacles to weight loss.
Click HERE to RSVP today for our Round Table Discussion this Tuesday, January 19th at 7:00pm at Erewhon Calabasas.
BIO: Dr. Erik Vose is a licensed Naturopathic Doctor passionate about educating and empowering his patients. He uses both modern medicine and traditional treatments such as herbal medicine, homeopathy, visceral manipulation, craniosacral therapy, and sacro-occipital technique. He currently sees patients in his offices in Santa Monica and Thousand Oaks, and does house calls. For more information visit: www.BeNaturopathic.com.