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Dr. Gaila Mackenzie-Strawn

MS, DC, CTN

Tips for Weight Loss Resistance

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It doesn’t matter what  I do, I can’t lose weight” is one of the most common concerns I hear in my practice.  Here are some tips that may help to explain why you can’t lose weight and what you can do about it.

Hidden Causes:

  1. Hypothyroid: Low thyroid function can be a major player in weight-loss resistance because your thyroid regulates your metabolism
  • If you have hypothyroid, your metabolism will slow down and you will find it very difficult to lose weight
  • Standard thyroid tests that only include TSH and T4 often miss a hypothyroid condition
  • You must have a full thyroid panel done to rule out hypothyroid,  this includes running TSH, free T4, free T3, TPO and Reverse T3
  • Your regular thyroid tests may come back as normal, but high levels of Reverse T3 mean your thyroid is not working properly
  • T4, your thyroid hormone, cannot be utilized by your body unless it is converted to it’s active form T3
  • T3 is the active thyroid hormone that goes to your cells and stimulates energy and metabolism
  • Because gut bacteria assist in conversion of inactive T4 to T3, the active form of thyroid hormone, if you have an imbalance in gut bacteria or digestive problems, your T4 may not be properly converted to the active form and you will have symptoms of low thyroid function and difficulty losing weight
  • Inflammation in the gut further reduces T3 by raising cortisol
  • Cortisol decreases active T3 levels and increases levels of inactive T3
  • Reverse T3 blocks the action of thyroid hormone and lowers your metabolism
  • If you have high levels of Reverse T3, you will have difficulty losing weight
  • You must heal your gut in order to insure proper thyroid function and make sure that your doctor prescribes T3 as well as T4 to overcome the action of Reverse T3
  • Pesticides, heavy metals and nutrient deficiencies can interfere with thyroid function
  • Take selenium, zinc, iodine , vitamin D and omega 3 fats to ensure proper thyroid function
  • Doing a metabolic detoxification program that will eliminate toxins and heavy metals from your body is one of the steps you should take to aid your body in weight loss (UltraClear Renew Detox)

2. Cortisol & Insulin Resistance

  • Stressful thoughts lead to an elevation of the stress hormone, cortisol
  • High levels of cortisol can decrease your active thyroid hormone, stimulate your appetite, increase cravings for carbohydrates, shut down your digestion and slow your metabolism
  • High levels of cortisol can lead to insulin resistance – a state in which your cells become resistant to insulin – the hormone that transports sugar from your bloodstream into your tissues
  • If you have insulin resistance, when insulin knocks on the door of your cell wall  to allow sugar into the cell, the cell cannot hear the knocking and the sugar is not allowed inside
  • The sugar remains in your blood, and with no where else to go, your body turns the extra energy into fat and stores it for later
  • Insulin resistance can develop if you are overweight or are eating a diet high in bad fats and sugars
  • Imbalance in the bacterial environment in your gut can cause inflammation and lead to insulin resistance
  • To balance insulin, you must avoid refined carbohydrates, bad fats, processed foods, soda and sugary foods
  • Eat organic lean meats and protein, high fiber, leafy greens, fresh vegetables, healthy fats, nuts and fresh fruit
  • Check your blood levels of insulin, and if high, consider doing an Organic Acids urine test from Genova Diagnostic lab
  • Take EPA/DHA fish oil,  CoQ10, Alpha Lipoic acid, Magnesium and Chromium

Estrogen

  • Estrogen imbalance – too much estrogen retention (estrogen dominance) and low levels of progesterone can slow your metabolism and cause your body to store more fat
  • Low levels of progesterone can cause water retention or bloating
  • Fat cells store large amounts of an enzyme that coverts testosterone into estrogen
  • The more fat cells you have, the more estrogen is created, the more estrogen dominant you become
  • Environmental estrogens (estrogen-like chemicals in our environment called xenoestrogens) lead to higher levels of estrogen
  • Xenoestrogens come from pesticides and plastics
  • Conventionally raised animals are injected with synthetic estrogen to increase their weight and make them grow more quickly
  • The fats in conventionally raised animal products also increases the conversion of the healthful type of estrogen into the more harmful forms of estrogen that are responsible for estrogen dominance and hormonal cancers
  • Birth control pills flood your body with synthetic estrogen which increases estrogen dominance
  • Birth control pills also suppress the production of progesterone, the hormone needed to keep estrogen levels in balance
  • Increasing fiber in your diet will help remove the estrogen from your body
  • Taking natural, plant based progesterone from day 14 until menses can help to balance estrogen/progesterone imbalance
  • Avoid milk products and conventionally raised meat – eat only range fed, organic meat (the fat in milk and conventionally raised meat is inflammatory)
  • Correct constipation to insure removal of toxic estrogen from the intestine – increase fiber with flax seeds, take magnesium citrate, probiotics and eat plenty of fresh, organic vegetables
  • Take omega 3 fish oil to aid in liver metabolism of estrogens
  • If you have PMS, consider a metabolic detoxification program (Ultraclear Renew) to improve liver clearance of estrogens and remove toxins and heavy metals from your body

Leptin

  • Leptin is produced by your fat cells
  • It’s job is to tell your brain when you are full
  • Resistance to leptin can develop from eating high amounts of the fructose (high fructose corn syrup) , processed foods, too many simple carbohydrates, lack of sleep, high stress, high insulin levels, overeating, too much exercise and high intake of GMO grains
  • High intake of simple carbohydrates can can lead to an excess of leptin and this can cause  resistance to leptin
  • If you become leptin resistant, your body can no longer tell if you’re full and you will keep eating and gaining weight.
  • Leptin resistance also stimulates the formation of Reverse T3, the hormone that blocks the effects of active thyroid hormone on your metabolism
  • Foods that can increase leptin sensitivity include -ocean caught fish, grass fed meats, green tea, broccoli, almonds, eggs, fruits and vegetables, olive oil, turmeric and sesame seeds

Food Intolerances & Lealy Gut

  • Eating foods to which you are sensitive or allergic causes inflammation in your body
  • Inflammation causes secretion of adrenal hormones that cause an imbalance in your insulin and blood sugar
  • Damage to the gut from antibiotics, pesticides, bacterial imbalance and toxins can lead to a leaky gut
  • Leaky gut allows undigested food particles to to be exposed to your gut’s immune system
  • This can trigger an immune response that leads to inflammation throughout your body and can lead to obesity by increasing insulin resistance
  • High fat diets change the bacterial balance in your gut
  • Bacteria that products toxins are promoted by a high fat diet
  • The anti-inflammatory and protective bacteria die off
  • Eating a highly processed, high-sugar, high-fat, low-fiber diet alters the bacterial balance in your gut
  • Antibiotics, steroids, acid-blocking medications, anti-inflammatories and hormones completely alter the bacterial balance in you gut
  • This leads to inflammation and leaky gut
  • Inflammation leads to insulin resistance and weight loss resistance
  • Get checked for food sensitivities, avoid all food allergens, avoid inflammatory foods and heal your gut by taking probiotics and Ultra GiReplenish
  • If you have gas, bloating, constipation or diarrhea, get a Comprehensive Stool analysis or an Organic Acids test from Genova Diagnostic lab

Recommendations:

 

  1. Get all proper tests to measure thyroid function – TSH, free T3, T4, TPO and reverse T3 levels
  2. The best form of thyroid hormone is bioidentical (Armour, Westroid or Nature Thyroid) or a combination of T4 and T3.
  3. Get an Organic Acids urine test (Genova Diagnostic Lab) – it can reveal if you have inflammation, bacterial imbalance in your gut, problems with fat and carbohydrate metabolism and measures several other markers that evaluate your overall health
  4. Check for food intolerances by getting a blood tests and be sure to check for both IgE and IgG antibodies (Genova Diagnostic Lab)
  5. Follow an elimination diet (most common food allergens include milk products, wheat, corn, oats, soybean, peanuts, strawberry, citrus, soybean and eggs
  6. Eat a whole foods, plant based diet – (organic chicken, eggs, fish, turkey and grass fed beef, lots of fresh organic vegetables, organic apples, berries and other low sugar fruit, moderate amount of organic rice products, organic nuts and seeds, coconut and olive oil)
  7. Take probiotics to boost the healthy bacteria in your gut
  8. Ultra GI Replenish to heal gut dysfunction
  9. Check cortisol, estrogen and progesterone levels (DUTCH test is the gold standard for checking hormone levels)
  10. Adaptagenic herbs including bacopa, ashwagandha, holy basil can balance cortisol levels
  11. Find a stress release  practice that you love to do
  12. Exercise at least twice per week
  13. Reduce caffeine and alcohol intake
  14. Increase fiber to balance hormones – ground flaxseed
  15. Do a metabolic detox program to remove toxins and heavy metals and balance your hormones (Ultraclear Renew)
  16. Take a high quality multi vitamin/mineral formula that contains selenium, zinc, iodine, B vitamins and magnesium to support your thyroid
  17. Take vitamin D and EPA/DHA fish oil
  18. Avoid refined foods, artificial chemicals, artificial sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup & GMOs
  19. Keep an accurate food diary so that you can see how much you are consuming

 

 

 

 

 

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Naturopath & Holistic Doctor San Diego Dr. Gaila Mackenzie-Strawn MS,DC, CTN In 1979, I made a life changing decision. Having suffering with painful abdominal pain since the age of two,Read more

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