Are you struggling to lose weight?  Have you been exercising and following the latest eating trends and still not losing?  Hit a plateau?  Sometimes weight loss is more difficult than calorie in versus calorie out.  You may be working with coaches that keep stating that you must burn more than you eat, yet you are doing that with little to no results.  So what now? Have your doctor run standard blood work, then….

First check your hormones

The first hormone that we focus on is Thyroid. It is important to go to a doctor that understands and will order the complete panel of testing.  A lot of doctors only order  TSH to check if it falls within the normal value. You may say, “But my TSH was NORMAL.”  Often times people have symptoms when the TSH is within the normal range.  That is why I recommend having a full thyroid panel including free T3, free T4, reverse T3, Thyroid Peroxidase Antibody, and Thyroglobulin Antibody.  There are some great calculators online to check the free T3 to reverse T3 ratio.  

After thyroid is checked then depending on health history it may be important to check the following:  

A. Your Cortisol levels can be tested with a Salivary Adrenal Test x 4.  This allows for a minimum of four cortisol readings throughout one day.  When cortisol is high it can cause a spike in blood sugar which can cause you to gain weight as well.  

B. Your Sex Hormones with either Blood, Salivary, and/or Urine.  In practice I find Urine testing a better option these days, and salivary testing another alternative.  Often times insurance prefers to pay for blood testing.  

Balancing hormone imbalances can often help with stubborn weight issues.  There are many naturopathic and conventional therapies that can help you balance hormones. High cortisol is usually managed with nutritional, herbal, and stress reduction therapies.  

Rule Out Inflammatory Conditions

With over 50 million people diagnosed with an autoimmune disease and others living inflammatory lifestyles, it is important to rule out.  Depending on your health history, your doctor may want to test you for standard inflammatory markers and autoimmune markers.  This is a good starting point.  If you know you have a family history of inflammatory conditions then you may want to do some advanced medical testing for genetic markers or autoimmune disease panels.  

Food Sensitivities 

Sometimes the food we eat can be contributing to us holding weight.  I often recommend testing foods before eliminating them because elimination diets can be stressful.  There are numerous food sensitivity testing companies on the market, however their testing styles are not all equal.  It is important to use a reputable company that has a lot of research and science backing them.  Gluten, dairy, soy, corn, eggs, and nuts are common immediate allergies.  However, we often see these same foods as common delayed food sensitivities up to 72 hours after eating.  I recommend Cyrex Laboratories as the go to testing for trusted gluten and gluten cross reactivity foods.  Food sensitivities can often be reversed if you do proper gut healing therapies. 

Environmental Medicine

We are all exposed to toxins each day.  Some of these chemicals can be promoting endocrine disruption aka hormone imbalance.  A lot of the chemicals can be interfering with our mitochondria in our cells which disrupts energy production.  Therefore, meeting with a qualified doctor can help you pinpoint your exposures and recommend the proper testing and/or detoxification methods.  

To Sum it Up

Losing weight is not easy for everyone even if you are eating healthy.  It is important to have proper blood work to rule out thyroid and inflammatory conditions. Learning your sex hormones and cortisol levels can be beneficial.  Food Sensitivity testing is popular for crafting the best diet for you.  Learning and addressing your exposure levels can be the missing link to the weight finally coming off.  Sometimes it only takes adjusting one area and other times it is a combination.  Be patient and kind to yourself in the process.

Julie George
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