WHY CAN’T I LOSE WEIGHT?
If someone could just help you understand where the weight gain is coming from and why, you might not be so hard on yourself! Adrenal stress? Poorly functioning thyroid? Poor quality sleep? Plummeting sex hormones from perimenopause or andropause (the male version of menopause)? How about insulin resistance? Any one of these reasons slow down your metabolism and tell your body to store fat.
In addition to hormone imbalance, I can help you go through a checklist of potential causes to help pinpoint where the trouble seems to be. Once we identify the cause, your treatment plan can be formulated. Here are some approaches that I use with patients for successful weight loss:
2 Week Hormone Detox & 4 Week Nutritional Cleanse
- Promotes wellness, especially when someone has prolonged exposure to chemicals or synthetic hormones.
- Promotes weight loss.
- Improves energy, arthritis and joint pain, headaches and migraines, PMS, anxiety, frequent colds, heartburn, and constipation.
- Is recommended for anyone suffering from autoimmune disease, multiple chemical sensitivity, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, digestive disorders, heart disease, arthritis, ADD, and other chronic degenerative disease.
Dietary detoxification is recommended 1-2 times a year –– preferably in the spring and fall. A dietary detoxification protocol can last from 1 week to 2 months depending on your health goals. I generally recommend a 14- day or 28-day detoxification program and encourage anyone to have a medically supervised detoxification if you’ve never done one before.
Detoxification involves dietary and lifestyle changes that reduce the intake of toxins while improving elimination. External toxins include a listing of the following: Alcohol, smoking, pesticides, tobacco, heavy metals, medications, oral contraceptives, specific foods intolerances in our diet. Internal Toxins can include normal metabolic by-products and excess hormones that build up and are recycled in the body if a person’s organs of elimination (skin, lungs, gut, liver, kidneys) are sluggish, impaired or diseased.
A naturopathic detoxification program accounts for the individual and their health concerns in a way that many over-the-counter detox kits do not. Our naturopathic doctor will review your health profile and incorporate a plan that may include:
- A guided diet cleanse for the month with recipes
- A medical detox food
- Supplements to support the organs of elimination (such as the liver, kidneys and lymphatic system)
- Optional weekly IV Vitamin Therapy and infrared sauna
RAPID WEIGHT LOSS PROGRAM
If you are motivated to lose weight now and want results, this is the program for you! This is a physician-supervised weight-loss program utilizing both natural and prescription injections. We use a range of evidenced-based prescription medications to help aid in weight loss. In additional to nutritional and dietary guidance we offer weekly body composition screening (which measures and tracks your muscle percentage, fat percentage, hydration status and basal metabolic rate.
Specific stress hormones in our bodies cause us to gain visceral fat. This is the fat, most commonly situated around the abdomen surrounding our internal organs, which the body normally stores for use in a “starvation” situation. As we age and healthy hormone levels decline, visceral fat tends to accumulate. Excess accumulation of visceral fat is associated with many health issues, including chronic stress, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. We evaluate your stress levels, your hormones, blood sugar issues and more to find the underlying cause of your weight loss challenges so we can get you back to feeling your best.
FOOD INTOLERANCE &
FOOD ALLERGY TESTING
Unidentified food sensitivities can contribute to many chronic health conditions including irritable bowel syndrome, reflux and heartburn, rheumatoid arthritis, headaches, autism, ADD/ADHD, eczema, chronic ear infections, malabsorption, insomnia, and many others.
Food Sensitivities & Food Allergies
Ig G Food Sensitivity
Ig G Food Sensitivity (or food intolerance) is a type IV delayed hypersensitivity reaction in the immune system that can occur a few hour and up 72 hours after ingestion of the reactive food. This window of time makes it difficult to link one’s symptom to the food eaten a day or two prior. Such hidden allergies are often the cause of many chronic symptoms. The immune response to delayed food reactions are often caused by antibodies other than Ig E. They are mediated by immunoglobulins: Ig G, Ig A, Ig M and Ig D. The Ig G antibody is the largest circulating antibody in our immune system (about 80-85% of our white blood cells) and can cross the placenta from mother to child. Ig G antibodies are the most common form of immunologic-mediated food responses. These antibodies combine with the food particles in the blood to form “immune complexes” which cause inflammatory reactions in tissues. Such inflammatory reactions can occur in any part of the body, thus producing many kinds of symptoms such as headache, eczema, joint pain, mental disorders, etc.
Ig E Food Allergy
Ig E Food Allergy is an Immediate Food Reaction that most people are familiar with. As the name implies, this food reaction can occur within minutes or up to 3 hours after ingestion. Peanuts that cause anaphylaxis in a child is an Ig E food allergy. The reaction is caused by the presence of a high Ig E antibody levels in the blood, which sets off an immediate allergic response. Ig E antibodies make up only a small percentage of our immune system (about 5-10% of our white blood cells), but exert the most severe and life threatening reactions. Symptoms can include rashes or full body hives after eating an apple, immediate vomiting or diarrhea from milk, or an intense headache after drinking wine. These reactions can be tested for by either an allergist or a naturopathic doctor.
Symptoms of food sensitivities
- Chronic constipation
- Heartburn or Indigestion
- Boating and gas
- Abdominal cramps and pain
- Eczema or Itchy skin
- Migraines or headaches
- Immediate fatigue after a meal
- Increased heart rate
- Joint pain
- Respiratory problems
DIAGNOSIS OF FOOD INTOLERANCES & FOOD ALLERGIES
Obviously, immediate food reactions can be identified easily. However, delayed food reactions are much more difficult to diagnose. According to recent research, IgE antibodies cause immediate food reactions and delayed food reactions are often associated with IgG antibodies. We test for both IgE and IgG reactions in our comprehensive food panels via a blood test. This test has a 99% sensitivity and reproducibility, and a 15% false negative. What the false negative means, is if you’ve avoided any particular foods for greater than 3 months, they may not show up on your results if you are reactive. To correct for the 15% false negative, it is advisable to have a liberal diet for several weeks prior to your blood draw.
All of our food tests include 96 IgG food sensitivities and 12 IgE food allergies. We also offer expanded panels that offer 184 IgG food sensitivities and 25 IgE food allergies. Please contact our office for price inquiries.
In a nutshell, the ketogenic diet is a very low carbohydrate diet with adequate protein and high fat. While this may sound difficult for some, it’s proven quite successful and we make it easier for you the get started. It has the best research outcomes and it has one of the highest rates of compliance long-term. People feel good, have lots of energy, lose weight; and this motivates them to keep it up.
We will provide you with resources, recipe ideas and get you started on the right track. Follow up visits allow us to monitor your body composition to ensure you are losing fat and not muscle mass, ensure you are consuming enough calories and to help you to lose weight successfully and for the long-term! Read more here to check out the latest research.
INSULIN RESISTANCE &
Insulin Resistance or Metabolic Syndrome is also called Pre-Diabetes. Insulin is a hormone made by your pancreas to help control your blood sugar levels. Insulin allows sugar to get from your bloodstream into your cells. Your cells can then use it for fuel or store it for later use (as fat).
If you have metabolic syndrome or insulin resistance, the cells of your body aren’t paying attention to insulin very well. So you are unable to access the sugar floating around in your bloodstream for energy. This means that higher than normal amounts of insulin will need to be produced to get that sugar out of your blood and into your cells. High insulin contributes to inflammation, abdominal weight gain, hormone imbalance, increased risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease. Insulin Resistance or Metabolic Syndrome is pre-diabetes and, if untreated, can ultimately lead to diabetes.
What causes insulin resistance or metabolic syndrome?
Factors that have been shown to cause or contribute to metabolic syndrome or insulin resistance include:
- Poor diet
- Being overweight
- Lack of exercise/physical activity
- Sleep apnea
- Hormonal changes such as pregnancy, peri-menopause, menopause and andropause (male menopause)
- Some medicine including steroids and antidepressants
- Some medical conditions such as Cushing’s and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
- Vitamin and mineral deficiencies
What are the signs and symptoms of prediabetes?
You may be unaware that you have insulin resistance issues. Some of the signs and symptoms are similar to those of diabetes. Others are evidence of higher than normal amounts of insulin. Symptoms of insulin resistance may include:
- Excess thirst
- Frequent urination
- Weight gain
- Hormone imbalances (excess estrogen or testosterone)
- PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome)
- Elevated cholesterol
- High triglycerides
- Elevated HbA1c or glycated hemoglobin
- High blood pressure
- Metabolic Syndrome
- Fatigue or muscle weakness
- Gestational diabetes
- Acanthosis nigricans (darkened patches of skin on the neck, underarms, elbows, knees, knuckles)
What are natural treatments for insulin resistance or metabolic syndrome?
Insulin resistance can often be helped by addressing a few key areas of health such as diet, exercise and stress reduction techniques. A diet rich in low starch vegetables, little/no refined sugar, good protein and healthy fats is important to reduce your risk factors for developing insulin resistance. A Ketogenic Diet has been found to be the most impactful for metabolic syndrome, but also for diabetics who are currently on medications.
High stress spikes cortisol, blood sugar and insulin. Stress reduction techniques like yoga (and other exercise), meditation, breathing practice, clinical therapy, acupuncture, and massage therapy can all be beneficial.
Our naturopathic doctors will work with you to help you manage your symptoms, prevent diabetes (or treat existing diabetes), and get to the source of your insulin resistance through your own individualized treatment plan. It may include:
- Specific dietary modifications –– eliminating food intolerances; increase in fibre, vegetables, fats and protein, decrease in starches and sugars; increase omega 3 fatty acid-rich foods; education and recommendation for a ketogenic diet or intermittent fasting.
- Vitamins, minerals, enzymes –– may include chromium, vanadium, alpha-lipoic acid, B Vitamins, and others.
- Botanicals –– such as devils club, gymnema, momordica, and milk thistle.
- Exercise Guidance and recommendations
- Stress reduction techniques, tools, and resources
TESTING FOR PRE-DIABETES/DIABETES & RESEARCH
We use a variety of Blood Tests that can include HbA1c, 2-hour post-prandial glucose and insulin, fasting blood sugar, fasting insulin, fasting cholesterol, triglycerides, Glucose Tolerance Test with insulin measurements or a GTIR test.
Every patient is assessed as an individual and we put together a customized naturopathic treatment plan to help you regulate blood sugar, lower insulin, restore metabolic function, and reduce symptoms of insulin resistance, pre-diabetes or diabetes. The food you choose to eat and how you move are the foundation to your plan. Cited below are a few studies related to additional naturopathic treatments that may be recommended for insulin resistance, but there are many more natural treatment options.