Monday, February 22, 2010

Metabolic Health

This quarter I have the pleasure of working with Dr. Cristina Romero-Bosch. Her practice is focused on “metabolic health.” What does that mean exactly? The word metabolism usually makes you think of people with self-proclaimed “slow” or “fast” metabolisms, referencing the manner in which they burn their food, or calories. The lucky “fast” metabolism people seem to eat whatever they want and remain at a healthy weight. But what if metabolism wasn’t just the luck of the draw and the real players in the metabolic game were actual measurable and could be manipulated? That is in fact the case and I am beginning to see many examples of this.

To begin with, there are core factors that are the foundation for health. Things like diet, lifestyle and mental/emotional health that most definitely influence the way we feel. Maintaining balance in these areas is difficult considering our modern American lives and relies on our personal willpower to make the “right” choices, exercise, make time to relax, etc. When willpower goes by the wayside, this can create fatigue on the signaling pathways responsible for maintaining our basal metabolic rate. From there, a downward spiral can occur. We feel more lethargic, get less sleep, eat more poorly, etc. By measuring the function of the adrenal glands, thyroid gland and levels of sex hormones it IS possible to see biochemical reasons behind feelings of fatigue, weight gain, insomnia, depression, and low libido. How many Americans have these types of concerns? (!!)After any disturbances in these signaling pathways are corrected, it might be possible to truly rebuild the foundation of health—where the “will” is no longer about power, but natural ability and desire.

I subscribe to Natural Solutions magazine, which recently featured and article titled, “The Hidden Epidemic: Is Your Thyroid Making You Fat?” I excitedly thumbed to this headline article when the magazine appeared in my mailbox-- having seen this work in action with Dr. Bosch. This is a good summary of one aspect of the multi-factorial approach to metabolic health. It brings to light the fact that there are considerations outside of basic labs, like symptoms, and additional lab tests that are not always standard, that can be taken into consideration when addressing thyroid health specifically. This is a must read! Take charge of your metabolic health! :)