Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Hormone Balancing Act

One of the most frequent concerns I've seen in my office within the past few weeks is that of weight gain. The new year has (once again) prompted people to seek help with one of the most common New Years resolutions-- lose weight! 

I have successfully helped many folks lose weight over the years. There are some key factors that I have found that need to be modified before weight loss can be successful and maintained for the long term. 

Stress reduction! Stress does not just come from work, your boss or driving in traffic. Inflammation in the body,  chronic disease, excessive worry or emotional problems, or environmental toxins are all perceived by the body as stress. Some develop coping mechanisms to stress and some become chronically maladapted to stress leading to imbalances in cortisol. Stress reduction techniques such as yoga, tai chi, breathing or meditation, and massage can all be useful strategies. It is important, however, to measure the amount of cortisol that the body is making in order to support underlying imbalances. 

Sex Hormones! The hormones estrogen, progesterone and testosterone play an important role in both males and females. In both men and women, estrogen excess is often to blame for inability to lose weight. Estrogen excess can come from many sources in our environment. Certain foods can mimic estrogen (soy), pesticides used on non- organic foods can disrupt sex hormones, and plastics (BPA specifically) can also have estrogen like effects.Many women have a history of or are currently taking  birth control pills-- which puts excess estrogen into the body on a daily basis! 

Thyroid! The thyroid is often blamed for weight problems, although treating the thyroid alone often does not lead to weight loss. Thyroid health can be supported by a variety of methods and in combination with sex hormone and adrenal hormone support can optimize weight loss results. 

As you can see, weight loss can be more than just diet and exercise. A comprehensive hormonal evaluation can  uncover underlying causes of weight can and be the first step on the road to weight loss. 

Happy New Year!