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Natural Awakenings Metro Phoenix & Northern Arizona

The Invisible Weight-Loss Secret: Paul Stallone, NMD reveals how thyroid problems can interfere with even a well thought out weight-loss program.

Oct 01, 2012 07:59PM ● By By Paul Stallone, NMD

For some people, what used to be 10 extra pounds that seemed easy to lose somehow has become 30 or more pounds of stubborn, never-goes-away fat, and no diet, exercise program, juice fast, pill or homemade concoction will work to get it off.

These folks aren’t eating French fries and birthday cake; they are out there walking the dog and remaining pretty active. But even losing five pounds seems impossible. It’s probably time for them to see their physician about possible medical conditions that can interfere with even a well thought out weight-loss program.

One possible culprit for impossible weight loss is a little butterfly-shaped organ known as the thyroid, which is responsible for maintaining the body’s weight. When it isn't functioning, losing weight or maintaining a loss is nearly impossible. The thyroid secretes essential hormones that help regulate heartbeat and maintain healthy skin, among other things.

Those with low energy, dry skin, unexplained weight gain and depression might have a sluggish thyroid or a condition known as hypothyroidism. A racing heart, sleep issues and mysterious weight loss may point to hyperthyroidism, caused by an overactive thyroid that is secreting too many hormones. These conditions are easily managed when monitored by a knowledgeable physician. However, if the imbalances are not corrected, completing a successful weight loss program is an uphill battle. Constant stress is probably the biggest contributor to a malfunctioning thyroid, and can cause it to burn out.

Fortunately, not only can weight loss be achieved and sustained, but constant fatigue and low libido can also be reversed with a properly prescribed treatment plan. Some lifelong dieters respond beautifully after their thyroid issues have been corrected and find losing weight to be somewhat easy. For some, however, this may not be the reason they can't lose weight. Hormone levels that are out of whack can also make weight loss difficult.

Imbalanced hormones can cause weight gain, especially with too much cortisol or too little progesterone, testosterone or estrogen. There's a delicate symmetry between all hormones, and when one becomes imbalanced, the others may quickly follow. Some women experiencing perimenopause or menopause are going through a life stage when hormone production starts declining, which directly impacts appetite, fat storage and metabolism.

If estrogen levels decrease, the body will try to correct this. Another source of estrogen is in fat cells, so the body learns to convert more calories into fat in order to increase estrogen production. This means weight gain. Low levels of progesterone won't actually cause weight gain, but instead cause water retention or bloating. This deceiving side effect makes a person feel and look heavier and clothing fit tighter.

High stress levels put the body into a state of panic, thus preventing weight loss. It begins to store food as stress hormones, such as cortisol, provide an evolutionary signal that it will not be eating again for a while. These stored calories result in weight gain. Stress can become a vicious cycle; gaining some weight, getting stressed about it and then gaining more weight from the stress.

Not everyone that struggles with losing weight has a hormone or thyroid problem. These people may want to speak with a physician about a weight-loss program that uses hCG, a naturally produced hormone that signals the body to burn stored fat. Levels of hCG are increased slightly to create a fat-burning environment, and metabolism is reset after the program to maintain the weight loss.

By speaking with an understanding physician, individuals can figure out why the pounds won't come off and start what is hopefully the last adventure to a healthier weight. Correcting a hormonal or thyroid imbalance will not only help lose weight, but those conditions can cause many side effects and can lead to severe illness. It wouldn’t hurt if everyone got their thyroid and hormones checked, to add more spark to life and help avoid serious complications down the road.

Paul Stallone, NMD, founded the Arizona Integrative Medical Center, located at 8144 E. Cactus Rd., Ste. 820, in Scottsdale. He combines natural/alternative/conventional treatments to best fit and benefit each individual patient’s needs. For more information call 480-214-3922 visit

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