Trying to lose weight but it feels like you are spinning your wheels and just stuck in a rut? Here is a little secret, chronic inflammation caused by hormonal imbalances or Leaky gut can make weight loss impossible. A clean diet and exercise is sometimes not enough to deal with these more complex cases of Chronic inflammation.
Chronic Inflammation Can Bring The Best Weight Loss Efforts to A Grinding Halt
The science behind weight loss tells us that there is a direct correlation between chronic inflammation and our struggles with not only losing weight but also keeping the weight off.
When it comes to inflammation our bodies are very well equipped to handling acute inflammation however, chronic inflammation poses a completely different problem. Think of acute inflammation as your body’s response to an immediate problem — a bee sting, pollen, a stubbed toe. These kinds of problems are easily handled and are a necessary part of the healing process.
Chronic inflammation is a serious threat to our body. In addition to weight gain, chronic inflammation has been linked to almost every major disease, including cancer, heart disease, Thyroid disease, autoimmune conditions, diabetes, depression.
Is Hormonal Imbalance Causing Your Chronic Inflammation?-How Hormones Can Make Weight Loss Almost impossible
While there are many causes behind chronic inflammation, today we are going to dive into the 5 most important hormones that cause inflammation and stifle your weight loss. Imbalances in any of these hormones can cause you to store fat and if you are struggling with multiple imbalances burning off fat is going to be even more challenging- despite diet and exercise.
Chronic inflammation activates hormones within the body that store fat. For this reason, identifying these hormones is worth the investigation if you are serious about getting inflammation and weight gain under control. There are several hormones I think about when patients continue to struggle with losing weight.
One of the main symptoms that ultimately leads to the diagnosis of hypothyroidism is weight gain. Unfortunately, the number one reason for hypothyroidism in the United States is an autoimmune disease called Hashimotos. In fact, most patients diagnosed with hypothyroidism will go an average of 10 years before being accurately diagnosed. If you score over 15 on this Thyroid questionnaire, You should follow up with more comprehensive hormone testing.
While there are other causes for hypothyroidism like certain medications, thyroid removal, or again chronic inflammation. If you still can’t lose weight, it’s important that you get your thyroid levels tested, not just a TSH test but a complete thyroid panel.
If you have hypothyroidism and you still struggle with losing weight, chances are you are making at least one of these 5 Thyroid mistakes. These are common mistakes and beliefs we have seen over the years time and time again.
Cortisol is the body’s primary stress hormone and too much or too little can either affect how you maintain muscle or how easily you gain weight. Not only can cortisol levels influence weight gain, but Cortisol can also affect how your body deals with chronic inflammation.
Chronic fatigue syndrome is often caused in part by poorly functioning adrenal glands. Low Cortisol and low DHEA can impact how your body reduces inflammation. If you have been under chronic stress or you had a stressful event that occurred and years ago and you have never been the same, it’s worth investigating the link between low cortisol, low DHEA and chronic inflammation. These key hormones may be out of balance and the reason why you are inflamed can’t lose weight.
You can Assess your risk for adrenal fatigue using my Adrenal Quiz.
Leptin and its receptors have been identified as key regulators of weight loss and energy homeostasis.
People who struggle with weight often develop leptin resistance. Leptin’s action is to inhibit appetite, to stimulate the burning up of fatty acids, to decrease glucose, and to reduce overall body fat and weight.
In leptin resistance, leptin signaling is interrupted, so that no matter how much leptin is produced, the brain does not want to hear the message coming from the fat cells.
Instead of interpreting that extra leptin coming from all those extra fat cells as a signal to stop eating, we do just the opposite. We overeat.
Insulin is the hormone responsible for regulating and controlling blood sugar levels, unfortunately it can also make us fat. While we talk mostly about Insulin as it relates to diabetes, statistically one in three people are prediabetic having chronically high insulin levels. This is such an epidemic that most people with prediabetes have no idea that they are prediabetic.
According to 2003 World Health Organization (WHO) estimates, 90 percent of people with type 2 diabetes are either overweight or have obesity. Here’s why….
During the digestion process, the pancreas releases insulin which in turn stimulates muscle, fat, and liver cells to absorb glucose. The cells either use this glucose for energy or if there is too much glucose will convert the glucose into fat for long-term storage. This long term fat storage is called glycogen.
Eating too many refined carbohydrates, creates a frequent surplus of glucose in your blood which in turn creates frequent surges of insulin. If these habits continue, you could go on to develop insulin resistance. If you find yourself suffering with symptoms such as fatigue after meals, frequent sugar cravings, brain fog, chronic inflammation symptoms, take the Blood Sugar Questionnaire on this website. This questionnaire can assess your risk for insulin resistance and hypoglycemia.
You may also remember from my last article, that Insulin is one of the hormones that is elevated during chronic inflammation. Learn more about the Top 5 Blood Tests for Measuring Inflammation.
Leaky Gut And Chronic Inflammation
Not only can hormone imbalances contribute to inflammation, so can gut issues like leaky gut. One of the most common gastrointestinal issues we see related to the challenges or plateaus of weight loss is Leaky gut syndrome. Leaky gut is a phenomenon that occurs when the tight junctions of the intestinal wall become loose or porous, allowing harmful substances to enter the blood stream.
Leaky Gut Causes Weight gain in several ways.
- Creating imbalances of microbes in the gut which leads to weight gain,
- Creates sensitivities to foods and these food sensitivities lead to weight gain
- Creates nutrition deficiencies that are also involved in weight gain.
- Creates a toxic liver which affects hormone balance,
- Impacts bile production which helps with elimination of toxins.
Joint pain, headaches, Fatigue, thyroid issues, bloating, depression, and food allergies and sensitivities are all common symptoms of leaky gut syndrome.
Studies show that because leaky gut syndrome results in chronic inflammation, diabetes and weight gain are also common conditions causes by leaky gut.
If you suspect your inability to lose weight has to do with chronic stomach and Gut inflammation, consider reading more about testing for leaky gut.
Do you check off most of the boxes? If so, you are a prime candidate for Leaky Gut Testing/Treatment.
Foods That Fight Inflammation- Anti-Inflammatory Diet
If you suspect that your weight loss problem is rooted in chronic inflammation, you will want to read the article” 10 most inflammatory foods”. I wont get into them here but, these are a few things that I personally think about when it comes to food and chronic inflammation and these are questions you should be asking yourself as well.
- Is this food going to drive up my sugar levels?
- Is this food a good fat or a bad fat?
- Is this food processed and containing high level of toxins?
Following The Anti-Inflammatory Diet is Not as Hard as You Think.
If you struggle with weight and you haven’t started an anti-inflammatory diet– you are missing out. One of the most powerful tools to combat inflammation comes not from the pharmacy, but from the grocery store. The food you eat can either fight inflammation or cause inflammation.
While we have covered this diet as well as some of the best supplements to reduce inflammation in other articles, as a general rule of thumb, you should make sure your diet contains plenty of clean water, organic fruits and vegetables, wild-caught fatty fish like salmon, sardines, grass-fed beef, free range chickens, good fats, fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, and kombucha.
Consuming antioxidants from low glycemic fruits like blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries contain anti-inflammatory compounds, these in turn boost your glutathione levels and improve intracellular inflammatory signaling.
Other foods that work great at fighting and reducing inflammation include your Brassicas. Brassicas include vegetables like broccoli, cabbage cauliflower, and kale. These are great for supporting the liver, and detoxification pathways.
Fatty fish contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids that offer anti-inflammatory benefits. This in turn can help reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, thyroid disease.
You can learn more about what foods to avoid on an anti-inflammatory diet here
When it comes to loosing weight the most important thing to understand is that chronic inflammation can sabotage the best efforts in the gym and in the kitchen.
Can Chronic Inflammation Be Prevented?
People who struggle with chronic inflammation can control and reverse inflammation through a healthy, anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle. Regardless of your genes, you make daily choices about your health. If your health was a bank account, are you making daily deposits or daily withdrawals? Keep these 5 final reminders in mind.
- Too many people wait until they have lost their health before they ask for help. In the same way you get your cholesterol levels tested every year, get bloodwork that will evaluate you for the damaging effects of inflammation.
- Next, If you have the symptoms of a Thyroid problem, blood sugar problem, Leaky Gut, SIBO or Adrenal problem, take the quizzes offered on my site. They can assess your risk for these conditions.
- If you know or suspect hormone imbalances, get your hormones tested. If your doctor wont help you, reach out to my practice, we can order these tests for you no matter where you live.
- The point of all this is that, you can’t fix a problem, if you don’t what the cause is. Testing will rule in and rule out certain problems that are causing your chronic inflammation and preventing you from loosing weight. Test don’t guess!
- If you have not been eating an anti-inflammatory diet, or you have fallen off the wagon, then let this be your reminder. It’s time to get back on the train. It’s never too late to hop back on.
Need Help Reducing Inflammation, Correcting Hormonal imbalances or Fixing a Leaky Gut?
If you suspect that inflammation, hormones or a leaky gut is sabotaging your best weight loss efforts, Our team can help! Schedule a free 15 minute phone consult. During this call we can help identify the best approach to helping you look and feel your best for years to come.