The treatment of resistant weight-loss, especially as we age, is a common reason that many people seek out naturopathic medical care.
Resistant weight-loss may be defined as, an inability to lose weight – even when all reasonable efforts have been made to do so.
Some of the most common causes of resistant weight loss include genetics, poor eating habits, inactivity, stress, thyroid dysfunction, and the slowing down of metabolism—due to aging and a natural decline in sex hormones.
These natural hormonal changes may be coupled with an overall loss of muscle mass as well.
Our Hormones Change As We Age
Predictable declines in sex hormones associated with aging include a decline in DHEA (a precursor sex hormone made by the adrenal glands), estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.
Specifically, the natural decline in testosterone as we age is associated with a slowing down of metabolism.
Testosterone is found in both men and women, is a growth hormone, and promotes healthy muscle maintenance. And, sustains a healthy weight and sex-drive.
Muscle also requires a considerable amount of energy; in order to function properly. Specifically, both glucose and fat act as fuel for muscle cells.
Muscle depends on glucose stored as glycogen for fuel, and on fat stores.
Because muscle consumes a great deal of fuel in order to maintain healthy function; people who have a greater percentage of muscle mess tend to lose weight more easily. Furthermore, as testosterone levels steadily decline, we will see a loss coupled with pronounced changes in weight gain. We may also see a rise in belly fat.
Both women and men require testosterone to maintain healthy muscle function and optimal weight.
These testosterone dips are common. And can be further complicated by the fact that adipose tissue (fat cells), produce elevations in estrogen – leading to estrogen dominance.
This is because adipose tissue does several things including, the manufacturing of hormones, like estrogen, and the stimulation of inflammatory cytokines (substances that can increase inflammation). When this happens, cortisol (an anti-inflammatory hormone) may rise – placing us at risk for increased belly fat and insulin resistance.
When treating the individual who suffers from resistant weight loss: diet alone is rarely enough.
And in individuals over the age of 40, hormone testing and hormone restoration are usually suggested.
Testing Hormones and Offering Hormone Restoration Therapy
Hormone testing is usually conducted using the take-home saliva test offered by Labrix Clinical Services. The test is easy to take, and results are usually available in less than 2 weeks.
In addition to hormone testing and hormone restoration therapy, a nutrient-dense diet is also suggested.
Determining the proper diet for healthy weight-loss is usually determined based on the weight of an individual, their BMI, fat percentage, age, gender, and level of physical activity.
An exercise and fitness plan suitable to the needs of the individual’s lifestyle is also suggested.
I usually suggest some supplementation as well. These supplements cannot replace diet and lifestyle changes. Rather, they should be taken along with the implementation of a proper diet and exercise program.
An effective weight-loss program in the older individual usually is a multipronged approach.
PGX by Natural Factors
My first choice for healthy weight-loss supplementation is PGX by Natural Factors. This product contains konjac root – a water-soluble fiber. When taken with a glass of water, PGX slows down gastric emptying, makes you feel full sooner, and keeps you feeling full longer.
Additional Benefits of PGX
In addition, to helping you feel full longer, PGX has also been researched for its’ ability to stabilize blood sugar. Consequently, if you are struggling with weight-loss and are at risk for type II diabetes, this product may be right for you. PGX has been found in clinical studies to slow down gastric emptying and stabilize blood-sugar levels when taken before meals.
The ability to stabilize blood sugar does a number of things that are good for overall health that include, decreasing risk for diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, coronary artery disease, and food cravings. Stabilizing blood glucose may also have an impact on mood, cortisol levels and decrease inflammation in the body.
Cholesterol Levels and PGX
In addition, to help reduce hunger, and stabilize blood-sugar, PGX has also been shown to help lower cholesterol levels as well. This is because cholesterol binds to water-soluble fiber — helping to eliminate it from the body.
PGX is not a stimulant, or habit-forming, and should be taken prior to eating for best results.
Please speak to your doctor before taking this supplement – as it may not be right for everyone.
To find out more about my work, or to schedule an appointment, please visit my website at DoctorWhimsy.com
I am available for appointments both in person and via phone and telemedicine appointments.
I look forward to helping you on your journey to health.