By Dr. Selene Wilkinson, ND
Weight loss is something that a lot of people struggle with, but the good news is they don’t have to. For many people there are multiple obstacles to losing the desired amount of weight far beyond the standard of eating less and exercising more. Some of these items include a diet that is not individualized and appropriate for them, a hormone imbalance leading to weight gain, nutrient deficiencies causing uncontrollable cravings and/or a body overloaded with toxins creating them to have a slower metabolism. I see patients daily that fall into one or all of these categories, Debbie was one of them.
Debbie is a 44 year old mother of 3 who works full time and was going through a very stressful divorce. She came to see me as she had struggled with her weight all of her life. She had been on every diet from A to Z starting with Atkins, and moving on to Bernstein’s and so on. Most diets failed and the diets that did work, only kept the weight off for a short period of time.
When she came to see me she was in a very depressed and frustrated state, as not only was she eating an extremely unhealthy diet, she had lost all of her self confidence because of her weight gain and the divorce that she was going through. During her initial visit I learned about when and what she ate, the uncontrollable cravings she had, as well as what her emotional and psychological triggers to eat more food were. This helped me grasp a full picture of Debbie and understand her relationship with food. Luckily she did exercise 4 times weekly, but this only added to her frustration as she was not seeing the results she was looking to achieve.
I had a variety of hormone, nutrient and toxin levels tested in her blood as I was investigating if there were any hormone imbalances, nutrient deficiencies or a toxic overload in her body. I also tested what foods Debbie was sensitive to. Debbie did not know her blood type so we had this tested as well. I performed a physical exam to provide additional information regarding Debbie’s case and took her measurements (weight, hip and waist circumference) to have baseline numbers to monitor her progress.
After receiving her blood work results it was clear that some of her hormones, including her thyroid was working at a slower rate than should be for optimum weight loss. It was also clear that her stress hormone cortisol was extremely high, also making it very difficult to lose weight, especially around her midsection. I suggested a few choice herbs and supplements to treat and balance these hormones. Her mercury levels came back slightly elevated, potentially from environmental exposure or the large quantities of seafood that she consumed. The food sensitivity test showed that she was sensitive to gluten, eggs, beans and almonds. I created a diet plan that increased her metabolic rate and removed all foods she was sensitive to, in addition to those foods high in mercury. Using Chinese Medicine and acupuncture I was able to decrease her stress levels and clear toxins from her organs so that they could function at their optimum. I had Debbie come in every 2 weeks to be measured and to make sure she was on track both physically and mentally.
In two months Debbie had reached her desired goal of losing 20lbs, and that was 10 months ago. We retested her blood, which came back normal. Debbie still comes in to see me for acute situations such as muscle pain from working out or the odd cold, but she is not the same overweight and depressed women that came into my office 10 months ago. She is confident and continues to keep her weight off and is living a full and happy life.
This is one of many patients that I see in my office who have struggled to lose weight their entire lives, but given the right direction and tools now understand how weight loss can be made easy, and it can be permanent.