Feeling Fat??

Healthy Livingon July 12, 2010Leave a Comment

Dear Dr Heather,

I’m overweight, have no energy and am downright frustrated. I’ve been on every diet under the sun and I still can’t take off the pounds. Most people think that I’m lazy and eat too much. Please tell me that you can help me.

“Feeling Fat”


Dear “Feeling Fat”:

One of the most common complaints we hear in our offices is that patients want to lose weight but they just can’t. They have tried various approaches and diet plans and have maybe lost a few pounds temporarily, but they never seem to lose the weight and keep it off.

For the most part, weight loss in our office is usually not addressed as the primary problem or goal. Most people who come into our office want to lose weight yet they often have other symptoms that they do or do not associate with their weight. These symptoms could include fatigue, mental fogginess, depression, hair loss, dry skin, coldness and irregular menstrual cycles. Upon questioning the patient carefully, we find out that they have other health issues that need to be resolved. We look to solve their big issue and as a result, help them return to a more normal metabolism.

Incomplete thyroid testing can result in misdiagnosis. Patients have often said to me that they have had their thyroid tested when all that they have had tested is TSH. TSH is not a thyroid hormone, it is a pituitary hormone and is good for a general screening at best. Testing the free fraction of the thyroid hormone along with auto-antibodies should be done to definitively diagnose thyroid disease. Thyroid disease is usually tied into other metabolic problems and needs to be thoroughly investigated.

Women with systemic yeast often suffer from fatigue and weight issues. They have most likely had vaginal yeast at sometime in the past and have been on antibiotic therapy, birth control or steroids. Since yeast feed on sugar, blood sugar levels often fluctuate and this affects mood, energy and sugar craving. Sugar cravings can result in weight gain. Past history of yeast problems should be a red flag when sugar handling issues are a concern.

Leptin is a fat hormone that should be checked when weight is an issue. Leptin is a hormone produced by fat cells that signals the hypothalamus and tells the hypothalamus (the part of the brain that controls hunger) that you are no longer hungry. When Leptin becomes resistant and can no longer effectively signal the hypothalamus the body stores more fat to produce more Leptin. People who eat very little, exercise and cannot lose weight should consider having a simple test to check their Leptin levels. If Leptin is elevated there could be Leptin resistance and this could be addressed through diet and supplementation.

Not all people with weight issues have thyroid issues, yeast, hormone imbalance or Leptin resistance. Unfortunately, many people simply have not been taught how to eat properly. The food pyramid that we learned growing up was simply wrong. Carbohydrates break down into sugar rather quickly and will eventually be stored as fat. Eating the proper kinds of healthy fat and becoming a fat burner and not a sugar burner will give you more energy and help you lose weight.

If you have been trying to lose weight and are having difficulty, take a look at some of the options mentioned above. Look to improve your general health and as a result your permanent answer to weight loss and management just might be found.

In good health,

Dr Heather

About drheather
I have been practicing alongside my husband, Dr. Ralph S. Cardin, for the past 12 years and have worked in the health care environment for over 29 years. Besides being a passionate practitioner, I am a proud mother of four beautiful boys. I am active in my church and my children’s school and enjoy cooking and exercising.

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