Weight Loss

Weight Loss

You have tried everything to lose weight. You’ve tried the latest and greatest diet or fat-melting workout. You may have tried weight loss supplements or prescription medications but you are now heavier than ever. Sound familiar?

Humans are very successful as a species because we can store energy (fat) very efficiently and have multiple ways to store this energy. Thus, for long-term success physicians must look at the metabolic and endocrinological factors leading to weight gain and not assume it is a matter of will-power to eat less and exercise more. Here at Holtorf Medical Group we identify the underlying causes of the inability to lose weight, including hormonal deficiencies, thyroid imbalance, leptin resistance, insulin resistance, mitochondrial dysfunction, metabolic insufficiency, set-point abnormalities and vitamin deficiencies.  We have a wide range of methods to treat these conditions, ultimately leading to weight loss. Diet and exercise is rarely successful for long-term weight loss if such metabolic disturbances are left untreated.

What Conditions Does Peptide Therapy Address?

Because these peptides are so numerous and variable in structure, their effects are likewise varied and wide-ranging. One class of these peptides are known as growth hormone secretagogues and causes the secretion of one’s own, natural HGH in the body. These peptides have been shown to be very useful in the treatment of age-related conditions, osteoporosis, obesity, and various chronic inflammatory diseases, and have several advantages over traditional hGH administration.

Another type of peptide drug is composed of part of the hGH molecule that is responsible for fat cell death and has been shown to be very effective as an anti-obesity drug. In addition to decreasing inflammation, these drugs lead to increased lean muscle mass and decreased body fat.

A certain class of peptide drug has been used to help prevent skin cancer by increasing the melanin in one’s skin, causing a darkening effect that mimics a quality suntan. This peptide has also been shown to increase lean muscle mass and improve sex drive.

Have you wrecked your metabolism with too much dieting or exercise?

You never eat fast food, let alone supersize anything. To the contrary, you are constantly depriving yourself and doing regular vigorous exercise. But you can’t seem to lose weight or keep it off. You starve yourself and run extra miles per week. As soon as you go back to your normal diet routine, the weight comes back. You swear you have no metabolism but your doctor says everything is normal. Your friends recommend yet another fat burning diet but nothing seems to work. Sound familiar?

Could you be doing too much exercise or eating too little?  Such a thought is often met with skepticism and eye-rolling, as it is assumed you are eating Ding Dongs in the closet at midnight. But it may be that too much exercise or dieting may be to blame. Really, say it isn’t so. All that work for nothing?

Studies show that if you chronically diet or “over-exercise” your body may turn on you and reduce your metabolism by suppressing thyroid levels. The body normally produces an inactive thyroid hormone called T4, which is then converted to T3. The T3 is the active substance that is responsible for your body’s metabolism. When it is low or suboptimal, your metabolism is low. When it is high, your metabolism is high.

When the body senses excessive dieting or exercise this normal sequence of events is altered. Instead of converting T4 to the active T3, the body then converts the T4 into a substance called reverse T3 instead of into T3. This causes the metabolism to drop and it is shown to often not return to normal even after regular eating or exercise is resumed. You have now wrecked your metabolism.

A study published in American Journal of Physiology, Endocrinology and Metabolism found that 25 days of dieting reduced T4 to T3 conversion by 50% while a study in the journal Metabolism found that chronic dieting dramatically lowers metabolism that stays depressed even after resuming normal food intake. This dramatic reduction in tissue T3 levels (and increased reverse T3) that results in hypometabolism is not detected by the standard blood tests used by 99% of physicians and endocrinologists.

Mirroring the results of the above study, our center has found that a reduced basal metabolic rate is a consistent finding in those who chronically diet, with many such individuals having a 20-40% lower metabolism than expected for their body mass index (BMI). With such a reduced metabolism, you must eat 500-1000 less calories per day or burn that many calories to just stay even and not gain weight. While diet and exercise are important components of successful weight loss, they will certainly fail to achieve long-term success if metabolic abnormalities are not addressed.

The question is how much exercise or dieting is too much. The answer is, “it depends” because everyone is different. Women are much more prone to this syndrome of exercise or diet-induced hypothyroidism than men. And those that do intense yo-yo dieting and have lost and gained significant weight in the past or only eat one meal a day are at particular risk. It is important to determine the extent that a suppressed metabolism is contributing to the inability to lose weight. This is done in our center with in-house metabolic testing and the measurement of tissue thyroid levels, as well as extensive metabolic and hormonal laboratory testing to determine the physiologic basis of the inability to lose weight.