Obesity- An Inflammation and Hormonal Problem

medicine, naturalHave you met people who eat well and exercise sufficiently but still aren’t as fit as they should be?  Perhaps you struggle with this difficulty.  A new topic in obesity research is inflammation.  Inflammation has received worthwhile attention in the last 5 years as a major contributing factor in the early stages of many illnesses, such as arteriosclerosis, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.  It’s not the inflammation that is associated with swelling after an injury, but instead is a low-grade inflammation, invisible to the eye, within cells. 

I am particularly interested in what causes this inflammation.  Recently, I ran across information suggesting that fat cells are hormone secreting cells (i.e. they’re part of the endocrine system).  The problem of obesity in our society may be a problem with environmental toxicity and the endocrine disruption it causes, such as what is seen in hypothyroidism, infertility, certain cancers, (etc) that are on the increase.  Not only do environmental toxins affect the liver and its ability to process these toxins on top of processing the body’s normal metabolic waste, they also shift the hormones secreted by these fat cells, which leads to low grade inflammation. 

Once the cascade of inflammation is started after the initial injury, it’s hard for the body on its own to stop because multiple systems become involved.  For instance, activation of the immune system by these disrupted fat cells adds an additional layer of inflammation.  Allergies may come in to play here with regard to weight gain.  Having allergies is a sign of immune system dysfunction.  If a person’s immune system isn’t working well, they are prone to allergies, and food allergies in particular slows metabolism leading to weight gain. 

More food for thought is the high amount of simple carbohydrates in the common American diet (processed foods full of sucrose or sugar, white flour, white rice, etc) has its own impact on the endocrine system leading to inflammation.  Insulin, the hormone secreted by the pancreas, and the hormone disrupted in diabetes, has a central involvement.  Type 2 diabetes (also called late onset or adult onset diabetes) doesn’t occur overnight.  Instead people spend many years being in the various earlier stages of the disease, often without knowing it.  For additional evidence suggesting insulin disruption in obesity, the book Overweight and Weight Management, summarizes a study showing that mice fed less frequent large meals gained more weight than mice fed an equal number of calories at more frequent intervals.  Going into a starvation mode then over-consuming calories in one sitting causes spikes in blood glucose and insulin levels.

Besides eating as close to organic foods as possible, decreasing the amount of processed foods you eat, and eating frequent small meals throughout the day, to help your body lose weight make an appointment with me to decrease inflammation, repair the damage that’s been done by environmental toxins and overcome food allergies.

Comments are closed.