Background

Some of you are finding that despite proper eating and exercise you simply cannot lose the extra weight. Research has shown that there are a number of things contributing to this and that when you treat them the weight will often begin to disappear. This is discussed at length in the book From Fatigued to Fantastic!, which teaches people how to recover from chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia (which causes an average 32 pound weight gain), and goes into great detail about how to effectively treat the problems discussed below.

The Most Common Metabolic Causes of Weight Gain

Hypothyroidism

Over 26 million Americans suffer with hypothyroidism, and less than one third of them are being properly diagnosed or treated! This is the case despite most of them having what their doctors mistakenly consider to be normal blood tests. As long as your thyroid function is inadequate, it will be nearly impossible for you to keep your weight down. The symptoms of hypothyroidism are fatigue, weight gain, cold intolerance with low body temperature (under 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit), achiness, and poor mental function.

Nutritional deficiencies

When you are deficient in vitamins or minerals your body will crave more food than you need and your metabolism will be sluggish.

Poor sleep

The expression “getting your beauty sleep” actually has a basis in fact. Deep sleep is a major trigger for growth hormone production and sleep also regulates the appetite-controlling hormones leptin and ghrelin. Growth hormone stimulates production of muscle (which burns fat) and improves insulin sensitivity (which decreases the tendency to make fat). One hundred years ago, the average American got 9 hours of sleep a night. Because it raises growth hormone, getting the 8-9 hours of sleep a night that the human body is meant to have can powerfully contribute to your staying young and trim!

Yeast overgrowth

Clinical experience has shown that fungal (also known as Candida or yeast) overgrowth contributes powerfully to both sugar cravings and weight gain. Although we do not know the mechanism for this, we have repeatedly seen excess weight drop off once this overgrowth is treated and eliminated.

Insulin resistance

This causes your body to make very high levels of insulin, which causes your body to make fat.

Treatment

Medications

Thyroid hormone

If you have symptoms of hypothyroidism, take a therapeutic trial of thyroid hormone. The form that I recommend is Armour thyroid, and it should be adjusted to the dose that feels best while keeping the Free T4 blood test in the normal range.

Metformin

If you are insulin resistant, take metformin 500-1,000 mg a day to help restore your body’s sensitivity to the insulin you make. Check a “Fasting Insulin” blood test one morning before you eat or drink anything. If it is over 10 McU/ml (drawn fasting in the morning), you are insulin resistant. In woman who have a high testosterone from the insulin resistance (known as polycystic ovary syndrome, or "PCOS," and sometimes associated with increased facial hair), the metformin can improve overall well being and even restore fertility. Give it 3 months to work, and be sure you are taking 500 mcg of vitamin B12 a day with it as the metformin depletes vitamin B12.

Recommended Supplements

Multi-nutrient powder

To help prevent nutritional deficiencies, take a good multi-nutrient powder.

Herbal sleep aids

Herbal sleep aids can help you sleep.

Other Therapies & Advice

Herbal mixes to boost metabolism

Cut out sugar

This is discussed in my book Beat Sugar Addiction NOW!

Check for Candida

See Candida.

Find a health practitioner

The good news? Clinics have opened nationwide that specialize in treating weight problems by optimizing metabolism using the best of natural and prescription therapies. Not only does this include bioidentical hormones (including testosterone and thyroid if needed), treating insulin resistance, sleep and the other treatments listed above to optimize metabolism, but it also goes way beyond this — giving you a comprehensive program to bring out your natural "inner thin."

Contributor: 

Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, MD

Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D. is a board certified internist and author of the popular free iPhone application “Cures A-Z,” which was ranked in the top 10 of all health/wellness downloads on iTunes. Dr. Teitelbaum is the author of the perennial bestseller From Fatigued to Fantastic! (Avery Penguin), which has sold over half a million copies; Pain Free 1-2-3 (McGraw-Hill); Three Steps to Happiness: Healing Through Joy (Deva Press); the Beat Sugar Addiction Now! series (Fair Winds Press);  Real Cause, Real Cure (Rodale Press); The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution (Penguin/Avery); and his latest, The Complete Guide to Beating Sugar Addiction (Fair Winds Press, 2015).