Weight gain seems to be one of the most common complaints a patient has for coming to see us at CentreSpring MD. Although it may seem like a single entity, weight gain can have many underlying causes. One important link that is being researched is the affect of toxins on weight regulation.  Many patients are able to lose significant weight by reducing stress, shifting towards whole foods, low glycemic diet, as well as increasing their physical activity.  However, when the effort being put forth to improve your lifestyle doesn’t result in the desired outcome of weight loss, consider issues with toxicity.

Unfortunately, even with your best efforts to avoid toxins, research has shown that   before you lived even one day on this earth, you were likely exposed to over 200 industrial pollutants including lead, mercury and PCB’s through umbilical cord blood.  As you continue to interact with your environment, exposure to other heavy metals, chemical toxins, medications, pesticides, herbicides and additives, hormones, and antibiotics in our food supply continue to stress our detoxification system.  Infections, mycotoxins, yeast, bacteria and viruses can all play a role as well.

As if environmental toxins weren’t enough, internal or endogenous toxins that are created from the bacteria and yeast in your gut can also affect your metabolism due to the affects on your detoxification system.

How Toxins Affect your Weight:

  1. Toxins can affect many hormones involved in your metabolism including insulin, leptin, ghrelin, thyroid, cortisol and many others.
  2. Toxins can also increase inflammatory mediators which can then affect insulin resistance, leptin resistance (leptin inhibits appetite) and appetite.
  3. Toxins can affect mitochondrial function by damaging certain enzymes that affect fatty acid oxidation and thermogenesis, reducing your ability to burn fat.
  4. Toxins increase the workload of your liver.
  5. Toxins alter circadian rhythm and the autonomic nervous system.

Top 5 Solutions to Improve Detoxification

1. Consume a nutrient dense diet, avoiding foods that contain the most pesticides. The Environmental Working Group creates a list each year of the foods that contain the highest levels of pesticide, the “Twelve Dirty Dozen”. If you had to choose which foods to purchase as organic, these foods would be your best choice. Create meal plans that include adequate amounts of protein (amino acids), fats, fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Phase I and Phase II Detoxification requires adequate amounts of these nutrients to function effectively. One of the most important antioxidants and detoxifying agents is glutathione. Supplements that include NAC will help increase the natural production of glutathione, while liposomal glutathione and/or IV glutathione can be helpful when low glutathione levels are identified. Cruciferous vegetables, leafy greens, green tea, garlic and herbs like ginger; turmeric, cilantro and rosemary are all helpful in enhancing detoxification.

2. Focus on elimination. Consider an elimination diet avoiding common food sensitivities like gluten and dairy and possibly soy, corn, eggs and yeast. Cut out refined carbohydrates and sugars, excess salt, caffeine and alcohol. If you have trouble identifying which foods may be causing an issue, consider getting more detailed lab testing to identify food allergies or sensitivities. Ensure proper elimination. We excrete toxins through our feces and urine. If you aren’t adequately eliminating each day, you are re-circulating toxins. If you are constipated, increase your fiber intake with fiber rich foods. You can also increase your water intake (clean filtered water) and/or choose to take a fiber supplement such as psyllium husk. Magnesium is also very helpful. In addition, focus on elimination of toxins through sweat. Both saunas and sweating during exercise can be a great way to rid your body of toxins.

3. Identify hidden infections that may be affecting your metabolism such as chronic viruses, H pylori, Lyme, mycotoxins, yeast, parasites and sources of chronic inflammation in the mouth, nose, GI tract or genitourinary tract. Consider eating foods that improve your gut microbiome such as fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, etc. or take a probiotic that contains multiple strains of beneficial bacteria. Taking vitamin C is also beneficial as an antioxidant and immune support.

4. Limit unnecessary stress, which can affect your appetite. Get regular exercise, consider taking up yoga or Tai Chi, focus on your breathing and the practice of mindfulness, start a gratitude journal, pray and/or share your feelings with loved ones that you trust. Live from a place of authenticity. Eliminate toxic relationships. Go to bed and rise at approximately the same time each day and aim for at least 7-9 hrs of sleep.

5. Get lab work. As I often say “you don’t know what you don’t know “. At CentreSpring MD we can partner with you to identify nutrient deficiencies, hormone imbalances, genetic factors impeding your ability to detox, increased body burden of heavy metals, hidden chronic infections as well as alterations in your gut flora.

Once we have identified the reasons you are having difficulty losing weight, we can create a plan that help you to achieve your goals for improved health and wellness. With a unique diagnostic process, we guide you to your best self by connecting the dots of your health and history to shape a unique treatment plan because no two people are the same. We lead you in the implementation and monitor the results to optimize the plan according to your body’s needs.

So what will you find as a patient at our office?

  • Longer appointments with your provider
  • Advanced technology and integrative lab testing
  • Conventional and holistic treatment options
  • Personalized treatment plans
  • Direct access to your provider  
  • A complete menu of traditional and holistic health and spa services

As you can see, at CentreSpring MD, we are committed to a new model of medicine with true patient centered, collaborative care – a safe place for you to refresh, relax, and rejuvenate.

Dr. Tanya Lehine is a board certified physician specializing in family medicine and functional medicine with expertise in women’s health and the mind-body connection to health and wellness.

Email appointments@centrespringmd.com to schedule a visit with Dr. Tanya Lehine D.O..

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Categories: Diet, Health Tips, Nutrition, Women's Health