Everyday I hear this from my patients.......both men and women. They work out, they eat right and all their efforts seem to be in vain. This becomes very frustrating and depressing.
So what is going on? Why do our best efforts go unrewarded?
This gets back to hormonal balance; particularly Testosterone and Thyroid.
In order to understand how this work, you need to understand how calories are burned. When you eat a meal, all food converts to glucose (sugars). In order to eliminate and use this glucose cleanly and effectively it needs to enter the muscles, provide energy and then burn off.
Testosterone is required for glucose to enter the muscles. If you have inadequate testosterone levels (see blog entry below about testosterone in men and women), you can not move glucose into muscles. This then puts the pressure on the pancreas to handle it. The pancreas uses insulin to deal with glucose. This causes wide swings in sugars causing sugar cravings and weight gain. The liver then gets involved and converts glucose to fat. All this can leads to pre-diabetes (insulin resistance), diabetes and other cardiovascular complications.
Testosterone is the KEY!!!!!!!
This is why men tend to lose weight faster and easier than women. They have more testosterone and more muscle mass. Women you are not imaging this; we are biologically set up to keep weight on compared to men.
To make matters worse, testosterone is thyroids best friend. They hang out together and get in trouble together. Thyroid drives mother nature's metabolic engine of the body. Imagine when your thyroid is perfectly balanced your body is humming along like a Lexus hybrid coupe; running and burning fuel efficiently. If your thyroid gets going too much (Hyperthyroidism) it is like putting your body in Formula One Race car mode; burning off fuel fast. If your thyroid gets sluggish or starts to fail (Hypothyroidism), you become like a Pruis: burning fuel very slowly. If your testosterone is low, your thyroid will not function properly. This affects your metabolism and your ability to lose weight.
In clinical practice, we check your thyroid function through blood tests. Often times, the thyroid levels appear to be normal when it is not. If your testosterone level is low, your thyroid blood values will not be accurately portrayed. You need proper testosterone levels before you can truly know the thyroid function. Unfortunately, most physicians, are not aware of this relationship and misinterpret the values. This leads to them telling patients "your thyroid is normal" and in fact it may not be. You need to listen to the patients' symptoms and watch the thyroid levels as the testosterone levels are replaced. Many times, we "unmask" a low thyroid state once the testosterone levels are normal. The patient was suffering from low thyroid for years and physicians didn't catch it; because they saw "normal" thyroid levels.
As you can see, you need to have proper testosterone and thyroid levels to lose weight and keep it off. If you haven't had your levels properly interpreted, you need to have your levels checked and PROPERLY evaluated.
Start 2011 with this gift to yourself...........your body will thank you for it!
- Dr. Angela DeRosa AKA "Dr. Hot Flash"
- Scottsdale, Arizona, United States
- Angela M. DeRosa DO, MBA, CPE graduated from the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1995. She went on to do an Internal Medicine Residency with a fast track emphasis in Women’s Health at Lutheran General Hospital. After her residency, she became the Director of Women’s Health Services and Education at Lutheran General Hospital. After two years of practice she started a full time career as the West Coast Senior Medical Director with Procter and Gamble Pharmaceuticals. There she worked on women's health product development, research and marketing. Seven years after starting this position, Dr. DeRosa decided to pursue other clinical endeavors. Dr. DeRosa is a nationally recognized internist and women’s health expert. Her clinical focus is on revitalizing the physician-patient relationship; striving to provide the highest quality of care to her patients in a warm compassionate environment.