Hidden Causes of Weight Gain #1
Over the years I have modified the composition of Wheyless shakes to accommodate new research into the various reasons why people may find it difficult to lose weight. The addition of digestive enzymes, Lactium® and probiotics are just three examples of how Wheyless is now targeting a range of non-caloric causes of weight gain. Over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing some of these in a series of blogs, beginning with the three below:
Perhaps you have noticed that when someone is prescribed oral cortisone tablets (a synthetic version of the stress hormone cortisol, produced by the body’s adrenal glands) they frequently put on weight, especially if the therapy continues over an extended period of time and at a high dose. Cortisol is the body’s stress hormone. It’s released naturally by the body to help us cope with stressful times by ensuring we have easy access to our energy reserves in the form of fat. That’s a great help in a crisis. These days, however, the demands and stressors of everyday life are enough to keep many people in a state of chronically high cortisol, which impacts negatively on weight management.
Many of the drugs used to treat obesity-linked conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and depression can themselves cause weight gain. These pharmaceutical agents override all other attempts at weight loss. They include corticosteroids such as prednisone; beta blockers used for treating high blood pressure; breast cancer medications like Tamoxifen; insulin, sulphonylureas and glitinides for the treatment of diabetes; lithium and tricyclic antidepressants for mood disorders; anticonvulsants such as valproic acid for treating epilepsy and other neurological conditions and allergy relievers such as antihistamines.
3. Hormone Imbalance
Healthy hormones are absolutely essential for a healthy life, but they can also become imbalanced. This can cause weight gain, particularly around the abdomen. In addition to the cortisol situation mentioned above, the most common hormone imbalances include high oestrogen, low testosterone, low DHEA, low thyroid hormone and high insulin. Ghrelin is a hormone produced by your stomach which makes you feel hungry and is often too high in those people who are overweight or obese. On the other hand, leptin, which is manufactured in your fat cells and signals the brain that it has had enough to eat, can also become malfunctional when you eat too much sugar. When this happens, the fructose (50% of the sugar molecule) is converted to fat in the liver and the increased fat generates more leptin which eventually overwhelms the signalling process and your body becomes resistant to the message. This is called ‘leptin resistance’ and is associated with weight gain.
In my next blog I’ll consider:
5. Food Addiction
6. Lack of Exercise