Archives for August 2016 | Integrative functional medicine blog

"Any fool can Know. The point is to understand" - Albert Einstein

Is this hormone keeping you fat?

Many people that have a hard time loosing weight may be battling with this hormone.

Fat loss

Many people are aware of how the thyroid hormones and even how high cortisol levels can make you gain weight and make it almost impossible to lose weight.

But not many people now about the hormone Leptin. This hormone is involved in regulating body weight by either suppressing food intake and/or increasing your metabolism, burning more calories.

Leptin is produced in fat cells and basically tells your brain if you are hungry or satisfied, and whether you should make fat for storage or use fat for energy.
If everything is working right, when we make more fat, theoretically we should make more leptin, sending the signal that we have enough energy and that we don’t need to eat and then making the body burn fat for energy.

Unfortunately a lot of people suffer from what Functional medicine doctors refers to as “leptin resistance”. This is often the result of poor and lack of exercise. The american diet is the pinnacle of bad eating. We even have our own acronym for the American diet that the rest of the world uses as well. It’s call the “SAD” diet -
Standard American Diet.

The viscous cycle of Leptin resistance goes like this, the brain doesn’t pick up on or become resistant to leptin = your brain thinks your hungry = your body doesn’t burn calories = body enters starvation mode = everything you eat gets stored as fat.

What is the best range for Leptin levels?

Getting Leptin levels tested is a simple blood test. The most accepted range for Leptin is typically below 12. Some Integrative Medicine doctors like to see it around 4-6. However, Leptin levels that get too low have been associated with an increased risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s. Levels above 12 and you will typically put on weight very quickly and have a hard time loosing it. In short, Depending on the situation and the person a healthy range can be anywhere from 4-12.

While Leptin isn’t the only hormone involved in weight loss, it is a main one. You should also get your thyroid levels checked, possibly adrenal glands tested for cortisol levels (the stress hormone), and sex hormones are also good to get checked.

How do we solve the problem of high Leptin levels?

1. Eat early. The old saying “Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper” is very accurate. By eating a bigger meal (ex. - oatmeal and sunflower butter, or on of my shake recipes) can make you feel satisfied for most of the day. Ultimately this will lead to fewer calories consumer throughout the day and a sense of satiety (not hungry) for much of the day.

2. Fast for 12 hours every day. Don’t eat for 12 hours every night. Our bodies are designed to have periods of fasting to rest of repair. So if you have dinner at 7pm one night, don’t eat until 7am the next morning.

3. Exercise has shown to decrease levels of leptin in the body and increase metabolism. A good way of stoking the fire is to perform some sort of HIT (High intensity training). This usually involves doing some sort of alternating intense exercise followed by a short rest period and repeating the interval over and over for 15-20 minutes.

4. Get adequate sleep. Those that don’t get the minimum 7-8 hours of sleep have shown to have higher levels of leptin. Not only that, they can also have higher levels of cortisol which can increase how much belly fat you have.

5. Try some Irvingia. Some other supplements that can aid in weightless include:
L- Carnitine.
Conjugated Linoleum acid
Thermogenic aids - be careful with these ones.

6. Last and probably the most important, EAT RIGHT! Stay away from sugar, refined carbohydrates, and too many fruits. Concentrate on lean meats and fish, veggies, nuts and seeds.

If you are having hard time losing some extra pounds and are looking to get healthy again,
give my office a call to schedule an appointment for better health.

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How to heal the GUT. Your doing it all wrong!

You are doing it all wrong.
How to Heal you gut the right way.

doing it wrong

Note: There will soon be a video with a longer explanation in the not too distant future. Keep an eye out by signing up for our newsletter.

Intestinal health is all the rage these days. In the health world anyway. I’m sure if you have read anything health related lately it has been about GI health, fixing your gut, get rid of leaky gut, curing IBS, etc. You get the idea.

All this talk about GI health is super important too. Health comes from above down, inside out. Without a healthy inside you CANNOT be healthy on the outside. GI health influences inflammation, cardiovascular health, pain, neurological health, hormonal health, immune system health, etc.


Every one and their mother is touting this or that supplement as the latest and greatest fix all for GI problems, and for some people those supplements may work, or even help, for a little while.

But, for the majority of people. THEY DON’T WORK.

Now let me explain. It’s not that they don’t work at all, it’s that they don’t work by themselves. There is a right way and a wrong way to fix and heal the gut. Most supplements that are being touted as a fix all may help with one stage of of healing the gut, but most people will need to go through all the stages of gut healing.

Here is a quick breakdown of how to properly heal the gut and get rid of all the intestinal discomfort and pain.

This is known in the functional medicine world as the 5 R’s of GI repair
We will cover them quickly here.

1) Remove - In this phase we are removing anything and everything that is bad. This includes bad bacteria, yeast, parasite, allergies, food sensitivities, bad habits, bad foods, and anything else that can impair GI health. Depending on the intestinal health when a patient presents for care this can last anywhere from 3 weeks to 6 months or more in a severe candida or bacterial overgrowth case.

2) Replace - In this phase we are replacing what has been missing for proper digestion to occur. This can include things as simple as chewing a certain amount of times to digestive enzymes, soluble fibers, bile acids, and HCL if stomach acids are low.

3) Reinoculate - This is the stage that most people think about when they try to heal the gut. Some people can do the the most harm in this stage as well. This is where people take mega doses of probiotics, prebiotics, FOS, heifers, yogurts, and other in attempt to put good bacteria into the system. Good intentions don’t always equate to good results. This is often the case. Without going through the other stages of GI repair there still may be high levels of dysfunction and bad bacteria levels. Many of theses supplements and foods contain things that the bad bacteria feed off of, making your symptoms worse.

4) Repair - In this stage we are repairing the intestinal walls and digestive system. We are looking to fix leaky gut, repair the microbiome (the protective layer in the intestines), and return the body to health.

5) Rebalance - In this stage of intestinal healing we are looking to restore balance to the entire body of the patient. Everything is interconnected as one system. This can entail proper exercise, stress management, not drinking or smoking, meditation, good relationships, and any other aspect of life that needs to be balanced. Often times an imbalanced system is what caused the issues to start in the first place.

There you have it. A semi-sweet breakdown of what it takes to truly repair your GI (Gastrointestinal) system from the ground up and keep it healthy.

If you need help please give us a call to schedule an appointment to get on your way to better health.

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