An estimated 40% of adults in America use complementary health approaches to improve their wellness and more are discovering the benefits every day. The goal of functional medicine is to identify and address the underlying cause of imbalances in the body that lead to a disease state.
Functional medicine practitioners look for interactions between your unique physiology and the environmental and lifestyle factors that can influence long-term health. Here’s an idea of how functional medicine practitioners approach one specific problem: stubborn weight gain.
Food sensitivity identification
Foods that you’re sensitive to can damage your gut, disrupt your hormones, and interfere with your immune system, causing you to hold on to stubborn weight. Switching to a nutritious diet with real, whole foods that your body can easily digest and that you’re not sensitive to can kickstart your weight loss. Our experts at Family Acupuncture and Wellness can put together a wellness plan to identify food sensitivities that may be getting in the way of your weight loss.
Your body needs the right nutrients in the proper amounts to function optimally. Falling short can pave the way for imbalance to occur. Client care at Family Acupuncture and Wellness involves a deep understanding of the importance of nutrition in weight management. Deficiencies in crucial vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin D, iron, and calcium, can cause you to pack on pounds and make it difficult to trim down. An appropriate nutrition protocol is designed to treat nutrient deficiencies and restore balance to your body.
Thyroid hormone balance
For a percentage of people, eating the right foods isn’t quite enough to promote lasting weight loss. For this group, evaluating underlying health issues is beneficial. One problem that can make it difficult to lose weight is an underactive thyroid. Your thyroid is a small gland that controls important hormones that influence your metabolism.
An estimated 20 million Americans have a thyroid disorder, and many of them are unaware of it. Underactive thyroid is the most prevalent thyroid problem. This occurs when the thyroid fails to produce enough hormones to keep your metabolism running optimally. An underactive thyroid slows down energy production and can lead to fatigue, stubborn weight gain, and low mood.
One of the consequences of a diet high in added sugars and processed carbs is a decrease in insulin sensitivity. Insulin is a hormone your pancreas produces to lower blood sugar. When your cells no longer respond appropriately to the effects of insulin, the pancreas secretes even more, kicking off a vicious cycle.
While insulin is necessary for health, elevated levels can drive fat storage and contribute to weight gain. The good news is making appropriate dietary changes can improve your insulin sensitivity, reduce insulin, and make it easier to lose stubborn weight.
Heavy metal detox
Heavy metals are elements present in food, water, and the environment that can be toxic in low concentrations. Examples of heavy metals include mercury, lead, arsenic, and aluminum. These elements are present in small amounts in many foods, but some types of foods can increase your exposure. Certain fish, for example, contain significant amounts of mercury and arsenic.
Even foods you may not suspect may be adding to your heavy metal load. For instance, rice is shown to contain elevated levels of inorganic arsenic, the more toxic form. Arsenic naturally occurs in water, soil, and rocks and can cause contamination in rice crops.
A heavy metal load can increase your risk for chronic diseases and make it difficult to lose weight. Reducing your body’s heavy metal load can increase energy and improve your overall well-being, not to mention making it easier to get rid of stubborn weight.
Stress is an often-overlooked contributor to stubborn weight. When you’re stressed, the body sets out a series of chemical reactions that can undermine your weight loss efforts.
A stress hormone called cortisol can influence weight in a number of ways. It stimulates hunger, which can promote overeating. Additionally, when the body interprets a time of stress, cortisol encourages the body to store fat rather than use it for fuel. Cortisol also raises insulin levels, further driving energy storage. Put together, stress spells trouble when it comes to getting rid of stubborn weight.
Whole body wellness
The team at Family Acupuncture and Wellness views the body as an integrated system and treats the whole system, not just the symptoms. Whether it’s stubborn weight gain or a digestive problem, our team can help. Call our office in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and speak with one of our friendly staff members, or book an appointment online today.