Sunday, October 30, 2011

Leptin Rx - What is leptin resistance

Are you overweight? Do you seem to gain weight regardless of exercise, or at least seem to be unable to lose the extra fat? Does every bite of food you eat seem to go straight to your butt (thighs, belly, thighs, etc)? Do you sleep poorly and wake up still drowsy, unable to function without your coffee (tea, Coca-Cola, Monster, etc.)? Do you tire quickly during activity and experience muscle soreness almost every time?

If you answer yes to most of the above, I'll bet you also experience crushing mid afternoon energy slumps, can sense when your blood sugar gets low, and have cravings for carbs and/or sugar. I'll bet you've also worked hard to lose weight in the past, only to seemingly go out of control at some point and eventually gain all the weight back.

How do I know? Because it is very common. I also have experienced those symptoms for the last 15 years. Guess what that particular combination of symptom is indicative of? Leptin resistance.

Now, I am not a scientist, nor am I particularly well-read or spoken. But I can distill a bit of the science that pertains to leptin. I need to give credit to Dr.Jack Kruse, a brilliant man who has researched metabolic functioning and seems to understand it better than anyone I've read. His blog, is really the source for my knowledge and I openly admit to standing on his giant shoulders. If you want the science behind the information presented here, go there and read.

I'm sure you've heard of hormone involved in metabolic function like thyroid and insulin. I'm also sure you've also heard of the diseases involving these hormones: hypothyroid and diabetes. Let me introduce you to their master - leptin. Leptin is the ultimate regulatory hormone of the body and can actually influence more than just metabolism. Leptin is a chemical signal to the brain as to how much fuel is stored in the body.

When a person overeats a high sugar / high carb diet, they overstore energy as fat. The excess fat produces an excess of leptin and the parts of the brain that "listen" for leptin become deaf to it. No longer able to sense the amount of fuel stored causes the body to work to keep storing fat (continual fat storage) and blocks access to the fat stores when the body looks for energy (inability to lose fat) and forces the body to rely on sugar for its primary energy source (carb / sugar cravings).

Years of this sort of living will cause widespread dysfunction. That's why we see so many people slide into obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, pre-diabetes, type 2 diabetes, heart attack, type 1 diabetes, etc, that we, as part of American society, tend to accept as a normal aging process.

If you too accept what was just described as normal and believe that your doctor knows how to effectively combat those diseases and is currently doing all they can, successfully, to save people from them; read no more. Go back to your regular life and forget me.

However, if you refuse to accept to live with metabolic syndrome and ever-increasing ill health, or are at least angry about being fat and scared to death about what it is doing to you, stay with me. I am too. I refuse to accept that I need fistfuls of medications to live normally. I'm fed up.

I will not promise you an easy path. I can promise that you will, in time, feel better than you have in a long time - maybe better than you ever have.

Next up, the Leptin Rx: what to do and why. AKA: the path back to the body of your youth (or better).

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