At Rx Health and Wellness Weight Loss Clinic located in Owasso, Oklahoma, we strive to provide practical information to aid you on your weight loss journey. We gladly share our knowledge in a series of posts titled “From the Bedside”. In this article, Jayme Taylor, one of our providers at Rx Health and Wellness Weight Loss clinic, discusses hormones that affect weight and what role they play in helping you achieve your weight loss goals.
By Jayme Taylor, APRN, CSOWM
So many of us struggle with weight loss and like many people you have probably tried everything that you can think of to lose weight and it just will not come off. It becomes very frustrating and often leads to feelings of failure and loss of hope. But did you know that sometimes it is nothing that you are doing wrong, sometimes your body is working against you? There are hormones in the body that help to regulate weight by regulating fat storage and hunger. Part of how we at Rx Health & Wellness treat weight management in our clinic is by trying to regulate these hormones better to help facilitate weight loss.
Our bodies have several systems that work together to help our body function and hormones are utilized as a way for them to communicate with each other. Imagine our hormones as being “bat signals” to the brain to help us in times of need. In terms of weight management the time of need would be starvation. Most of the hormones that we have that regulate weight are meant to help maintain a balance to ultimately keep us alive. However, sometimes these can get a bit dysregulated, leading to excess hunger and weight gain.
I like to call Leptin the keeper of the fat. Leptin hangs out in our fat cells and keeps an inventory of how much storage we have in times of need. When we don’t have enough food, leptin signals the brain to hang onto fat so that we have some energy storage should we be starving. It also tells the brain when we have too much. The main way that it helps to regulate fat storage is by also regulating hunger. What happens sometimes in obesity is that Leptin will be sending out all the wrong signals. It will be like, “Hey, we are starving here let’s eat and start storing fat”. Only there is no starvation, we have an excess of storage and still we continue to store more.
Then there is Ghrelin. Ghrelin is a hormone in our stomach that sends out signals that we are hungry. I have used this before, but I will use again here, “Ghrelin is what keeps your stomach growlin”. What? It does. When we need food Ghrelin will signal the brain that it is time to eat. However, again, sometimes Ghrelin will get a bit dysregulated and tell the brain that we are hungry, even when we have just eaten! Those days that you feel excessively hungry for no reason, ghrelin may be at play here.
There are a lot of other hormones that affect weight, but these are a couple that we attempt to control in terms of weight loss and hunger. There are others like Cortisol and Insulin which we will discuss later. At Rx Health & Wellness there are things that we can do to help with this. Some being dietary changes as well as helping with other lifestyle issues that contribute to dysregulations of these hormones, such as better management of sleep and stress. Have you tried all the right things and still cannot seem to lose weight? You may need some help in hormonal regulation. Come in and let us see how we can help you to better regulate your body’s hunger signals to help you lose weight.