(Part 2 of a 3-Part Series)
I covered the myth that “eating fat makes you fat,” and gave recommendations on which types of fat to avoid, and which ones are fine. In this article, I go somewhat in-depth into the metabolic factors involved in weight gain or weight loss, and how best to coach someone who comes to you with a weight problem.
Unless you are a doctor or health professional, the information below may appear to be a bit technical, but I will try to make it as simple and straightforward as possible. As a coach, you need to be aware of this information so that when a client comes to you with these problems, you will know best how to help them.
If you refer them to sources that provide medical or nutritional help or guidance, you will look like a hero . . . and may retain them as a client for other issues! It’s a win-win.
Barriers to Health?
For those who want to address and treat chronic metabolic disorders, just know that you are encroaching on medical and pharmaceutical “turf.” The fact is, these folks have a vested interests in seeing that you and others remain obese and sick!
The fact is, doctors, medical researchers, insurance companies and Big Pharma all profit greatly from “disease care,” not health care. The more they can shore up the status quo, the more money they make.
Unfortunately this means you can’t just do anything you want in order to get well, except in certain states and jurisdictions. In many states in the US, any and all attempts by doctors to provide alternative and more effective means for curing diseases and obesity are quickly met with resistance from government regulators and/or medical boards. Those “renegade doctors” who persist are quietly labeled quacks and lose their license to practice.
But I’m getting off the subject here. As a coach probably don’t need to know all this. Just be aware that information you receive may not be totally accurate, and is often quite tainted.
DISCLAIMER: This article is to dispense information only, and is not for the purpose of diagnosing or treating disease. Please consult your doctor or health professional for any condition you are concerned about.
The Hidden Obesity-Causing Factors
Dr. Jerry Tennant, MD, in his 2013 book Healing Is Voltage, describes the types of obesity, and some of the major contributing factors:
“Obesity requires special attention. When you are bigger around your waist than around your hips, you are said to have ‘apple obesity.’ this type of obesity is associated with illnesses such as heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, gall bladder disease and cancer. When you are bigger around your hips than your waist, you are said to have ‘pear obesity.’ This is associated with hormonal imbalances but is not as likely to cause heart attacks, strokes and cancer.
Dr. Tennant goes on to add his opinion as a major cause of obesity in most cases:
“A major contributor to obesity is MSG (found in some Chinese and other restaurant foods). Lepsin is a hormone released to tell your brain that you are full. MSG damages the brain so that it does not recognize leptin. Thus you always feel hungry. MSG is put in foods because it is addicting and makes you want to eat more, resulting in more profits for the food manufacturers.
“MSG is hidden in foods by calling it ‘other spices.’ Additives that always contain MSG:
- Textured protein
- Autolyzed yeast
- Hydrolyzed oat flour” (p. 274)
Dr. Tennant later added other items he considers big contributors to obesity:
- MSG (already discussed)
- Lack of stomach acid
- High fructose corn syrup, especially in sodas
- High glycemic foods, and
- Thyroid hormone deficiency (Hypothyroidism)
Because the topic is so extensive, I wanted to start with item #5 and cover the rest in Part 3 of the series. Here, then, is an explanation of Hypothyroidism as best I can break it down . . .
Thyroid Hormone Deficiency / Hypothyroidism
Thyroid hormone deficiency is the cause, not only of obesity, but a whole host of symptoms that can lead to more serious problems like diabetes, heart failure and cancer. I want to focus, however, only on the weight gain side of this problem for now . . .
According to Dr. Tennant “Up to ninety percent of the American population has undiagnosed hypothyroidism! This epidemic is causing havoc with our mental and physical health. It is easily and inexpensively treated.” (p. 279)
Tennant, along with thyroid expert Mark Starr, MD (author of Hypothyroidism, Type 2), agree that hypothyroidism is almost never detected by us relying on blood test findings alone. The “TSH protocol” used by most doctors (under threat of license suspension in most states!) is highly unreliable when it comes to actually diagnosing the need for thyroid supplementation.
(On a personal note, my wife and I had to travel to Phoenix, Arizona recently in order to continue our treatments with Dr. Starr. Starr, a medical doctor formerly licensed in Georgia, made the decision to leave the state several years go because of medical board restrictions on his ability to prescribe thyroid supplementation based on factors other than strict interpretation of TSH findings.)
Hypothyroidism can best be detected by taking a complete history of symptoms and features, and measuring things like basal temperature (using the underarm measurement protocol establish by Dr. Broda Barnes) and the body’s weight distribution and levels of mucin. The latter items – weight distribution with mucin – is often undetected because most people simply called it fat or “cellulite.”
Again, Dr. Tennant:
“Mucin is like clear Karo syrup. It is deposited into the tissue of hypothyroid patients [and mistaken for fat]. People with hypothyroidism … have a combination of of fat and mucin in their tissue. If you pinch over your deltoid muscle, you should be able to almost put your fingers together. Any bulk you feel is mucin.
“When you make mucin, it begins to fill your whole body with ‘goo.’ However, it tends to collect in a special pattern. The face becomes round. There is a pouch under the chin. The shoulders appear that you were wearing shoulder pads. The area over the deltoid becomes rounded. The chest becomes shapes like a barrel. Breasts become pendulous. You become bigger around the waist than the hips (“beer belly”). The buttocks become large and wide. The thighs touch to the middle of the legs.
“Although there is a long list of symptoms from Hypothyroidism, common complaints are weight you cannot lose, insomnia, dry skin, poor memory, bouts of anger, constipation, and hair loss.” (p. 310)
Dr. Tennant goes on to describe the type of thyroid-related obesity as “central obesity,” or “visceral male-pattern, or apple-shaped adiposity,” or having fat deposits around the waist. This, in turn, decreases the HDL, and increases cholesterol (since the thyroid needs cholesterol to make the T4 hormone and the liver needs it to clean itself of toxins).
The major causes of Hypothyroidism, according to Tennant and Starr, include:
- Fluoride in the water supply and toothpaste. Fluoride, when present in the body, replaces iodine that normally binds with the protein tyrosine to create the T4 hormone. By taking the place of iodine, fluoride helps produce a “fake T4” that fools the body and leads to false findings in blood tests, particularly when measuring TSH levels in the pituitary. Doctors who rely on blood tests alone will only see “normal” results, and will therefore never adequately diagnose the problem or prescribe the necessary thyroid supplementation!
- Chlorine. Ingestion or absorption of chlorine also leads to the creation of “fake thyroid hormone.”
- Soy products like tofu, tempeh, soy sauce, soybean oil and textured soy protein (fake meat) disrupt the whole endocrine system, including the thyroid.
- NSAID drugs kill healthy bacteria in the intestinal tract. This in turn results in the overgrowth of Candida and yeast fungi that release powerful neurotoxic substances into the blood stream. This results in damage to the hypothalamus and “multiple endocrine disorders including under-activity of the thyroid gland.” (p. 295)
- Mercury leeching from dental amalgams.
- Selenium and iodine deficiency & lack of trace minerals found in modern foods.
- Diagnostic X-rays.
- Perchlorates widely found in drinking water block the uptake of iodine and normal thyroid function.
- Vitamin C deficiency. Vit C is used by the body to make hydrogen peroxide which, in turn, is necessary to convert T4 hormone to the useable version, T-3.
How to Treat Hypothyroidism
As a life or health coach – just remember – you are not licensed to diagnose and treat disease, and need to refer the problem to a knowledgeable professional. You can start out by recommending Healing Is Voltage by Dr. Tennant, and Hypothyroidism, Type 2 by Dr. Starr. You can also refer them to this article and give them a basic understanding of the underlying metabolic problems they may be facing.
Additionally, you can suggest they get a whole house water filter to get rid of fluoride, chlorine, mercury, perchlorates and other toxins that may reside in the water supply. You can also suggest they avoid soy products and other items mentioned in this article that may be contributing to thyroid deficiency, and also find a doctor who can accurately diagnose their condition and prescribe the appropriate thyroid supplementation based on ALL factors – not just blood test results.
In the last part of this series, I will cover the remaining factors related to weight loss, and go over what you as a life coach can do to really make a difference in your client’s well-being!