Are hormones inhibiting your weight loss

We consistently see people who eat healthy and exercise and are still unable to loose weight.  Why can't they loose weight? Maybe they just have bad genetics?  Wrong!  When I comes to weight loss there are a number of factors to consider.   In this article I will address the following factors: Diet and exercise, hormones and detoxification.

Diet and Exercise

Diet and exercise are the basis of any weight loss program.  Calories in vs calories out is a simple truth that usually applies to weight loss.  Have you ever considered that the types of food you eat play a big role?  Here is an over simplified example to prove a point.  100 calories of donut  vs 100 calories of steak.  The doughnut is absorbed easily and you nearly get all 100 calories in your body.  The steak on the other hand requires some work.  You have to chew it more, and your gut has to expend some energy breaking down the steak before you can absorb it.  This simple example shows that different foods of the same caloric value do not really yield the same net caloric value in the body.  The donut also will cause your blood sugar to raise.  The elevation of blood sugar will signal the body release insulin.  Insulin will drive the sugar out of the blood and into your cells.  What ever doesn't get used by your cells will be stored as fat.  Insulin is a fat storage hormone.  This leads to the next topic of hormones.

Hormones as they relate to weight loss

Hormones are key factor to weight loss.    There are many hormones involved in weight management. With natural medicine and proper diet you can activate your weight loss hormones and experience rapid and sustained weight loss. Here are just few examples of hormones and how they relate to weight loss.


Duval F, Mokrani M-C, Monreal Ortiz JA, Schulz P, Champeval C, Macher J-P. Neuroendocrine predictors of the evolution of depression. Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience. 2005;7(3):273-282.

Most people know and understand that our thyroid hormones set our metabolism.  Our thyroid hormones are T4, T3, and rT3.  T4 is basically our inactive hormone that gets converted to T3 or rT3.  T3 is our active thyroid hormone and keeps our energy up.  Reverse T3 (rT3) is an inactive thyroid hormone that will increase when we are stressed.  It will compete with T3 so it has a harder time doing its job.  This is why is is critical that when we test thyroid hormones we test these hormones as well. Looking simply at TSH and T4 is not adequately examining your thyroid function. Since we are natural medicine doctors will do a complete work up to get a more clear picture of where the failure is occurring.


Our adrenal hormones are often times overlooked as a cause of many conditions.  We will simplify our discussion in this article to weight gain.  Cortisol is a hormone that is produced by our adrenal glads.  Cortisol plays a large roll in our body.  It reduces inflammation, helps to manage blood sugar, helps us manage stress, can weaken our immune system, plays a large roll in our energy and even affects our neurotransmitters (brain hormones) that control our mental health.    The images to the right demonstrate that elevated cortisol will inhibit thyroid hormone production.  In addition cortisol causes more conversion of T4  to the T3 competing rT3. 

Things that can increase your cortisol levels are blood sugar swings, stress, tissue damage, inflammation and pain.  Inflammation can be caused by injury or poor diet.  Inflammation due to poor diet is a major cause of chronic disease.  For example cholesterol sticks to the blood vessel wall because of inflammation, that leads to cardiovascular health problems.  Cortisol is our bodies anti-inflammatory hormone.  In fact, cortisone that is used in injections is the inactive form of cortisone.  If we have a poor diet our body will produce cortisol to counter the inflammation.  This will lead to decreased thyroid function which will cause fatigue and weight gain.

If you are interested in learning more about adrenal hormones we teach a free class on adrenal health.  Give us a call.


Insulin is a fat storage hormone.  It causes the blood sugar levels to decrease by getting the sugar into the cells of our body.  Insulin resistance has two major causes.  One is a poor diet that keeps the blood sugar levels high.  The other is a poor diet that is inflammatory.  Inflammation is a major player in insulin sensitivity.  In fact some anti inflammatory foods, herbs and spices have been shown to be as effective as some medications at lowering insulin needs.  


There are a number of misconceptions when it comes to detoxification.  True detoxification is much more than a simple juice fast or a lemon juice and maple syrup cleanse.  These simple ideas have their place when used correctly, however, true detoxification is a multi step process.  It involves providing all the nutrients the body needs to process toxins and prepare them for excretion.  Toxins that are water soluble are easy for the body to dispose of via the the urinary tract.  Fat soluble toxins are much more difficult to get rid of.  They require going through two phases of liver processes that create a lot of free radicals.  Phase I liver enzymes have to be slowed and phase II liver enzymes sped up to reduce free radical stress on the body.  It is this difference in enzyme speed that forces the body to get behind on it detoxification and store the excess toxins in the fat cells.  Proper care must be taken to get the toxins out of the fat cells where they are stored, and then processed through the liver.  Once the liver has been able to process these toxins they can then be excreted via the urinary tract.

We often times see rapid weight loss in patient who undergo one of our physician guided detoxification programs. 

We offer customized weight loss programs that have given people a long term weight loss solution.

If you are interested in learning more about weight loss or if you are looking for a functional medicine doctor (natural medicine doctor) fill out the form below or give us a call at 801-798-2515

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Article written by Steven Davis, D.C., chiropractic physician, natural medicine doctor.