Leptin Resistance

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So what is Leptin Resistance?...

Simply put, leptin is the hormone that regulates our appetites and our metabolism.  It also regulates how much fat we are going to store and how much fat we are going to burn.  It is the hormone that regulates our body’s set-point, that is, the weight that our body naturally wants to settle at.  Quite obviously, this is an incredibly important hormone!

When this hormone is working correctly, it orchestrates the delicate balance of keeping our weight steady regardless of the amount of food we eat.  It does this by triggering thyroid hormones to speed up the metabolism and well as triggering fat burning by the liver. 

So when we gain weight, our own fat tissues release the hormone leptin which suppresses our appetite and speeds up our metabolism to burn off the fat so that we return to our original weight.  Can you believe it?  Our fat actually regulates itself and returns us to our optimal weight or set-point!  Leptin also helps us to feel full and satisfied after eating and reduces sugar and food cravings.  Basically, it tells us when to eat and when to stop.

This is why you will often see healthy slim people who eat amazing amounts of food, but they burn it all off.  We enviously attribute this to their incredible fast metabolisms.

And this is perfectly correct.  They do have fast metabolisms.  But the interesting thing is that this is the natural order of things. 

This is how our bodies were created and all human beings have this capability … until we unbalance our body’s natural weight-regulation system.  Yes, that’s right … if our bodies were working as nature intended, then if you gained a few pounds, your body’s natural weight-regulation system would burn them off automatically.

The problem is that when things upset this natural order, our bodies develop leptin resistance.  Our fat tissues are still releasing leptin, but when we have leptin resistance our bodies become resistant to the hormone and it stops working effectively.  When this happens, our bodies lose the ability to burn off fat and return to our original weight and we start to gain weight instead.  This is the reason why just taking leptin tablets doesn’t work to reverse leptin resistance.  We have enough leptin in our system, we are just not using it effectively.

Unfortunately, there are many things in our modern world that interfere with this delicate balance.  Our bodies are geared towards life as it was hundreds or even thousands of years ago.  Our world has changed amazingly in the last 100 years and our bodies have not had a chance to evolve to cope with these changes in such a relatively short period of time. 

1) Thanks to all our time-saving devices, we are becoming more and more sedentary and do not exercise as much as our ancestors did.

2) Our modern society is also extremely fast-paced and hectic, causing much stress-induced health problems.  Our bodies were built to cope with “fight or flight” types of stress, not the chronic daily stress which never gives our adrenal glands the chance to shut off.

3) Our food has changed dramatically with more and more processed foods as well as more chemicals, preservatives and additives showing up in our food.  Our bodies were never meant to eat so many de-natured and “empty” foods … empty in vitamins and nutrients, that is, but not empty in calories!

4) As well as chemicals in our food, we are surrounded by environmental toxins like chemicals and pollution in our daily lives.  Many of these chemicals enter our bodies in different ways:  through our breathing, through our skin, through our water and food.  Our bodies are then left with the monumental task of trying to safely detoxify these chemicals so that we don’t poison ourselves.  Our detoxification systems excrete these chemicals through various ways, but when our bodies are overwhelmed and can’t excrete all these chemicals, it will try to find a safe way of storing these chemicals.  The safest place in our body to store these chemicals is in fat tissues, therefore, our bodies will often trigger increases in fat in order to cope with all these toxins.  That is why this Liver Detox Diet program is so important ... it is essential to find a safe and healthy way to detox your body of all these toxins.

5)  Our ancestors also never purposely “dieted” to lose weight.  Dieting is a relatively new phenomenon and unfortunately has caused more health problems than the original overweight condition it was supposed to help!  And of course, as everyone knows, you can lose weight by dieting, but it always comes right back on again.  But what people don’t always know is that once you get caught up in the “yo-yo” dieting syndrome, it actually pre-disposes you to leptin resistance and fat-storage, so not only do you gain the original weight back, you’ll usually gain additional pounds increasing your weight every time you yo-yo diet.

So simply put, leptin resistance is a chemical imbalance caused by your body’s resistance to the hormone leptin, so even if you have enough leptin, it is not being used properly.  This is very similar to insulin resistance.  These are both hormones which are essential to metabolism and if they do not work properly, it is impossible to regulate our weight efficiently.

This is extremely important to understand, because anybody who is overweight and has tried to diet to lose weight has felt the frustration, and even the shame, of not being able to lose weight and keep it off, and of not being able to resist the intense food cravings.  But please understand that it is not your fault.  You are not weak or lack willpower.  There is a physical, biological, chemical imbalance that is working against you and until you start to eat in a way to combat this chemical imbalance, you will never be able to lose weight and keep it off.

The Answers I’d Been Looking For

When I came across Leptin Resistance in my research, I was amazed because here was the scientific explanation of why my Liver Detox Diet program worked!

I had never heard of Leptin Resistance before, but over the years I had pieced together a Liver Detox Diet program that worked to not only help me to lose weight, but to overcome many health conditions that I had been suffering from including insulin resistance and diabetes, fibromyalgia, bloating, swelling, inflammation, water retention, hot flashes, hair loss, plantar fasciitis, burning sensations in my feet, poor memory and problems with concentration and much, much more.

What I noticed is that as I gained weight, I seemed to suffer from water retention, swelling legs and ankles, as well as fibromyalgia, and pain and burning sensations in my feet.  These pains made it more and more difficult for me to even walk short distances, let alone exercise.  This, of course, threw me in a vicious cycle of gaining more and more weight.

Now, interestingly enough, I had tried many different weight loss programs, including low fat, low carbohydrate, low GI, and calorie restriction, but what I found was that I was losing less and less weight on these diets and gaining it back in a very short period of time when I stopped dieting.  And following these diets did absolutely nothing to improve my health conditions and symptoms.

That was when I decided to research toxic overload and created my Liver Detox Diet program and when I followed the Liver Detox Diet program, I had the following results:

1)      Steady weight loss

2)      Reduction in water retention and swelling

3)      Stabilised my blood sugar levels

4)      Major improvement in my painful symptoms

5)      Much more energy

6)      Slept much deeper and better

7)      Felt better able to cope with the stress in my life

To say the least, I was extremely pleased with these results I got from this Liver Detox Diet program!

Now, I am not a scientist or a doctor.  I’m just someone who has tried to understand the confusing downward spiral my health has taken over the last number of years.  In order to understand what’s been happening, I have had to do a tremendous amount of research.  Some of it has been useful, but much of it hasn’t.  I had to use my own common sense and my intuition of what felt right for me and what didn’t and I have done a lot of trial and error in the process.

What excited me about finding this research on leptin resistance is that it has answered many questions I had about why my Liver Detox Diet program worked.

I suspected that my inflammation and painful symptoms and weight gain had something to do with toxic overload because as soon as I stopped eating processed foods and started eating whole, natural foods and started taking steps to increase my detoxification through liver support, supplements and skin brushing, I not only lost weight, but my symptoms improved.  (My naturopath has helped me tremendously by putting together a supplement program that has been very effective in increasing my detoxification.  I strongly suggest finding an experienced naturopath to work with you to help you to detoxify naturally and safely.)

I figured out that I probably had so many toxins stored in my fat tissues that if I ate food that was processed and had a lot of chemicals in them, my system would overload and would not be able to detoxify the chemicals, which in turn caused inflammation and many health problems, including weight gain.

The research I have read on Leptin Resistance agrees with this.

So What Causes Leptin Resistance?

There are many things that trigger Leptin Resistance.  Here are the main ones:

  1. Stress and High Cortisol
  2. High Triglycerides and Insulin Resistance
  3. Inflammation and Environmental Toxins
  4. Food Intolerances and Allergies

As you can see, quite a few conditions trigger Leptin Resistance.  But luckily, there are ways to overcome this condition ... and this Liver Detox program is a safe and healthy way to reverse Leptin Resistance and bring your body back to its natural state of health and wellness.

 

Stress and High Cortisol are a Major Factor in Leptin Resistance...

Stressed out

The research I had done on stress had taught me that stress is implicated quite strongly in insulin resistance and fluctuating blood sugar levels.  This in turn sets up a vicious cycle resulting in inflammation, with the inflammation triggering the release of yet more cortisol which is an anti-inflammatory hormone.

 Cortisol actually causes the body to store more fat, especially in the abdominal area.  And the more fat and the more inflammation you have, the more leptin resistance you have.  So basically, chronic stress sets up a vicious cycle between cortisol production, insulin resistance and leptin resistance … all of which triggers weight gain and many health you problems.

It is extremely important to learn how to cope with stress and how to decrease stress levels naturally because if you can’t reduce your stress levels, the chances are that no matter how successful you are in your diet, will probably always have problems with weight gain because the stress will continually sabotage your weight loss efforts and trigger continual Leptin Resistance and Insulin Resistance.

There are many ways stress and cortisol triggers Leptin Resistance and weight gain, especially in the abdominal area.

In simple English, stress elevates Cortisol, which causes fat cells to grow, especially in the abdomen.  And this fat gain triggers more inflammation which perpetuates the vicious cycle.  There are a number of symptoms caused by elevated cortisol levels including inflammation, high blood sugar levels, water retention (especially in the extremities), high blood pressure and increased risk of heart disease, problems concentrating as well as memory problems and “foggy brain” and much, much more.

Elevated cortisol also decreases a hormone called adiponectin.  This hormone is produced by the fat cells and is responsible for:

  • Suppressing appetite
  • Speeding up metabolism
  • Increasing fat-burning capabilities in your muscles
  • Preventing high blood pressure and protecting the heart and blood vessels
  • Lowering your fat levels and weight
  • Decreasing inflammation
  • Following the Fatty Liver Detox Diet Program will not only help to reduce Leptin Resistance, it will also help to increase the hormone adiponectin which has tremendous health benefits.It is interesting that the medical community is finally acknowledging the importance of chronic systemic inflammation and more and more doctors are now testing for it. 
  • Another important by-product of stress is insomnia and sleep deprivation, and the less sleep you get, the more leptin resistant you get.  Sleep deprivation also increases the release of a hormone called ghrelin, which is produced in the stomach and triggers hunger and increased appetite.  So as you can see, lack of sleep is another major trigger for weight gain and obesity.

So what is one of the main causes of inflammation?

Leaky Gut Syndrome would be one of the most prevalent causes, and this includes factors that may cause Leaky Gut Syndrome like NSAIDs (Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs), aspirin, antibiotics, the birth control pill, food intolerances, candida, and poor nutritional diets of junk food that are full of preservatives and chemicals and trans-fats.

How does Leaky Gut Syndrome trigger chronic inflammation?

Mainly this is caused by the immune system targeting the toxins and partially digested food particles as foreign substances (or antigens) and attacking them, which as time goes on often triggers auto-immune diseases where the body is attacking its own tissues.  It is also complicated by the fact that high cortisol levels suppress the immune system and makes it harder to do its job.On top of that, the body’s detoxification organs (liver, kidneys, lungs, skin, etc.) can’t keep up with the increased levels of toxins travelling around the body, which means these toxins get deposited in tissues, accelerating inflammation. 

This increased amount of inflammation triggers more cortisol to try to decrease inflammation.  (And yes, this Liver Detox Diet program can break this vicious cycle!) Higher levels of cortisol, especially at night, triggers insomnia, which means your body can’t repair itself during sleep as it should be.  (The high cortisol usually causes you to wake up around 2:00 to 3:00 in the morning, while it can take you anything from one hour to several hours to fall back to sleep because your mind just won’t shut down.) 

The cortisol also triggers food cravings, especially for sweets due to insulin impairment, as well as salty foods, due to interfering with sodium / potassium levels controlled by the adrenal glands.  This causes you to eat uncontrollably, which of course, causes weight gain.  And let’s not forget that you can’t comfortably exercise because of the high levels of pain and inflammation you have, which of course again makes it harder and harder to control your weight!

High Triglycerides, Insulin Resistance and Leptin Resistance…

Triglycerides are the chemical form in which most fat exists in food as well as in the body. They're also transported in blood plasma like cholesterol. 

Triglycerides in blood plasma come from fats eaten in foods or are made in the body from other energy sources like carbohydrates, especially sugars. When you eat food and it isn’t needed immediately for energy, it is converted to triglycerides and transported to fat cells to be stored. If the body needs energy between meals, it releases hormones that trigger the release of triglycerides from fat tissue.

Higher than necessary levels of triglycerides cause many health problems, including causing fat storage.  This is because triglycerides bind to leptin making the leptin invisible to the brain by preventing it from crossing the blood-brain barrier.

The leptin receptors are found in the brain and when leptin binds to the receptor, it sends signals into the brain.  The first signal is to stop hunger and suppress appetite and the next signal is to trigger an increase in metabolism to burn calories and fat from the food that was just eaten.  But if the receptors can’t bind to the leptin then these signals won’t happen, and one of the things that interferes with this binding is triglycerides.  This is one of the causes of Leptin Resistance.

When a person has a resistance to leptin, it takes more food to satisfy their appetite and their metabolism slows down and doesn’t burn the fat and calories quickly enough, which of course causes weight gain.

Research has shown that leptin resistance can develop without you knowing it by eating lots of sugar and then when you start to eat a high fat, high calorie diet, the leptin resistance results in weight and fat gain. 

The Fatty Liver Detox Diet program solves this problem because it focuses on eating highly nutritious food that includes lots of healthy essential fatty acids.  This not only stops food cravings, but leaves you feeling fuller for longer.

Insulin Resistance

Insulin resistance is when your body produces enough insulin to control blood glucose levels, but the body has developed a resistance to it and the insulin cannot bind to the insulin receptor properly.  This causes the body to excrete more and more insulin until finally the body can clear out the excess blood glucose.  If this goes on for too long, eventually insulin resistance will turn into diabetes.

Insulin resistance triggers a vicious cycle that looks something like this:

Insulin resistance --> causes high blood sugar levels --> which causes high cortisol levels --> which promotes fat storage --> which triggers inflammation --> which triggers leptin resistance --> which causes more weight gain … and on and on and on.


Inflammation, Environmental Toxins and Leptin Resistance...

Inflammation and back pain

Inflammation, especially chronic systemic inflammation (which means affecting your entire body), also plays a big part in leptin resistance.  The two often go hand in hand, although it can be difficult to ascertain which came first. 

So what problems does inflammation cause?  Inflammation triggers many different health conditions like arthritis, digestion problems, asthma, leaky gut, food intolerances and allergies and it now being thought that inflammation plays a key role even in conditions like heart disease and cancer, and yes, you guessed it … obesity.  (And the more fat you have, the more inflammation you have … another never-ending vicious cycle.)

This is an extremely important part of the puzzle that most of the diets out there do not take into account.  Most diets propose that weight gain is simply a matter of balancing the number of calories eaten against the number of calories burned off, and as I’ve said before, this is a much too simplistic view of weight gain.  Our bodies are much more sophisticated than that.  In particular, the hormone Leptin, amongst other hormones, plays a very important part in balancing our weight.  And inflammation also plays a very important part in this delicate balance.

There are many different things that can trigger chronic system-wide inflammation in the body, but one of the biggest causes is toxic overload, caused by eating processed junk food, food that is high in chemicals, preservatives and additives, and food that is high in sugar and fat content.  That's why the Fatty Liver Detox Diet program is so important ... we have to find a way to detoxify our bodies of all the chemicals and toxins we are bombarded with every day.

And surprisingly enough, even eating so-called “low-fat diet food” can also exacerbate this problem, because most of these foods are very low in vitamins and nutrients and very high in chemicals and sugar.

Toxic overload is also a by-product of living in our 21ˢᵗ Century world with all the pollution we are surrounded by.  We are assaulted by chemicals in the air we breathe, the water we drink and in everything around us.

Our bodies work extremely hard to detoxify us of all these chemicals.  Our detoxification pathways eliminate as many toxins as they can through our bowels, kidneys, liver, lungs and even our skin.  But with the high levels of toxins assaulting us every day, our bodies cannot eliminate them all.

Our survival mechanisms are very strong and these toxins are actually poisons to our body, so in order to survive our body stores away these poisonous toxins in the only place that is safe to store them until we have a chance to eliminate them through our detoxification pathways.  And this storage place is in our fat tissues.

When we get caught up in this vicious cycle of weight gain and toxic overload, the body stores more and more of these toxins in our fat cells and we create more and more fat cells to use as toxic storage sites. 

Unfortunately, the fat cells that store these toxins usually reach a point where the cell becomes very unstable and begin to leak and break open.  When this happens, white blood cells called macrophages are called in to clean up the mess.  These macrophages are the immune system’s scavengers or “garbage collectors”.  Sounds good so far, but unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there. 

Once these macrophages are in the fat cell, they trigger inflammatory chemicals (like pro-inflammatory cykotines, tumor necrosis factor-alpha TNF-alpha, interlukin 6 and C-reactive protein) and these inflammatory chemicals actually interfere with leptin and because they interfere with leptin, we lose our built-in mechanism to speed up metabolism and burn off fat.  This is when leptin resistance happens. 

When leptin is working properly in a healthy body, it perpetuates a delicate balance of speeding up and slowing down metabolism, storing and burning fat and suppressing and triggering appetite in order to keep your weight balanced.  When this mechanism is tampered with, it doesn’t work properly and you develop leptin resistance.  Once leptin resistance happens, that delicate balance is destroyed and we are caught in an endless loop of slow metabolism, fat-storage, increased food cravings, hunger and increased appetite and of course the end result of this is endless weight gain.

And, as if the weight gain were not enough to contend with, a serious by-product of all this is chronic system-wide inflammation.  This inflammation causes many, many health problems including asthma, bronchitis, fibromyalgia, swelling, bloating, water retention, nerve damage, digestive problems, susceptibility to catching colds, flus and viruses, and much more.  If you are suffering from chronic system-wide inflammation it will affect every part of your body.  Your immune system will be working overtime trying to cope with putting out all these internal fires and as time goes on, you will get sicker and sicker.

Inflammation and leptin resistance go hand in hand and I think they are a major reason why we are faced with an epidemic of obesity and life-style diseases like diabetes, insulin resistance, syndrome x, heart disease and much more.

We may be living longer than we ever have in our history, but I don’t believe we are living those extra years with a high quality of life. 

I know that in my personal case, the last 25 years have been extremely difficult.  I have battled with yo-yo dieting and many health problems including leptin resistance, digestive problems, food intolerances, food cravings especially for sugar, increased appetite, swelling, bloating, water retention, hair loss, hot flashes, memory problems and mental fogginess, fatigue, insomnia, fibromyalgia, and peripheral neuropathy in my feet that causes a very painful burning sensation and numbness in my toes.  (And this is only a partial list!  There are actually too many symptoms to list!)

What I noticed was that when I developed my Liver Detox Diet program, that all these symptoms improved and most disappeared.  And I not only lost weight, but my food cravings stopped, my hunger stopped and I was able to eat normally without feeling hungry all the time. 

I have also included a list of anti-inflammatory foods in the Fatty Liver Detox Diet Program that I encourage you to eat as many of as you can.  These foods are a natural defence program against inflammation and will boost the detoxification power of the Fatty Liver Detox Diet program.  These foods will also help considerably in reversing Leptin Resistance and re-establishing your body’s natural state of health and weight regulation.

Food Intolerances / Allergies

A very common side-effect of Leptin Resistance and Inflammation is that the inflammation often triggers food intolerances and allergies.  These food intolerances trigger many health conditions like asthma, bronchitis and leaky gut syndrome and very often cause various aches and pains, like fibromyalgia and peripheral neuropathy.

When you eat food that you are intolerant to, the body reacts by attacking the food as a foreign substance.  In the process, it also attacks our own tissues, which causes many health problems and symptoms. 

Many people are sensitive or intolerant to various foods that are commonly eaten and they don’t even know it.  These foods may even be favourite foods that are eaten on a regular basis.  People with food sensitivities exhibit a wide variety of symptoms including fatigue, digestive disorders (constipation, diarrhoea, flatulence, heartburn, burping, bloating), water retention, food cravings, headaches and migraines, skin rashes and eczema, sinus infections, nasal congestion, ear throat infections, ADD, ADHD, tantrums, irritability, bed-wetting, asthma, constantly clearing throat, muscle aches, and much more.

Food intolerances cause weight gain by triggering water retention and food cravings.  Your body reacts to the presence of the intolerant food by releasing chemicals like histamines and cortisol that increase sodium intake resulting in water retention and bloating.  High Cortisol levels also increase abdominal fat storage.  Complicated chemical reactions in the body also trigger strong food cravings for the very food you are intolerant of, which in turn causes weight gain.

By eliminating food you are intolerant to from your diet, you help your body to start to heal itself and the leaky gut that is causing the problem, as well as the Leptin Resistance.  This also supports your liver, which can then focus on the important job of metabolizing fat, carbohydrates and protein instead of fighting to detoxify your body of the toxins caused by the offending food.  This in turn increases the liver’s ability to re-program itself from a fat-storer to a fat-burner.   Drinking lots of filtered water and herbal teas is a considerable help to the liver in the detoxification process. 

So, do you want to learn more about naturally resetting Leptin hormones?   The Fatty Liver Detox Program is a natural Detox Program that focuses on resetting your body's hormones .... and more!

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