Dr. Amanda Ward


Happy Summertime Bloom Family,

We are in the thick of summertime here in Southern California.  We came through June with very minimal June Gloom.  It was more June Bloom than anything.  I want to focus in on a very common concern I hear from my patients here at Bloom, and that is understanding the very complex issue of weight gain and the inability to lose weight! Our office is located in Encinitas California, one of the most health conscious populations in the country.  Despite the location, mindset, and the many resources of nutritionists and personal trainers, a large portion of my patients still cannot achieve their weight loss goals.  It’s one of my top questions every day in my office  – Why?  Why won’t the weight budge? So, I wanted to share what I believe are the top 3 health issues keeping you from losing weight.

#1: Stress:  In fact, I think stress is a leading cause of many diseases.  Doctors and scientists still really don’t know the full impact that stress has on every single cell of our body.  We know that the hormone cortisol has a serious impact on our metabolism of fat. It turns us into fat storing machines – especially around our midline.

#2: Blood Sugar Imbalances: Even more common than weight gain, patterns of blood sugar dysfunction can be seen in many of my patients.  Most of the time the culprit is hypoglycemia and/or insulin resistance.  The number one root cause of this insulin resistance is ingesting more carbohydrates than necessary; remember the base of our old food pyramid? It encouraged us to take in 6-11 servings of grain per day! That’s totally outrageous! Insulin is the hormone whose job it is to break down sugar.  When we are eating a lot of carbs (which is quickly broken down into sugar), we must send out high levels of insulin.  Eventually our bodies have so much insulin released it mimics the story of  “the boy who cried wolf”.  The cells no longer respond to the insulin, which then sets up yet another cascade of reactions in the body that make us store fat like crazy.

#3: Toxicity:  It is estimated that every human on the planet carries a minimum of 700 contaminants in their body (Onstot et al).  Most of these are chemicals that didn’t exist even 50 years ago.  Our poor bodies are tasked with figuring out what to do with all these foreign toxins and chemicals.  Toxins and chemicals have infiltrated our bodies through the water that we drink and shower with, food that we eat, inhalants in the air, and even through our umbilical cords while we are forming in our mother’s womb.  Many of these toxins simply cannot be broken down or released from the body, so the body must store them.  Luckily, our bodies have an innate brilliance that keeps these chemicals from entering our blood stream where they can cause the most severe damage.  In order to keep them the furthest from our blood stream – our bodies prefer to store many toxins in our fat tissue.  There seems to be a strong link between the amount of toxins we have and the amount of fat that a person’s body stores.  I believe this is partly why people feel so great when they lose pounds of fat.  I tell my patients who lose 10 or more pounds  – “You just did the best detox of your life!”

So – what can you do?  Well, we do have to address these 3 factors.  Everyone needs to learn to manage his or her life to cope with stress, and find their outlet to cope with this inevitable part of life.  Yoga, meditation, exercise, dancing, or simply enjoying a hobby can help tremendously in releasing stress.  A diet of course is a gigantic piece of this puzzle.   A Paleo diet tends to be one of my favorites because I believe it best addresses the insulin resistance issue.  Consuming high quality protein and fat frequently throughout the day is one of the best ways to control the release of stored insulin in our body, assisting in and focusing on detoxifying in our bodies every day.  Our major organs to detoxify are our liver, kidneys, colon, and skin.  My favorite starting points to all of this is getting some functional bloodwork tested (or retested if it’s been more than 6 months).   We can test the function of these major detox organs, as well as your sex and stress hormones right here at Bloom. For those struggling with weight loss, this month’s featured test is the carbohydrate metabolism test.

If you are struggling with weight gain, please know you’re not alone.  Come on into Bloom and let’s see if we can figure out, for your individual body, what is holding you back from being your ideal weight and feeling amazing! Let us help you Bloom into your healthiest and highest selves.  That is my mission here at Bloom.

Love, Health, and Joy this summer.

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NOTE: Naturopathic Medicine is a distinct and comprehensive system of primary health care that uses natural methods and substances to support and stimulate the body's self healing process.

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