I enjoyed a few rare days off with the family for Christmas and New Year’s, and I guess Santa hit the cookies a little too hard this year because we discovered a leaky roof in our laundry room.
I had the insurance agent come to the house and he wrote me a check for the damage he could see. I asked him about possible damage behind the walls, thinking the water may have caused damage in the bathroom or found its way downstairs into the basement.
The insurance agent said, “We only pay for what we can see.”
I understand insurance companies have their policies, so I took the check and said I would call him if we find more damage when my contractors go in and make the necessary repairs.
This is an illustration of the prevailing mindset in our country, but especially in healthcare. We only treat what we can see. What can I see in the mirror? What can I see on the scale?
Unfortunately, not enough people take the time to dig deeper behind the walls to check for damage and see if water is flowing down to the basement, which brings us to the title of this post – a question I commonly hear from patients and audience members at my speaking engagements:
Why can’t I lose weight?
The answer may be a condition known as Metabolic Syndrome, also called Insulin Resistance and Syndrome X. The most literal title for this condition is Weight Loss Resistance.
This dysfunction is the precursor to type II diabetes. That means a patient diagnosed with metabolic syndrome is on their way to developing type II diabetes. To be clear, this is different from type I diabetes, a genetic form of diabetes that people are born with.
Type II diabetes is an epidemic in our culture and in the world. The dramatic rise in cases of type II diabetes has resulted in a larger conversation about metabolic syndrome, or weight loss resistance, which I’m really happy about because it’s a condition that’s reversible.
God designed us with a very strong, resilient machine of a body that can actually reverse certain conditions – if we take the proper steps and allow it to work as it was designed to do.
The key is to arm ourselves with the information that will tell us whether or not we have metabolic syndrome and are weight loss resistant – factors that you can’t see on the scale or in the mirror.
We need to go into the walls to identify and understand the biometric markers that provide us with this information. If you’re in corporate America, you’re probably familiar with the phrase “biometric markers” because companies that implement wellness programs are ordering biometric markers on their employees.
Biometric markers include:
- Height and weight
- Blood pressure
- Total cholesterol
- LDL cholesterol
- Fasting blood sugar
- Fasting insulin
- Hemoglobin A1C
- Triglyceride-to-HDL ratio
- Waist circumference
- Waist-to-hip ratio
- Body fat percentage
With the exception of height, these are biometric markers that we have the power to change in order to improve how we feel and function, and how long we live. Many of these markers can only be determined through a full, comprehensive blood panels, so if you haven’t had a blood panel within the past year, schedule an appointment with your primary medical doctor.
At Natural Healthcare Center, we’ll also have patients fill out a stress survey because stress is a major factor in driving sugar imbalance. Other factors that can contribute to metabolic syndrome include:
- Thyroid issues such as hypothyroidism
- Failure with three or more diets
- Cravings that are extremely difficult to control
- A family history of obesity
- Seven hours or less of sleep per night
- Food allergies
I’m not a scale or mirror guy. I’m an objective, scientific guy. If you’ve ever wondered why you can’t lose weight, you won’t find the answer in the bathroom. You need to get the answers biochemically through hematology (the study of blood and blood-related disease) to determine if you have metabolic syndrome and are weight loss resistant.
Before you correct the problem, you need to identify the problem and its true causes. Then you can begin to write down and implement a true wellness plan that allows you to feel better, function better and live longer.
Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician and health educator who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise for the past two decades has been in physical rehabilitation, and he has successfully established himself as a spinal specialist. In his practice, he advocates the science of functional medicine, which takes an integrative approach to treating patients by addressing their physical, nutritional, and psychological needs. Alarmed by the escalation of complex, chronic illness in our country, Dr. Proodian has been speaking to companies and organizations through his “Wellness at Work” program since 1994, motivating thousands of people to make positive lifestyle choices and lead healthier, more productive lives. He can be heard weekly on his radio program, “Proodian Healthcare By Design,” on Tandem Radio.