It’s More Than Just Calories
It is easy to think that the body weight remains the same when the number of calories eaten equals the number of calories the body uses or “burns”. When people eat and drink more calories than they burn, the energy tips toward weight gain, overweight, and obesity. But is it that simple?
In truth, obesity and other weight-related problems result from an energy imbalance which is influenced by many factors other than “calories in vs calories burned”. These factors include genetics, metabolism, diet and lifestyle, gut microbiota, nutrient levels, hormones, as well as attitudes and emotions.
When Standard Tests are Not Enough
Conventional treatments are used to assess conditions associated with obesity and weight management. These are lipid profile, fasting blood glucose, liver function tests (LFTs), thyroid function test, and urinary free cortisol. Standard tests promote weight loss through changes in your diet and behavior, and increasing the amount of exercise. Drug therapy and surgery may also be utilized depending on the degree of obesity.
But if test results are normal and the problem persists, consider specialty diagnostics related to managing weight:
Adrenocortex Profile (Cortisol and DHEA) – This test tracks your 24-hour cortisol levels through saliva. In general, cortisol is released in large amounts in response to physical, physiological, and/or psychological stress. Increased daytime salivary cortisol is associated with body mass index and waist circumference.
Nutrient and Metabolic Assessment (Core, Advanced, Comprehensive) – This test assesses the body’s ability to break down/convert fat to energy. Inefficiency usually results from nutrient and metabolic deficiencies associated with fat metabolism such as l-carnitine, essential fatty acids, and magnesium. Results from this test provide information on specific supplements that may be beneficial in weight management and energy production.
Gastro-Intestinal (GI) Assessment – Studies have shown that gut imbalance and low diversity of good bacteria in the gut may play a role in obesity (among other problems on digestion and absorption, inflammation, and immune dysregulation).
Beyond looking good, maintaining the right weight is essential to prevent the occurrence of various diseases. These specialty diagnostics and lifestyle interventions will be helpful in keeping your weight in check and finding out the root cause of obesity and other weight-related problems.
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