Stubborn weight loss is a topic that produces a lot of confusion. In the last few months I’ve had many naturopathic patients coming to see me because they can’t lose weight despite doing EVERYTHING POSSIBLE with diet and exercise. These patients put most of us to shame when it comes to healthy eating and being physically active. Often these patients are extremely frustrated and confused with why they are not losing weight. The first thought is typically that the thyroid is under functioning. But when the thyroid panel test results come back “normal”, this cues us that there is something else going on entirely!
Over the years, I have discovered many of these patients struggle with INSULIN RESISTANCE. Insulin resistance makes it easy to gain weight, but very hard to lose weight. Sometimes these patients also have a blood sugar level that is creeping up, without them or their doctor noticing it. However insulin resistance can also start when the blood sugar levels look relatively normal as insulin resistance is often present for many years before blood sugar levels start to climb in the blood work. Insulin resistance can run in families, and sometimes it can be related to other health conditions (ie. hormones, liver issues, etc) as well.
The top 2 screening tests I run to investigate insulin resistance with patients include:
There are a few conditions which are linked to insulin resistance, and this predisposition can be passed down from parents and even grandparents. Conditions with associated insulin resistance include:
If you struggle with losing weight and it seems disproportionate to your diet and physical activity level, it's worth being assessed by your naturopath for insulin resistance. These labs are simple and cost-effective to run at Dalhousie Health & Wellness. It may be worth investigating with your naturopath if you struggle with stubborn weight loss!