Are Hormones Making You Fat?

Are you putting on weight for no good reason? An increasing issue in many women presenting with unsuccessful weight loss attempts is insulin resistance.

“Insulin helps the body move glucose into the cells to produce energy,” says Doreen Schwegler Naturopath, Natural Fertility Specialist. “Unstable insulin response can cause drops in blood sugar leading to low energy levels, cravings for a “quick fix” (like sugar, coffee, or chocolate) and ultimately weight gain. Unlike type-1 diabetes, where there is insufficient insulin produced by the pancreas, there is plenty of insulin in this condition, but the body does not respond for a variety of reasons.”

This occurs commonly in conditions like Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. Weight gain occurs (particularly around the mid-section of the body), and the woman often craves carbohydrates, especially sugar and chocolate.

Lifestyle changes and natural remedies can go a long way to assisting this issue:

• Exercise sensitizes the body to insulin. Aim for ½ hour cardiovascular exercise most days.

• The diet should be rich in good quality protein (eggs, fish, chicken, tofu etc), salad and vegetables, with minimal, low GI carbohydrates and a handful of nuts (especially almonds and brazil nuts)

• Magnesium helps insulin resistance. Symptoms of deficiency includes flickering eyes, cramps, headaches, chocolate cravings and feeling unrefreshed in the mornings on waking. Nuts, seeds, greens, eggs and seaweed are good sources of this vital nutrient. Supplements can help to boost levels quickly.

• Chromium can help stabilize blood sugar levels. Sources include yeast, liver, molasses, nuts, egg yolk, some seafood and vegetables.

• Lipoic acid is a nutrient that assists uptake of insulin into cells.

• Herbs like Gymnema, Fenugreek and Cinnamon can assist in insulin sensitivity.

• A Naturopath can recommend a supplement that contains most of these in it.

To find a complementary healthcare practitioner and learn more about good hormone health visit

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