Obesity

Obesity is now described as the third epidemic and is linked to cancer and other diseases.

Obesity overweight

Cardio-vascular disease and cancer, are the two main causes of death in the western world, obesity is now described as the third epidemic. Obesity is linked to a higher risk of cancer, heart disease, non-insulin diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis and psychological problems.   Overweight people have a significantly shorter life span than those of normal weight. It is currently estimated that a 20% (1 in 5) of the UK population falls in the category of clinical obesity.

Weight problems might be present even when one is not truly obese. Some of our clients are surprised to hear that their ideal weight was when they reached full growth at the age of 17-18 assuming they were not overweight!

Commonly recognised causes of Obesity :

  • High energy diets - regular intake of excessive amounts of carbohydrates including sugars and dietary fat
  • Sedentary life style - lack of regular excercise
  • Medical conditions causing immobility such as arthritis, forms of disability, e.g multiple sclerosis or stroke
  • Some medical treatments such as female hormones in contraceptives or HRT, long term courses of oral steroids, some antidepressants. As with the side effects of most medicines, increased weight may not occur until well after the course was started.

In spite of adhering to a healthy diet and having tests ruling out any underlying medical conditions, a number of people continue having weight problems without apparent reason.  Some experience a range of other symptoms which can vary from intermittent tiredness, bloating and other digestive symptoms to low moods and aches and pains. Some of these symptoms are often mistakenly attributed to stress, menopause or comfort eating.

This last 'side effect' from the treatment is probably the most overtly dramatic and one which friends and family never stop commenting on, as I have gone from being a 'happy fatty wearing the marquee' to someone who can wear flattering clothes and make-up and be confident about it.  S.L. Surrey

The Less Known Explanation

In the above group, the commonest causative factor in obesity is fluid retention. This is not caused by heart failure or gravitational forces but from simple food reactivity or food intolerance.  In our clinics we often see overweight patients who insist they live on a scarce diet and that their weight fluctuates by 1-6 lbs after eating even a small amount of a reactive food.

This phenomenon has been known for some decades, to doctors specialising in clinical allergy, to be the direct result of activation of immune system cells attempting to dilute the presence and the adverse effects of some reactive foods. Typically, such fluid retention often causes the affected person to get puffy eyes and swollen fingers, mainly noticed when rising in the morning.  It improves later on as the fluid is re-distributed with the gravity to lower parts of the body such as the ankles and feet only to return again overnight.

Immunologists are familiar with this phenomenon, which they see in standard skin prick tests: The first thing that happens when a tiny amount of an allergen enters the skin is local inflammation and swelling, the result of a rapid influx of fluid, forced by the nearby immune cells in an attempt to dilute the reactive substance and minimise its influence.

Due to the absence of highly accurate laboratory tests, the diagnosis of food intolerance is not currently widely accepted in Medicine; its variable symptoms can be mild, intermittent or constant and severe; they can be confusing for patients and clinicians who are trained to recognise an organ-problem and believe these symptoms to be psychosomatic.

Treatment for Obesity

We often use a combination of some of the above measures.  Most patients will start responding to a strict dietary regime, which aims to identify reactive from non-reactive items. This dietary test is known as a process of elimination and challenge.  The project is temporary as, after some progress, the person is told to gradually relax the diet.  If the diet proves impracticable, our patients are offered a safe, low-dose method of desensitisation on the basis of special skin tests.

In order to correct the person's cellular enzymes and chemistry, which depend on important nutrients, we recommend nutritional tests for vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids and correct any deficiencies identified this way.

The nature of obesity is serious and goes beyond the limitation of fitness and deserves one's whole hearted attempt to regain control of health. We offer skilled support to those prepared to make some changes to their lifestyle.

No diet, however effective, can have long-term benefits unless it can be sustainable long term. This is precisely the reason why so many fashionable diets fail: after a brief period of success, the person tires of the diet and soon after relaxing it, the weight starts creeping back up again. A long term use of a variety of safer, non-reactive foods often overcomes this problem.

How can we help you?

Identifying the root cause.

  • We calculate the body fat, fluid and basal metabolism and support you to get back to an agreed level.
  • Modern investigations can detect fine problems of the thyroid hormones.
  • We help you to devise a system on how best to control your diet.

Specialist tips and notes

  1. It is worthwhile seeking the guidance of your general practitioner who might recommend testing you for diabetes or thyroid problems.
  2. If there is no medical contraindication, taking up a pleasurable physical activity involving aerobic effort such as swimming, cycling or brisk walking will help to spend some of the unused energy.
  3. If you feel that your diet favours high-energy foods, eating more healthily can reduce the amount of energy, which remains unused.
  4. Sugar and alcohol are not essential for human survival; removing sugary foods and alcoholic beverages, a source of unused energy, from your diet for 2-4 weeks may be all you need to do to tip the scales in the right direction.
  5. Our clients are often surprised to hear that many common foods such as bread, potato, milk and many others seem to have this extraordinary capacity to create fluid in susceptible individuals. The same foods also seem to have an addictive effect, which explains why so many patients experience withdrawal symptoms when they attempt to give up some foods, often the items they crave.

Related blog posts