I have an obese client who is finally on a healthy diet; however, her weight loss is still very slow. I have concentrated on building her lean muscle mass to burn more fat. Recently, I sent her to an alternative pharmacist to analyze her bio/chemical make up and found she had very high levels of cortisone. She is type 1 diabetic and has recently had her levels of insulin intake regulated. Could you please tell me if high levels of cortisone can be an inhibitor to losing weight? Is it still possible that she is getting insulin "spikes," which block the HSL homone supplying fat cells to the blood stream for fuel? Any help you can give me on this matter would be appreciated!
Yes, high cortisone levels are an inhibitor to weight loss. It promotes a condition called proteolysis, which results in muscle loss. The less lean muscle a person has, the lower his or her metabolism will be. High cortisone levels can be triggered by stress, dieting, skipping meals and overeating. They can also trigger the pancreas to release more insulin that in turn increases body fat stores.
In a study at Brain Wave Entrainment Technology, 10 non-binge eaters and 10 binge eaters were placed on a diet for six weeks. The subjects with the higher cortisol levels had a hard time losing weight, even after going on the diet.
High cortisone levels are also dangerous because it promotes visceral (or belly) fat. This fat reserve was necessary in ancient times when humans did not know if they would be able to eat again in the same day, but this reserve is not necessary in today’s world. Even moderately high cortisone levels increase the risk for insulin-resistant syndrome and type 2 diabetes.
One aspect often overlooked by trainers in menu planning is how food is prepared. Partially hydrogenated oils such as margarine, vegetable shortening and salad oils increase the number, size and shape of our fat cells. Flaxseed oil, olive oils and wheat germ oil are good replacements.
Some foods that could be beneficial to add to your client’s diet are ginger, cayenne pepper and mustard to increase metabolism and cinnamon, bay leaf and clove to control blood sugar levels and decrease cravings. Also, since insulin spikes can be an inhibitor to the HSL hormone, it would be a good idea to stick with mostly low glycemic foods.
Another course of treatment could be to try to reduce the stress in your client’s life since stress has been linked to increased cortisone levels. Meditation, massage and deep relaxation breathing are good things to try.
Two natural compounds that have been shown to control cortisone levels are Relora, a blend of Magnolia officinalis bark and Phellodendron amurense bark by Next Pharmaceuticals and Sensoril, an extract of roots Ashwagandha. In one study, 200 mg of Relora taken three times daily by 50 test subjects resulted in an 82 percent decrease in stress-induced symptoms after two weeks. Sensoril has been proven to reduce the effects of stress in several studies.
Other treatments worth looking into are 7-Keto DHEA, which has been shown to help people lose weight; testosterone, which blocks the cortisol receptor; and trenbolone, which may reduce the receptor number. Two web sites I found to have good articles on this subject are intelegen.com and bodybuilding.com. I hope this information helps!