Many people think that gaining weight in a particular region (ex: stomach, thighs) is normal, but it’s actually your body’s way of “showing” you that there is an imbalance in your body. What I mean by this is if you eat unhealthy and live a lifestyle where you don’t move your body, than yes, you will gain weight, but…. it should be all over. Or, if you eat healthy and exercise and lose weight everywhere but one particular region, this is a sign that something is not functioning properly, and you may have a hormone imbalance, toxicity, or even a food sensitivity. Your body uses symptoms as a way to tell you that something is not functioning properly, so see the different types below, and determine “What is your body type?”
- Adrenal Type: This type stores fat in their belly. This type also craves salt or caffeine, particularly in the afternoon. People with adrenal fatigue may have symptoms of low blood sugar, such as fatigue, shaky hands, dizziness and lightheadness when going from sitting to standing, but may have “normal” blood sugar when tested. These people have a hard time handling daily stress, may be very anxious and irritable and may have very dilated pupils. The reason for this is your body has been overproducing adrenaline and cortisol. And guess where your body stores excess cortisol….your belly! If this sounds like you, you may have adrenal fatigue. How do you test? A 24 hour salivary cortisol analysis or a urine test may help determine the “function” of your adrenal gland.
- The Thyroid Type: This type typically stores weight in their entire middle region, much like a barrel shape. They may have a short neck and even store fat in their neck. These people often have coarse hair and/or hair loss, particularly the outside part of the eyebrow. This person has significant fatigue, difficulty losing weight regardless of diet and exercise, depression, constipation, seasonal affective disorder, and tends to be cold all the time, especially in the hands and feet. This type craves carbohydrates. Testing your arm pit temperature first thing in the morning, before getting out of bed can help you understand if your thyroid is “functioning” properly. Your 5 day average should be 97.6 or higher. If lower, this is indicative of low thyroid function, not thyroid disease.
- The Ovary Type: When the ovaries are to blame you will notice signs of hormone imbalance such as PMS, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Endometriosis, Irregular periods, Infertility, Heavy bleeding, Insomnia, Hot Flashes, Anger and Irritability. This is most commonly your pear shape. This type also craves chocolate. Functional analysis of hormone levels can help detect hormone imbalances in women and men at any age.
- The Liver Type: The liver has many functions in the body and when it is unable to keep up with the toxic load being put in your body, your body creates “pot belly” to store those toxins away. If you are putting more toxins in your body than it can safely eliminate your body will create fat cells, and it will bloat and swell. This is how your body “dilutes the pollution.” The liver also makes cholesterol and one of the first signs of liver mal-function or toxicity is that your cholesterol starts to go up. Food sensitivities in the body are recognized as toxins and cause an inflammatory reaction in the body when eaten. I am not talking about anaphylactic food allergies here, but food sensitivities that cause an accumulation of stress, bloating and swelling in the body, making it VERY hard to lose weight, regardless of diet and exercise. This type may crave fatty foods and have environmental allergies, joint pain, blood sugar imbalances, eczema and even hives for no known reason.
Regardless of your body type, it is important to detect and correct any imbalances in the body, because if left over time imbalances can lead to disease. Some of the most common diseases in the United States are diseases of lifestyle and are preventable. If you feel you are one of these types and are looking for answers, seek professional help from and doctor who practices Function Medicine, Holistic Medicine or Integrative Medicine and get to the “cause” of your symptoms by looking at the “function” of your body instead of just “covering” up symptoms!