I Have Lupus And Have Gained A Lot Of Weight Leptin Not Working?

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Leptin Not Working?

Leptin is a hormone made by fat cells that was first discovered in 1994 by Jeffery Friedman. It is the original “hunger hormone”. Like all hormones, leptin is a chemical messenger. When it comes to leptin, the message leptin sends is “I’m full.” Leptin is produced by fat cells, travels through the bloodstream and then acts in appetite centers of the brain, signaling feelings of fullness. When leptin levels are low, you feel hungry and are motivated to seek food.

People with leptin deficiency are hungry all the time and very overweight. They can take leptin injections and lose a lot of weight without diet or exercise. The problem is that leptin deficiency is very rare. In my career, treating thousands of overweight and obese patients, I have never seen a single case of leptin deficiency (not one of my colleagues.)

So if leptin deficiency is so rare, why all the excitement about this hormone? It appears that most people who are overweight or obese have dysfunctional leptin. In fact, their fat cells make huge amounts of leptin. But, because the leptin does not work properly, the massive amount that is made is still not enough to suppress the appetite, making a person hungry all the time. In fact, even though leptin levels are high, because it is not working properly, the body thinks that leptin is low. With leptin resistance, the brain doesn’t get the message that it’s time to stop eating, time to lose weight. Leptin resistance results in the brain protecting the body from perceived hunger, even in people who are profoundly overweight.

The following are symptoms of leptin resistance.

  1. Do you feel hungry all the time?
  2. Do you have unexplained weight gain?
  3. Has your weight slowly crept up over time?
  4. Do you have cravings for comfort food, fast food or high calorie food?
  5. Are you not hungry for breakfast or skip breakfast?
  6. Are you overeating at dinner?
  7. Do you have excess body fat?
  8. Do you have unusual eating patterns, or does your diet change significantly from day to day?
  9. Does weight loss stop after you lose only 5-10 kilos.
  10. Do you have insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, prediabetes or diabetes?
  11. Do you have arthritis, asthma, lupus or allergies?
  12. Do you have high blood pressure or elevated cholesterol?
  13. Do you have poor sleep, disturbed sleep or short sleep?

If you answered “yes” to 3 or more of these questions, there is a good chance you have leptin resistance.

Leptin resistance means your brain thinks you are starving when the reality is just the opposite. Dysfunctional leptin drives appetite and especially cravings for high-calorie foods and junk food. The brain does everything it can to avoid hunger.

Leptin resistance also causes lower metabolism and can lead to a host of other hormone problems such as insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome, low testosterone (in men) and thyroid problems.

How do you fix leptin resistance?

Next week I’ll show you ways to make your leptin better and more efficient so you can lose weight permanently.

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