Lyndsey was a lovely 59 year old lady who came to see me because she couldn’t lose weight. She tried to eat well and she wasn’t very overweight, but she wanted to lose weight to improve her health. Frustratingly, nothing worked.

Lyndsey was 5 foot, eight inches tall and she weighed 208 pounds. That gave her a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 31 and only just put her into the obese category. Lyndsey had recently retired. She had a lot of hobbies that kept her active throughout the day; she enjoyed gardening and bike riding, and she walked to the nearby shopping center most days instead of driving. She definitely didn’t sit and watch television most of the day like some of her slim friends did, therefore was very puzzled as to why she still couldn’t lose any weight.

Consultations with a local doctor and dietitian diagnosed her with a very slow metabolism, so the recommendation was to eat very small portions of food. Anyone can lose some weight by eating very little, but who wants to spend the rest of their life feeling hungry? Instead, I wanted to find out why Lyndsey couldn’t lose weight.

After Lyndsey had completed the thorough questionnaire I gave her, I noticed that she only had a bowel movement every three or four days. That was the first clue for her very slow metabolic rate. A sluggish bowel indicates a sluggish liver, as the liver produces bile which has a gentle laxative effect. Ideally Lyndsey would have a bowel movement every day; the fact that she wasn’t achieving this gave me clues to the health of her liver. Constipated people almost always do not lose weight easily. It is vitally important to get your bowels moving if you wish to lose weight. A complication was the fact that Lyndsey had her gallbladder removed 6 years ago. Initially she experienced chronic diarrhea, but in recent years she was constipated. The function of the gallbladder is to store and concentrate bile. This meant Lyndsey was missing out on the laxative effect of bile, and she also wasn’t absorbing essential fatty acids well enough. This caused dry skin and dry eyes. I asked Lyndsey to take one ox bile capsule with each meal.

Most mornings Lyndsey ate gluten free cereal for breakfast with soy milk. For lunch she ate a wrap made of regular wheat flour. Her evening meal was always healthy and comprised of some kind of protein and vegetables. Gluten and milk typically gave Lyndsey reflux and abdominal bloating, so she tried to minimize her intake of these foods. Lyndsey asked her doctor to order a blood test before she came to see me. I noticed that her thyroid hormone levels were not ideal. She was in the grey zone; her thyroid gland was beginning to struggle but her hormone levels were not yet low enough to be diagnosed with an under active thyroid gland. This is called subclinical hypothyroidism and is incredibly common. So many of my patients have a thyroid gland problem yet are not receiving adequate help for it. The sluggish thyroid function was contributing to Lyndsey’s sluggish bowel function and it was making weight loss very difficult.

I arranged another blood test for Lyndsey called thyroid antibodies, because I wanted to see what was responsible for her under active thyroid function. The test was positive, which means Lyndsey had the earliest stages of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. We had to work on improving her immune system before it did too much damage to her thyroid gland and she was left with permanent hypothyroidism.

What I did for my patient

  • I asked Lyndsey to completely remove gluten from her diet. This was essential in order to stop the production of thyroid antibodies, which cause destruction to the thyroid gland. There is no such thing as a low gluten diet; she had to remove all traces of it. Lyndsey could make a protein powder smoothie using whey protein for breakfast. It is quick, easy and very filling. It should also help to make weight loss easier and faster.
  • I gave Lyndsey my liver tonic Livatone in order to improve the ability of her liver to burn fat, and also to encourage bile production, which helped her sluggish bowel.
  • Fibertone is a gentle laxative that sweeps the walls of the colon clean. It would be excellent for Lyndsey to take to help her sluggish bowels be more consistent.
  • I gave Lyndsey Thyroid Health capsules in order to support her struggling thyroid gland. These capsules contain everything the thyroid gland needs to produce normal levels of hormones, and the nutrients in these capsules improve the health of the tissue in the thyroid gland. The Vitamin D and selenium in particular in these capsules help to reduce thyroid antibody production. The iodine encourages healthy hormone levels and can speed up a sluggish metabolism.

For more information about overcoming thyroid conditions, see the book Your Thyroid Problems Solved.

The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.