Do you wonder why you’re not losing weight, even though you’re eating right and exercising? Do you feel tired and fatigued all the time? Do you have Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, Type 2 Diabetes, or other health condition? This article may be for you.
In this article, I’m going to discuss a process in our body that determines whether we will be fit and healthy or overweight and/or sick. And I will show you how you can flip the switch to change the path your body may be taking. This process takes time, some effort, and understanding how your body works. But what could be more important than where you spend all of your time?Let’s get started. Number 1:
AMPK- Say What? I know, it sounds weird, but it’s important so pay attention.AMPK (also known as AMP-activated protein kinase) is the master regulator for all of our cellular energy. It’s the body’s fuel gauge. AMPK can determine how much energy we are going to have, and plays an important role in metabolism of the skeletal muscle, liver, fat, and other tissues. When AMPK is activated, this key player is responsible for deciding our metabolic activity, like how proteins and carbohydrates are distributed, how much glucose gets fed to our cells, how fatty acid and cholesterol are used, and it is also responsible for our cravings.When AMPK is activated properly, you will create cellular homeostasis, allowing your body to use nutrition to increase energy and metabolic activity. On the other hand, when AMPK is inhibited, we start storing fat, blood sugar becomes erratic, and we lose muscle. Our metabolism slows and we start seeing health issues like Type 2 Diabetes or Rheumatoid Arthritis. Low levels of this AMPK enzyme have now been linked to the growth of cancer.As we age and our activity level decreases, AMPK gradually declines, which is why you see weight gain, muscle loss and an increase in health conditions relating to inflammation and blood sugar levels. Stress and other nutritional or environmental factors can also inhibit your AMPK. If your AMPK is inhibited, there is no amount of dieting or exercise that will get the weight off and get you healthy. Here are some ways you can activate the right AMPK response in your body.
Exercise- naturally activates AMPK
Stress Relief- Yoga is great for this, since it incorporates
exercise and meditation
Proper Sleep Pattern- Consistently getting the right amount each night will
help balance your AMPK levels
Dietary Supplements- I’ll go over which ones at the end<
Okay, so let’s say you’re doing all the right things to get your AMPK enzyme properly activated, but you’re still having health issues or trouble losing weight. What happened? I thought you said it was in charge of everything? Let me explain what happened. When AMPK is inhibited, it starts a chain reaction within your body, starting with the Endocrine System.
The Endocrine system directly affects the regulation of our hormones. And hormones control many things, like organs and even sending the signals to our body, coordinating our activities. The Endocrine System excretes hormones to control fluid volume, levels of sodium and glucose in our blood, and is responsible for the development and function of our immune system.
For the average healthy person, if the AMPK is activated properly and the Endocrine System functions normally, they have energy, a healthy weight, and a functioning immune system protecting them from disease. But this combination is becoming more and more rare, and we see cancer and other disease rates rising at an alarming rate. What is going on?
Not only does an inhibited AMPK affect the Endocrine System, there are MANY culprits in our diet and environment that disrupt the Endocrine’s process. Endocrine disruptors are all around us. Aging, stress and disease can disrupt the the Endocrine system function, but also pesticides, herbicides, and a number of chemicals found all around us, like BPA (found on thermal receipts and the lining of canned goods).
The Environmental Working Group, also known as EWG, has listed the Dirty Dozen of Endocrine disruptors on their site here. They also have detailed information about where you can find these chemicals in your foods and products used daily. It’s frightening how much these things affect your body!
The Dirty Dozen of Endocrine Disruptors
Bisphenol-A (BPA), Dioxin , Atrazine, Phthalates, Perchlorate, Fire Retardants, Lead, Mercury, Arsenic, Perfluorinated chemicals(PFCs), Organophosphate pesticides, Glycol ethers
In addition, there are Endocrine disruptors like sugar, High-Fructose Corn Syrup, and fake sweeteners like Splenda, Aspartame and Saccarin. Try doing a quick Google search for Endocrine Disruptors, and see what you come up with. It’s a wonder how we’re still functioning at all.
This is the third step in the chain reaction, and is one of the main reasons we are getting fatter and sicker. Our hormones get out of balance. What does that mean and how does that happen?
Ideally, our body self-regulates our hormones by means of the Endocrine System. But when our AMPK becomes inhibited, and our Endocrine System has been disrupted, either by age, lack of activity, or through ingestion or exposure to chemicals in our diet or environment, it throws a wrench in this “self-regulation” machine. We start circulating the wrong hormones in our body.
When the hormones are imbalanced, it is typically due to Estrogen dominance in men and women both. This may not necessarily mean you have too much estrogen, but it may mean that your other hormones (ie Testosterone or Progesterone) are not functioning to balance the scale. You must have a balance for your body to function properly. Even Testosterone in men can be converted to estrogen if the Endocrine system is not functioning properly.
If you have estrogen dominance, meaning an imbalance, you will see weight gain in the stomach, hips, and thighs. Estrogen dominance is now believed to be the main factor in hormone related cancers like, breast, prostrate, uterine, ovarian, endometrial and cervix cancers. Even women that were given HRT Hormone Replacement Therapy and estrogen are now developing hormone related cancers. You can look here for signs and symptoms of having too much estrogen in your body.
Did you know that 1 in 2 men will get prostate cancer and 1 in 8 women will get breast cancer? What does that tell you about estrogen dominance? It means that we, as a generation, obviously have a hormone imbalance. But what’s causing it?
Not just AMPK inhibitors, and not just Endocrine disruptors, but an excess of estrogens and xenoextrogens are being introduced into our bodies EVERY SINGLE DAY. Even in the environment, we are seeing the effects of too much estrogen on wildlife. Farmed fish are starting to change sex from male to female due to the amount of estrogen in their food. And it is getting worse. We are getting added xenoestrogen from animals that were given hormones, pesticides sprayed on the crops we eat, from flouride in our water and toothpaste, birth control pills, plastics, detergents and even perfume. It’s everywhere! And it’s not just going in you, it’s going in our children’s bodies.
Fixing this balance, by lowering or blocking estrogen in the body and/or increasing the progesterone to balance the hormones, should alleviate the estrogen dominance problem. However, unless you also address the Endocrine System disruptors and the AMPK inhibitors, then you will continue to have trouble losing weight, maintaining a proper immune system and blood sugar levels, among other things.
How to Fix it:
1. Start with activating your AMPK
Exercise- at least 30 minutes combined each day
Lower Stress- Remove stressors and meditate
Get Proper Sleep- Get consistent and adequate hours a night
Specific Dietary Supplements that activate the right AMPK enzymes (See below)
2. Detoxify the body of Endocrine Disruptors
Switch to Organic
Get Proper Sleep
Increase Antioxidant intake (specific list below)
3. Balance Hormones
Switch to Organic
Use natural detergents, cosmetics, and sweeteners like honey or agave
Take estrogen blockers and avoid estrogenic foods
Take Dietary Supplements (see below)
The reasons why I chose the following supplements are as follows. Not only have I found in my research that the following natural herbs and plants can activate the right AMPK, help to detoxify the body with antioxidants, allowing the Endrocrine System to function properly, and help to balance hormones, but… they also help rid the body of cancer cells and cancer stem cells. I talk more about these supplements and their relation to cancer prevention in this article. (See my personal experience at the bottom)
Ideal Dietary Supplements to Activate AMPK, Detoxify the body of Endocrine Disruptors, and Balance Hormones:
Lutein- Endocrine System
Black Seed Oil – AMPK, Endocrine System
Mangosteen – AMPK, Endocrine SystemCurcumin – AMPK, Endocrine System
Probiotics- AMPK, Endocrine System and Hormonal balance
Bitter Melon– AMPK
Taurine- AMPK, Endocrine System and Hormonal balance
Indian Long Pepper – AMPK, Endocrine System
Resveratrol – AMPK, Endocrine System
Ashwaganda- Indian Ginseng – AMPK, Endocrine System
Green Tea – AMPK, Endocrine System
Rhodiola Rosea – AMPK, Endocrine System
Gotu Kola – AMPK, Endocrine System
Quercetin- AMPK, Endocrine System, and lowers estrogen levels
DIM- Estrogen Blocker (read about this in my personal experience at the bottom)
If you do these things, within a month, you will begin to see a major shift in your body chemistry. You will feel better and have more energy, you will lose weight, and will reduce your risk for hormonal related cancers, Type 2 Diabetes, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and numerous other ailments. I’d also love to hear about your experience if you have chosen to adopt these methods for yourself.
My personal experience: As a breast cancer survivor, I had estrogen dominant cancer and an imbalance in my body. I turned down half of my conventional treatment and went the natural route to build my immune system and get a proper balance of hormones and metabolic regulation. In doing so, I have been taking all of the above listed supplements for several months, with exception of DIM. I started that a month ago, and here’s what happened when I added that final piece of the puzzle.First, I had successfully activated AMPK, and the Endocrine System was working much better once I removed a number of toxins, free radicals and even my old root canal. I had energy, and could tell that I no longer had inflammation in my body. My immune system has been working like a champ. I even lost about five of the ten pounds that I had gained through chemotherapy and steroids.But my weight wouldn’t budge past that, even though I was eating right and exercising. I still had bigger thighs and hips, and I started to get the dreaded cellulite on my thighs. Then it hit me, I still had Estrogen Dominance. So, I started taking DIM last month. DIM is an extract made from cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli and cauliflower, and it acts as an estrogen blocker. It shoves the bad estrogen, that we get from diet and environment, out of the cells and takes it’s place. The excess estrogen then gets dumped from the body and you are a HUGE step closer to hormonal balance.This was the key to changing the chain reactions set in place years ago. Not only will my body be able to self-regulate now, but I get the added bonus of losing another seven pounds in the past month without trying. The cellulite is starting to fade, and my thighs and hips are now smaller. I even have more energy, and I’m taking the cancer recurrence risk even lower.