Obesity treatment often fails because of the methods used defeat it. No individual can conquer obesity in the long run by using just will power and effort. Obesity is a disorder of abnormal brain chemistry and needs to be treated as such. It is due to many factors, which are outlined below:
1. Electropause- changes in brain metabolism, rhythm, and power. When brain metabolism decreases, individuals are not able to burn calories effectively. Brain mapping studies show a 30% reduction in brain metabolic rate in the average obese individuals who have only one health problem. The reduction percentage is probably even higher with those obese individuals who develop multiple medical problems including menopause, depression, hypertension.
2. Psychopause- emotional factors can play a role in what foods we choose to eat. Many individuals do not realize how often they cheat on their diet by eating junk, food and foods high in salt or sugar in order to aid their ailing emotions. Memory and attention disturbances also cause individuals to make the wrong choices, because when these faculties fail, anxiety and stress usually follows resulting in the individual finding comfort in binging on junk food.
3. Pinealpause- the loss of melatonin with age results in the loss of serotonin, which is the main cause of carbohydrate cravings.
4. Thyropause- the loss of thyroid hormone can alter metabolic rate.
5. Parathyropause- the loss of parathyroid hormone along with the loss of calcitonin, can affect bone density and results in a malnourished state, which can alter food selection. When a malnourished state occurs, we crave foods that are unhealthy. We are more likely to grab french fries, potato chips, sweets, pasta, etc.
6. Thymopause- the loss of immunity causes increased infection, which challenges the brain and results in brain trauma. Once the brain is injured, it craves carbohydrates. This results in the individual not being able to manage carbohydrate and food selections properly.
7. Adrenopause- the loss of adrenal hormone results in an increase in the fight or flight response, which causes individuals to crave caffeine and carbohydrates.
8. Somatopause-the loss of growth hormone results in a decreased ability of the body to convert muscle to fat, the loss of muscle and bone, and the loss of physical strength.
9. Gastropause- the slowing down of nutrient absorption by the entire gastrointestinal tract resulting in the malnourished state. Obese individuals are actually suffering from malnutrition because of the nutrient deficient foods they binge on. When the body is hungry, it is actually craving nutrients, however the obese individual thinks it is craving carbohydrates and junk food. Therefore, these individuals end up with many deficiencies of vital nutriens such as amino acids, trace elements that result in their continue recycle of craving the wrong foods.
10. Andropause- the loss of testosterone in males results in abdominal obesity initially, and then total body obesity as muscle turns to fat.
11. Menopause- the loss of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone results in roughly 10 pounds of weight gain per decade beginning at about age 30 and is variable with every individual. Estrogen is an intensive, energizing compound that works like dopamine to stimulate the brain and burn calories. Progesterone reduces anxiety and improves sleep, which diminishes craving for carbohydrates. Testosterone, like estrogen is also a calorie burning intensive hormone.
12. Vasculopause- changes in blood flow affect the brain, which results in a reduction of metabolic rate.
13. Osteopause-changes in bone density have an impact on overall health and emotional stress that effect dietary selection. When individuals become frail and feeble, they lose motivation for a healthy lifestyle and begin to make wrong food choices. Ironically, obesity can help protect again osteoporosis.
14. Pancreopause- changes in insulin and glucose tolerance result in carbohydrate cravings. Insulin may go up and glucose tolerance goes down. These individuals become pre-diabetic which causes carbohydrate cravings.
15. Genopause-individuals born with genetic deficits of serotonin or dopamine will be prone to carbohydrate cravings and obesity. Individuals with genetic deficiencies will have more alienation, antisocial behaviors, social phobia and more carbohydrate cravings.
Eric R. Braverman, M.D.
Dr. Braverman is a Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Brandeis University and NYU Medical School, did brain research at Harvard Medical School, and trained at an affiliate of Yale Medical School. He is acknowledged worldwide as an expert in brain-based diagnosis and treatment, and he lectures to and trains doctors in anti-aging medicine.