Weight Loss That Is Authentic To You
For quite a long time, weight loss was reduced to the simple concept of taking in fewer calories than one expended each day; if you did that successfully, then you could achieve any weight loss goal you had.
In reality, this simplified model of our body's metabolism is just that, too simple. Weight is governed by many body systems and cross talk between them via chemical messengers and hormones decide much of the way our body processes and stores the food we take in.
Big barriers to weight loss include:
the stress response (where our body feels it is under constant attack and refuses to let go of excess weight)
cycles of binging and restricting food; getting caught in this vicious cycle
disordered eating, eating disorders and using eating as an emotional coping tool
restrictive diets that suppress metabolism; a history of trying many diets is very common
imbalances in key hormones such as cortisol, insulin and sex hormones like Estrogen and Progesterone (The Hormone - Weight Connection)
disturbances to our gut flora and poor digestion
inflammation within the body; endometriosis, autoimmunity, never well since viral infections (i.e. Lyme disease), chronic stress, smoking, etc
dietary choices and triggers; not all food intake feels like a "choice"
physical activity or workout "prescriptions" that don't feel authentic to us or match where our body is at
medications or procedures that alter metabolism or limit movement
Weight gain can feel very disconcerting and oftentimes is quite distressing and scary, particularly if you feel you have little to no control over your weight. The feeling that you don't recognize yourself or are inhabiting a body you don't know or understand, is a stressful way to live each day.
Naturopathic medicine seeks to bring the body back to a state of balance where long term weight management within realistic, healthy parameters, is achievable, and best of all, simple.
Dr. Roberts' Approach To Weight Loss
If you are looking for a weight loss protocol, this is not the right place. I work with my patients one-on-one, and with careful consideration of their history with food, weight, emotional trauma, anxiety, depression and other health conditions.
My personal approach to weight loss does not involve calorie counting or consistent weigh-ins. I will talk about lbs and inches with you if you like, but I can also leave all talk of weight out of it. Most importantly, I want to get a sense of how you want to feel, how you want to nourish your body and what a place of happy & healthy looks like for you.
As a past binge-eater myself (10+ years), I work very conscientiously with patients around diet and exercise as many come to the table with a history of working on these lifestyle factors in ways may have been traumatic, or at least very uncomfortable.
From a biological and biochemical standpoint, if we can address your roots of system dysfunction (whether hormonal, nutritional, biochemical, immune-related, etc) and can correct them, weight loss, energy and a healthy body is the result. I won't give you a plan that does not work for you in the context of your lifestyle and will always seek to make the process simple and enjoyable. I don't believe weight loss is a game of self-control or denial; it is rather about honouring our body's true desires and needs, and working with a medical professional can illuminate just what those are.
Losing hair can be a very overwhelming, sudden process that may diminish your self confidence and can leave you at a loss for what is going on.
If you are suffering, you may have been told the process is normal, is a part of aging, or that no further investigations can be done.
While hair loss is normal, and hair thinning is a part of aging, there are a number of physiological reasons for premature hair loss that can be diagnosed and treated naturally. Normal hair shedding ranges from 50 to 100 hairs a day, and the hair pattern of growth, maintenance and loss cycles naturally in each hair follicle. Hair shafts are made of keratin and may grow for 2 to 6 years when healthy depending on your genetic tendencies.
Disruption of hair growth, premature or widespread hair loss and poor hair follicle development can be a sign of an underlying disorder that requires medical attention.
Over the counter health hair supplements can be expensive and may fail to treat the underlying cause of your hair loss. Diagnosing your reason for hair loss is important before beginning hair restoration programs.
Diagnoses behind hair loss may include any of the following:
- Hypothyroidism or Hyperthyroidism
- Hormonal Causes i.e. Androgenic Alopecia
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
- Nutrient Deficiencies
- Genetic Pre Disposition
- Pregnancy / Post Partum
- Skin Conditions
- Mental Health Conditions
- Medication use or Radiation
- Hairstyles or Treatments
- Stress; Telogen Effluvium
- Causes of Weight Loss; intentional or unintentional
If you are suffering from hair loss and want to find the root cause, coupled with focused, natural treatment, book your appointment with Dr. Roberts.
Over or under functioning of the thyroid is becoming a very common issue for a great many people. Overt forms of hypothyroidism (underfunctioning) and hyperthyroidism (overfunctioning) are traditionally medicated as these deviations from normal thyroid function can severely affect your health and may even become dangerous. Subclinical thyroid dysfunction refers to thyroid blood marker values that do not meet the criteria for hyper or hypothyroidism, but inidicate an individual's thyroid is not functioning at its best, and may well be at the root of symptoms they are facing. We must also be careful not to assume everyone's healthiest thyroid function should look the same on paper; individual variation in optimal TSH or T3 / T4 levels are important to acknowledge in working one-on-one with patients.
Thyroid dysfunction may be implicated in cases of:
- Hair Loss; from the head or eyebrows
- Weight Loss or Gain
- Body temperature control issues
- Dry skin
- Other signs of endocrine dysfunction or mental health concerns
The thyroid itself is at the top of the list of organs that are injured by exposure to pollutants, high stress environments, big changes like pregnancy and infections. The thyroid is highly subject to being the target of autoimmune attacks, such as in Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, Grave's Disease, Postpartum Thyroiditis and more.
Naturopathic care of the thyroid and the endocrine organs that affect it, is a holistic way to nudge the body back to a state of health after or during particularly stressful life events.
The thyroid gets a lot of attention and press for its control over weight, energy and metabolism, but it should be stressed that this organ does not work alone. The thyroid is intimately involved with other hormone secreting organs and likes to form triangles of interaction that make the complex system of hormonal regulation a little easier to understand.
The hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid interaction and the thyroid-adrenal-ovaries or testes interaction are 5 key endocrine controlling organs that talk to each other via their hormonal secretions. The pancreas also gets in on the action and together these organs affect weight (whether you lose it or gain it, where you accumulate fat, etc), libido, fertility, energy, skin & hair quality, mood and much more.
The thyroid is often treated naturally with key nutrients like magnesium, selenium, tyrosine, iodine, to name a few, botanical herbs, and lifestyle & dietary changes. It is not recommended to treat your thyroid without the supervision of a medical professional as many of the therapies used to treat the thyroid are contraindicated in specific thyroid conditions. Therapy should be individualized and monitored closely.
Naturopathic Doctors are able to run blood work, hormone panels and do other laboratory investigations in conjunction with a thorough intake, physical exams and clinical knowledge to find your root cause of symptoms. To learn more about your thyroid and begin your journey towards better biochemical and hormonal health, book in with Dr. Roberts.
Mitochondria & Hypometabolism
Mitochondria are double membrane organelles that create energy for each cell (aside from red blood cells) and are known as the "powerhouse of the cell". Up to 90% of the energy our body requires is made by mitochondria, and these powerful little organelles also play a role in body growth, cardiovascular health, cognitive function (memory and thinking), digestion and more.
As we age, mitochondrial function has been shown to suffer and may be partially responsible in disease processes in cancer, Alzheimer's and heart disease. Some distinct mitochondrial malformation or dysfunction conditions have been identified and linked to genetic expression. But there is a growing theory that less-than-optimal mitochondrial function may be affecting a lot of us.
Stress, infections, daily toxic and pollutant insults, inflammation within the body (arising from autoimmunity, chronic stress, allergies & sensitivities, drug therapies, etc), key nutrient deficiencies from a poor diet or poor digestion & absorption (specific amino acids, magnesium, b vitamins, etc) and disruption of the krebs cycle, oxidative phosphorylation and fatty acid transport can impair mitochondrial function severely, the most common symptom being intractable fatigue that does not respond to traditional adrenal support or lifestyle adjustments.
In addition to fatigue, muscle loss, extreme muscle weakness, loss of balance and motor control and heart problems are possible indications of mitochondrial dysfunction.
Advances in laboratory work now allow us to see gaps in mitochondrial metabolism and treat with greater accuracy. Functional medicine has brought the study and treatment of mitochondria to the forefront of natural medicine and highlighted the growing numbers of overworked, overstressed people that are suffering.
Get your mitochondria in shape by booking an appointment with Dr. Roberts.
Postpartum; Recovering My Body, My Mind, My Vitality
Motherhood is subject to so many societal pressures that affect the mental and physical health of women. Parenthood & household responsibilities continue to fall disproportionately on women. So many mothers are on anti-anxiety & anti-depression medications for YEARS after they give birth. So many mothers give all of themselves to mothering and have so little left for themselves.
Moms need natural medical support,
- as they face changing their careers and dreams to fit around motherhood
- as they face their body changing from pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and childcare
- as they face their mental health being affected by fluctuating hormones, changing body biochemistry and new pressures
- as they face finding their identity in a role that society often tries to define for them
I create a space that allows moms to talk about their feelings of ambivalence, joy, stress or even resentment towards parenthood, and we work towards solutions that allow each mom to craft the life they want for themselves and their family.
I work with mothers (new moms or moms many years in) on the following:
- mental health: addressing depression & anxiety; finding the root cause and treating
- healing hormones; weight loss, skin changes, hair loss, fatigue symptoms, etc
- understanding lingering symptoms after vaginal or caesarean delivery methods, miscarriage, or abortion
- taking stress out of the equation; problem solving together to create a life that you enjoy and find passion in
- relearning to sleep well
- rediscovering your feeling sexy and healing low libido
- finding balance and passion inside or outside of mothering
Athlete, Body Builder & Crossfit Optimization: Metabolic Recovery
Looking after your hormones (both men and women) and your metabolism while training is paramount to feeling good in the long term, protecting yourself from disease and is necessary to allow you to continue to perform better and better.
Athletes and athletic people, especially those who lift or do high amounts of strenuous cardio, have metabolisms that work harder than the average person, and thus churn out more metabolites, which can put extra stress on certain organs.
In addition, hormones essential to healthy function are affected by training regimes; cortisol, insulin, sex hormones and others are often affected by training schedules. A "healthy" diet may very easily be lacking in certain vitamins or minerals, which coupled with a high metabolic load and individual genetic tendencies, could create deficits that drain an athlete and leave them at less than 100%.
- Chronic fatigue & loss of ability to recover post-workout
- Loss of sex drive
- Change to hair or skin
- Unwanted changes in body composition
This is small snapshot of the symptoms that may crop up when an athlete needs to focus on adrenal, endocrine and metabolic function to improve their health and athletic ability.
As with anyone who pushes themselves beyond their limits and breaks personal records, whether physical or mental, athletes need a solid recovery system in place.
Together we'll create a plan that covers your: