It’s that time of the year again – your regular checkup with your primary care provider.
“Everything looked good… except your cholesterol and sugars are a little high, again.”
“Well, I’ve been taking the medications you prescribed last year!”
“That’s great, but do you remember what else I asked you to do?”
“Yes, doc… I need to lose a little weight.”
“Yep, you need to eat less and move more.”
And there it is again! The dreaded reminder that the weight needs to come down.
That’s typically how the conversation goes, with little delivered in terms of execution and long-term success. Your physician has been telling you to do this for years and your weight hasn’t budged. The typical outcome is that most will continue to gain weight.
The danger of a few extra pounds
Carrying a few extra pounds isn’t something to take lightly. We know that fat tissue, particularly that around the abdomen, is not just inert space for sticking cash under the mattress. Fat is an active endocrine organ, secreting signaling molecules called adipokines. They have their names like “leptin” and “adiponectin,” “tumor necrosis factor” and “interleukins.”
These signaling molecules do many things, but most importantly, promote inflammation. Many of you may be coming to us for management of your rheumatoid arthritis or psoriasis with treatments like Humira, Enbrel, Remicaide and so on. These treatments tend not to work as well in those with extra abdominal fat.
Not off the hook if you’re thin
One of the most interesting things that scientific investigators have identified is a physical makeup referred to as “TOFI” or “thin on the outside, fat on the inside.” It’s exactly as it sounds! You carry more body fat than you need, but it’s not around your arms and legs, it’s infiltrating your organs.
We’re all put together at the factory differently. Some of us have both high numbers of storage containers that are of larger size throughout our bodies, while some of us less containers with much smaller capacity. But a commonality across all of us is the potential for what we call “ectopic fat deposition” which primarily effects your organs.
In other words, if you’ve never had to watch what you eat it, you may have a higher potential for this ectopic fat deposition to occur. Recall as we stated earlier, that it is this centralized fat that is very inflammatory. If you’re thinner and carrying extra pounds, you could be in just as much danger as someone morbidly overweight.
What does this mean for me?
Carrying extra fat mass is the most probable reason your cholesterol and sugars are elevated
Abdominal fat is an endocrine organ secreting inflammatory factors, thereby worsening rheumatic diseases and hurting the efficacy of your therapy
You could appear thin, yet be carrying the burden of inflammatory fat (TOFI)
What can I do about it?
One of the tools available we use in the clinic is profiling of your body composition using state of the art technology that fractionates your muscle mass and body fat.
This is an excellent proactive step on your part, particularly for those of you who are thinner and unsure of the degree of your body fat burden.
We couple this assessment with a more in-depth blood test looking at your cholesterols, pancreatic, thyroid function, inflammatory markers and provide clearly defined dietary and exercise programs so that another year doesn’t go by where you’re simply just told to lose more weight.
We’d be happy to get you on the right track. Book your consultation here, today!Book a consultation