The Women's Journal


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Dr. Heather Rooks, DC

Weight gain does not discriminate based upon body shape, and it’s most attracted to people with hormone imbalances, chronic overeating, and an inability to cope with stress. So how do you win what appears to be a lose-lose game?

If diet modification and exercise alone aren’t getting you results, then hormone imbalances are in question. Getting thin (and staying thin!) requires a well thought-out, intelligent strategy for long-term success. There are plenty of books and websites centered around the topic of weight loss, and many of them are food and exercise centered. They are clearly critical factors however, what I see missing in most of the plans with personal trainers, online, in books and blog posts you may be reading is APPROPRIATE LAB TESTING FOR HORMONE BALANCE! SO many of you are fighting a losing battle of the bulge due to hormone dysfunction, imbalances, and hormone signaling issues.

For MOST, it’s not about what you’re eating as much as your hormones or some metabolic imbalance, especially if you are watching portions and eating clean foods. Many of you eat like a bird and still hold on to weight. IS THAT YOU? If so that speaks to a hormonal imbalance, an undiagnosed intestinal problem or a blocked metabolic pathway. 

What I see on a daily basis is people struggling, especially women, to lose weight even with dietary restrictions, exercise regimes, personal trainers and commitments to vitamin, mineral, protein shake and cleanse regimes. The number of hormones that are involved with weight gain and weight loss are more than you realize.

Most people know about the THYROID hormones. They control your metabolic rate and that means how your body uses food as fuel for energy production. If you don’t burn it you store it. Let’s discuss others involved and how they may be sabotaging your efforts.

INSULIN hormone monitors blood sugar levels and needs to be kept low for weight loss to happen. It is a FAT STORING hormone.

CORTISOL, an adrenal stress response hormone signaled when under stress and when that is long term and continued, it SURGES. Hello belly fat . . . Cortisol is another fat storing hormone. In order to outsmart a fat cell, you have to shrink it, and in order to do that you have to reduce cortisol. You can only do that if you reduce stress. The white space on your calendar equates to feel-good endorphins. If you are busy every minute, every hour, you’ll never be able to take a deep breath! This translates to higher cortisol. Once hormones like cortisol come into play, you’re dealing with belly fat accumulation which sparks a vicious circle because the fat on your belly has more cortisol receptors, which then attracts more fat, which then makes more estrogen! It’s a difficult cycle to interrupt once your chemistry is on overdrive and the first domino of major stress has fallen. So because stress is at the top of this obesity roller coaster, make a note to yourself to reduce stress as much as possible.

ESTROGEN, is a sex hormone we all know that, but, what you may not know is that it is produced in your ADRENAL glands as well as ovaries. SO when you are STRESSED production increases. NEWSFLASH* ESTROGEN IS A FAT STORING HORMONE.

DOPAMINE and SEROTONIN, are brain neurohormones, produced in your GUT (These also translate to better sleep, and great sleep can contribute to weight loss!) How does this happen? Low serotonin (due to high stress and a tight schedule) means you have less melatonin. Serotonin makes melatonin, which makes you sleep, which then reduces your waistline. So if you want to outsmart your fat cells, relax a little.

TESTOSTERONE is a muscle building hormone made in ladies ADRENAL glands, so it promotes weight loss, specifically fat loss because it boosts metabolism and aids in muscle growth and retention. Boost it naturally with EXERCISE, especially weight bearing exercise. This hormone also signals sex drive, a physical activity *hint hint.

ENDORPHINS: If you enjoy your exercise, it’s not so much of a stress-laden chore. It’s a healthy activity that promotes wellness from head to toe. And if it makes you smile or giggle, the added bonus is that it releases all kinds of good-for-you neurotransmitters and hormones. Raising endorphins counteracts high cortisol. So the more fun it is, the better.  Make it your habit.

YOU MUST Balance these Key Hormones to lose and maintain weight loss!

You need to evaluate the levels of, and then balance, your thyroid hormone, blood sugar, Adrenal and Sex hormones as well as your gut function to really optimize a healthy weight!

This is probably not NEW information to you, however I hope to have presented a strategy to get your weight loss struggle on track. Now you know, addressing primary hormone imbalances are key, and you have to know what they are! Testing is of paramount importance.

Dr. Rooks is skilled and experienced at finding and addressing the root physiological, biochemical, hormonal and neurological imbalances causing the poor health status of people today. In the current health tragedy most people find themselves in, she has found an emphasis in Metabolic disorders like weight gain, pre diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes, digestive disorders and Hypothyroidism, but she works with all kinds of conditions.

Dr. Heather Rooks, DC  

PATH Integrative Health Center

Suite 3, 98 Wilmington-West Chester Pike (Rt. 202)

Chadds Ford, PA 19317         


Call today for a complimentary consultation

[email protected]


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