By Alane Archer, ND, CNC
I never had to be concerned about my weight when I was growing up. I never thought I had to stop food cravings. Honestly back then I did not even know what a food craving was. Even in college when I was on my own and had to eat on a small budget my weight stayed around 120. As the years went on, I had two children and started to go through hormone changes, life changes and now weight changes! Part of the weight and hormone changes has to do with food cravings! I hear almost daily from my female patients that they want to stop their food cravings in their track and they don’t know how! Women, I understand how you feel and what you want!
As a 54-year-old woman, I too battle food cravings! I had to learn the hard way that our body makes hormones that make food cravings worse. I struggle just like you trying to keep cravings down and get a handle on my hormones so the weight stays down and the cravings don’t rule me.
I went to several traditional clinicians in the area, but no one helped me figure this out! It took a few classes and friends that are in the same field to help me understand what was happening to my body.
The first hormone that causes cravings is called LEPTIN! What I regularly hear from a lot of my female patients is they are fine from 7 am – 6 pm and then IT happens! They get crazy cravings and not just for unhealthy food, they eat healthy food too, and they cannot stop! Sure, many crave bread, pasta, and sugar, but some also crave healthy foods. The problem is they are overeating and need to stop their cravings in their track! One way to do this is by getting your leptin levels checked and balanced out! Leptin is made in fat cells and the higher your leptin, the more fat you will have and the hungrier you will be! And of course, high leptin can lead to inflammation, heart disease, stroke and even cancer. Leptin can show up in a thyroid test by raising Reverse T3 levels which interferes with proper thyroid function.
Another hormone that causes cravings in INSULIN. Insulin is made in the pancreas and is the major hormone responsible for blood sugar balance. We have seen hemoglobin A1C normal to borderline high, glucose a little high and the person is feeling like a mess! When a person has food cravings, many times, insulin is high (anything over a 10 is too high and over a 19 is very high). Insulin makes you feel HUNGRY or even HANGRY! High insulin can happen to anyone! When too many foods are eaten that convert to sugar, it creates high insulin levels which lead to sugar cravings, which lead to carbohydrate cravings which leads to weight gain and more cravings. It is another nasty food craving cycle.
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Medical disclaimer: Our tests cannot be used to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. All test results are to be used as educational materials and as a guide to help support your overall health and wellness. Always discuss health concerns with your medical doctor.