Homeopathy & Nutrition: A Potent Combination for Weight LossHeather Caruso June 1, 2012
According to Statistics Canada 54% of women and 65% of men are overweight or obese. This is of great concern because excess weight can have devastating consequences for our health. Not only do we feel the psychological effects of additional weight, but it puts us at higher incidence of diabetes, heart disease, cancer (prostate, colon, and breast), and arthritis.
Toxins that are not excreted from the body are typically stored in fat cells in order to protect vital tissues from exposure. Fat cells engorged with toxins then release more inflammatory proteins into our body than normal fat cells do. So the more overweight you are, the more inflammation your body produces. This leads to aches, pains, and degenerative joint disorders. As well, inflammation in the blood vessels causes increased cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart attacks or strokes, and even cancer. One may not feel the consequences of inflammation in the body until its long term damage causes a full-fledged disease.
The barriers to healthy weight loss include low thyroid function, diabetes or insulin resistance, malnutrition caused by a poor diet, high cortisol levels and stress, sleep disorders, and hormonal imbalances.
Here are the first steps to removing those barriers:
- Eat real food. Cook for yourself using fresh fruits and vegetables. Eat whole grains only, such as brown rice, rye, quinoa, and oatmeal. Use healthy fats in your diet, such as cold pressed olive, flax seed and coconut oil. Choose lean cuts of meat such as turkey, chicken, game, and fish. Use natural sweeteners such as honey, dried fruits, agave or stevia, and steer clear of added sugar. Educate yourself on how to eat healthy.
- Choose organic foods or free-range meats which reduce the amount of toxins your body is exposed to.
- Try to buy from local farmers and know where your food comes from.
- Don’t smoke.
- Exercise daily. Mix up your regimen by doing aerobic activity, weights, and stretching. This way your body will be strong, your heart will enjoy the cardiovascular workout, and your joints will be more limber.
- Substitute healthier choices. For example, choose a natural sweetener instead of sugar or chemical substitutes; eat slow-cooked oats topped with cinnamon and raisins instead of quick-cooked maple flavour with added sugar; or exchange cheap milk chocolate for organic 70% dark chocolate.
- Seek the help of a professional to remove your unique barriers to weight loss and assess your current dietary situation.
Some natural remedies can help speed up weight loss if coupled with the above dietary changes. Homeopathic remedies are suited to one’s particular nature. A few good aids to weight loss include the following:
Homeopathic Remedies for Weight Loss
Homeopathic remedies are prescribed according to a person’s physical, as well as emotional, symptoms. There are many remedies that can be used in cases where a person is overweight.
Here are just a few commonly prescribed ones. Keep in mind that remedies are suited to each person’s unique nature. If you have a serious health concern or are not sure which remedy suits you, seek the help of a professional homeopath for guidance.
Antimonium Crudum is a remedy that is a member of the mineral kingdom. Common indications include:
• irritable and worried types who prefer to be left alone
• sensitive and sentimental people
• obesity in young people
• thickly coated white tongue
• warm-blooded people
• can’t bear the heat of sun
• cravings for pickles, sour foods, and cucumbers
• problems with the gastrointestinal tract (tongue, stomach, and rectum) and weak digestion
• belching and indigestion from overeating
• worse from damp and cold bathing, heat, eating pork and acidic foods, and overeating
• better from resting and open air
Calcarea Carbonica (Calc) is a remedy made from carbonate of lime. It is a member of the mineral kingdom, and is commonly because it covers a number of symptoms. Its common indications include:
• plump people with low energy and susceptibility to infections (usually upper respiratory)
• hard-working, responsible, and practical people
• easily exhausted from overexertion
• they tend to feel cold and damp
• personality types who tend to be stubborn and anxious
• may suffer from shortness of breath on ascending stairs
• sweat easily on exertion, particularly on the head
• cravings for eggs, salt, and sweets
• aversion to milk products and meat
• worse from exertion, cold and damp, and full moon
• better in dry and warm climate
Capsicum is a remedy made from the cayenne pepper plant. Its common indications include:
• types who tend to be chilly and irritable
• those who may suffer from homesickness
• weak and sluggish types who have lax muscle fibres
• lose the will to do chores or follow routine, want to relax, are lethargic
• types who gain weight easily, and have red cheeks
• urinary troubles, such as cystitis or frequent urination, may be an issue
• burning pains in the mouth, throat, and urinary tract
• cold chills are worse from drinking, although thirsty
Fucus Vesiculosis is a remedy made from sea kelp which is typically given as a mother tincture, 10 to 50 drops in water one to three times a day. The dose depends on the severity of the symptoms. The more severe the case, the more one would take. This remedy’s common indications include:
• obesity or overweight types
• thyroid problems, such as goitre or hypothyroidism
• exophthalmic goitre (meaning the eyes protrude forward)
• enlargement of the thyroid gland in obese people
• stubborn constipation
Graphites is a carbon and mineral remedy made from black lead. It has a great anti-psoric power, which means it works well on the psora miasm that affects the skin. Its common indications include:
• suited to heavy set women who may be fair skinned
• skin conditions such as calluses, eczema, hives, keloids, itching, and fissures, and deep cracks that weep or ooze a yellowish serum
• thick or deformed nails
• eruptions behind the ears, on the scalp, cracks on the lips or corners of the mouth
• cravings for chicken, beer, and bland food
• aversion to the combination of salt and sweets, fish and soup
• worse in the morning on waking, or after consumption of cold drinks, and around the menstrual cycle
• better with warm drinks, milk, walking outdoors, eating
Natrum muriaticum (Nat mur) is a remedy made from sodium chloride. It is a commonly prescribed homeopathic and a member of the mineral family.
• these types tend to have a ravenous appetite with cravings for salty foods like chips and popcorn, and salt itself
• cravings for sour flavours like lemons and bitter foods
• ailments from broken relationships, broken heartedness
• sadness, depression, and worse when consoled
• the lower half of the body tends to be larger than the top, pear-shaped
• tendency to have a thin neck, and acne
• aversion to bread, chicken, rich food, and milk
• these types tend to be very thirsty
• tendency towards headaches or migraines
• worse with heat, sunshine, lying down, and talking
• better when eating regularly, walking in open air, or having pressure against the back
Phytolacca is a remedy made from the berries of the herb pokeroot. There are no side effects if you take this medicine in a homeopathic potency above 6CH. However, it should not be taken as an herbal medicine. Use a 6CH potency or higher, four pellets once a day. Phytolacca’s common indications include:
• treatment for glandular swelling, such as cervical and mammary (mastitis and/or tender breasts)
• obesity and excess weight
• joint pains, rheumatism, sciatica from the hip downward
• pains are better after movement
• problems with the throat, tonsils, worse with hot drinks
• worsened by damp and cold weather
• better when drinking cold drinks, in warm dry weather, and resting
Sulphur is a very common homeopathic remedy, which is a member of the mineral kingdom. It covers many symptoms and is useful for a variety of conditions. If you suffer from any skin conditions seek professional help if you think you are a sulphur type. This remedy may release suppressed skin conditions – for example if you had eczema and it was treated in a suppressive manner, such as with cortisone or tar creams. (These treatments just suppress the symptoms; they don’t cure the condition.) Some common indications for sulphur include:
• skin conditions (acne, eczema, psoriasis, hives, dermatitis)
• types who tend to be intellectual, messy, and extroverted
• they can be quite smart and also critical of others
• they tend to be lazy and are indifferent to their messy surroundings
• big appetite and hunger at around 11 a.m.
• thirsty for ice cold drinks
• types who can suffer from heartburn and diarrhea, which drives them out of bed in the morning
• tend to be hot people with especially hot feet
• cravings for sweets, chocolate, ice cream, fat, spices, and alcohol, such as beer and whiskey
• aversion to eggs, fish, olives, sour foods, squash, and liver
• better in dry and warm weather, and lying on right side
• worse from standing, bathing, being warm in bed
Thyroidinum is a remedy made from the thyroid gland of animals. These types of remedies are called “organotherapy”. Thyroidinum is indicated as follows:
• cravings for sweets and thirst for large amounts of water
• is suited for obesity and an enlarged thyroid
• useful for arthritis, fibroid tumours of the breast, and anemia
• dry skin and psoriasis
• these types may have heart palpitations from the least amount of exertion
• worse in a cold environment and exertion
• better when warm and reclining
A Case History
A 40-year-old woman came to the clinic complaining of anxiety, stress, stomach pains, and weight issues, despite eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly. She wanted to lose 15 pounds. The following tools were used to assess her health:
• Electrodermal screening for food sensitivities and an organ stress test;
• Darkfield microscopy testing for her B12, folic acid, and essential fatty acid levels, as well as immune system function, and digestion;
• Basal body temperature testing for subclinical hypothyroidism
Her results showed a lower than normal waking body temperature, which indicates a sluggish thyroid. Although the doctor’s blood tests showed the low end of normal, we decided to support her metabolism and thyroid using supplements. Her food testing showed sensitivities to wheat and oats. Darkfield test results showed she had some markers that her blood sugar was unstable, similar to hypoglycaemia.
She complained that she had a hard time sleeping and would be awakened by nightmares. She had stomach pains that caused her to double over in pain. She had been screened for gallstones and other possibilities with no results. Her bowel movements were infrequent, one every three days. Past trauma had made her wary of certain situations, however, she felt she had laid it to rest. She preferred one-on-one company and liked to keep to herself. She craved salty foods like chips and nuts, and added salt to her meals. Her hair was thinning and falling out. She also suffered from cold sores. Her energy was very low despite exercising and attempts at healthy eating.
Her prescription was as follows:
1) Natrum Muriaticum 200CH, three pellets once a day. (See previous description of this homeopathic remedy.)
2) Thyro Support, one capsule three times a day. This is a remedy by AOR for supporting the thyroid that contains tyrosine, potassium iodide, bacopa, forskohlii, copper, zinc, and selenium.
3) Chromium Picolinate, 600 mcgs, taken once a day with meals. This is great for blood sugar instability and supports weight loss.
4) Ashwaghanda, 1500 mgs, twice a day with meals. This is an ayurvedic adaptogen herb for stress. It is also found in some thyroid formulas. The thyroid and adrenal are thought to interact with each other.
5) She was to avoid wheat and oats.
6) We had her focus on low glycemic foods and eat between 1200 to 1400 calories per day. Although she had eaten a similar number of calories in the past, without losing any weight, it was still a good number for her goal weight and to sustain her activity level.
At her first follow-up one month later, her sleep had improved but she was still having the odd nightmare. She had no stomach pains, but was still constipated; she’d also lost five pounds. As a next step, the same prescription was given but we added a formula that contained magnesium and inositol to take before bed. This is a good mixture for sleep, and magnesium helps the bowels. After her two-month follow-up she was down 13 pounds. Her sleep was much better with no nightmares, and she had daily bowel movements. She had no anxiety and felt more energetic.
This case highlights that health barriers can block weight loss. However, with a little detective work, optimal results can be seen. For most people with a little extra weight, following the above measures for healthy eating will suffice. Avoiding the Standard American Diet (overeating fast foods, grains, and trans fats) is key. Our fast-paced society is leading us down the road to obesity and ill health.
A lot of research has been done with regards to longevity and disease prevention. We have better access to medical care than most countries, however the focus is on disease, not prevention. We have some choices in our health care and can seek the help of a homeopath or other alternative health practitioner. By taking a few steps towards health we can improve the quality of our food, environment, and impact the health of generations to come. A saying that fits is “If it is meant to be, it is up to me”. Take responsibility for your health, your children’s health, and our environment.
Learn more in Heather Caruso’s book, Your Drug-Free Guide to Healthy Weight Loss.
Heather Caruso has been a registered homeopath and holistic nutritionist for the past 17 years in Guelph, Ontario. She is also a bestselling author. She has penned two books called Your Drug Free Guide to Healthy Weight Loss and Your Drug Free Guide to Digestive Health. If you would like more information on how she can help you in her clinic, book a free get acquainted chat online. Visit her website: http://www.carusohomeopathy.com or call 1-866-249-5755