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Weight loss

General characteristics

General characteristics

Weight loss is something that some people may welcome and strive towards but when it happens involuntarily, not as a result of dietary changes or increasing exercise, it may be a sign of other underlying disorder. Body weight can decrease from water/fluid loss, muscle loss or fat loss.

Weight loss can occur as a result of inadequate food intake and malnutrition, increased physical exertion, loss of appetite (eg. from medications), increased metabolism and endocrine disorders (eg. hyperthyroidism, diabetes, adrenal gland disorders), digestive disorders (such as malabsorption, pancreatitis, Crohns disease, infection, food intolerance etc.), parasites, after prolonged bouts of vomiting or diarrhoea, dental pain or moyhe disorders, viruses and infections (eg. influenza and colds), taking multiple medications (especially in the elderly), smoking, cancer and some tumours, kidney disease or failure, liver disease and failure, heart failure, chronic lung diseases (eg Tuberculosis), chronic stress or emotional upset (eg. anxiety, grief), psychological conditions like anorexia or food/eating phobias and as a result of detoxing or cleansing routines.

If the weight loss is rapid, unintentional or with no obvious cause then immediate investigation should be undertaken to rule out serious medical conditions and any underlying disease conditions causing the weight loss need to be addressed.


Diet and lifestyle

Diet and lifestyle

Gaining weight isn't all about the quantity of food you eat but also about the type of food you eat. Increasing your intake of quality proteins and fats may be the most effective and nutritious way to gain weight, rather than relying on an excess of carbohydrates or sugary foods.

A protein and 'good' fat morning smoothie could contain a handful of oats and quinoa, a few almonds or other nuts, a few dates or other dried fruit, hempseeds, milk (cows, goats, soya, etc.), a banana, a spoonful of peanut butter or tahini, a spoonful of honey and a pinch of cinnamon or vanilla powder to taste. I like to soak the oats, nuts, seeds and dried fruit overnight to make them plump and juicy and to provide added moisture. Whizz in a blender and drink for breakfast. Vary the types of grain, nut, fruit etc. that you use to get a nice variety of nutrients and to prevent taste boredom!

Avocados are rich in healthy fats and protein and can be eaten a few times weekly to help with healthy weight gain.

Eggs can provide good protein and fat to help with weight gain.

Try a handful of raisins daily.

Include plenty of organic dairy foods in the form of cottage cheese and live natural yoghurt.


Useful herbs

Useful herbs

Fenugreek seeds can help to put weight on you and have been used traditionally to fatten animals ready for slaughter. Have a teaspoon of crushed seeds in a tea twice daily or use the seeds in cooking.

 

Irish moss (a seaweed) is very nutritious and can be added to any teas to help improve nutrient levels in the body.

 

Shatavari can also help you to gain a little weight over time. It also increase sexual health and vigour in both men and women. Dose 2.5ml (half a teaspoon) of tincture twice daily. Avoid if you have kidney or heart failure, are pregnant or are allergic to asparagus.

 

Using bitter herbs in tincture form and taking them just before meals can help to increase the appetite and the body's desire for food. A formula could contain equal parts dandelion root, burdock root, gentian root, holy thistle, chamomile, angelica root and barberry root. Take a half teaspoon in a little water before meals.


Natural healing

Natural healing

Probiotics can have a considerable effect on weight loss/gain due to their unique actions on the bacterial population of the bowel. Lactobacillus acidophillus, Lactobacillus fermentum and Lactobacillus ingluviei have been shown to enhance weight gain.

The aroma of lavender essential oil may help you to gain a little extra weight as it increases the appetite and slows down the breakdown of fats in the body. Put up to 10 drops in a full bath.


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