LOSE VISCERAL FAT TO SAVE YOUR LIFE!
Visceral fat is the fat that accumulates around our internal organs such as the liver and kidney. This fat is very metabolically active, in a bad way. I am going to tell you about some of the harmful effects of visceral fat. Visceral fat creates inflammation that leads to diseases that are deadly. So you need to lose your visceral fat so you can extend your life. But hang in there, because we’ll discuss ways to reduce your visceral fat and get healthy.
When you have increased visceral fat, there is increased insulin production. When there is excess insulin, the cells become less responsive to insulin. This is insulin resistance, which is the marker of adult onset diabetes mellitus. Unfortunately, diabetes mellitus affects quality of life and increases the risk of heart disease, kidney failure and blindness.
With increased insulin, there is increased storage of fat and increased sugar craving. This leads to increased visceral fat which leads to further insulin production, and further fat storage. This is a vicious cycle that is difficult to break. In men, the cycle is worsened further because the increased visceral fat leads to a decline of testosterone. When testosterone is decreased, muscle mass declines while visceral fat increases, which is another gear to the vicious cycle.
So do you have visceral fat? There is some correlation with your overall fat. So if you have ‘a big belly’, chances are that you are accumulating visceral fat. You should be aware that even if you have a lean body, you may still have life-threatening visceral fat. The fat can sometimes be detected with an ultrasound that shows such findings as a fatty liver. When inflammation is found on laboratory tests such as an elevated C reactive protein (CRP), visceral fat should be suspected. A low HDL cholesterol certainly indicates impaired metabolism and often indicates the presence of visceral fat as there is a strong association of impaired metabolism and the presence of visceral fat.
The good news is that you can reduce your visceral fat by breaking up this vicious cycle. A great way to break this cycle is with starting hormone replacement. When men take testosterone replacement, they reverse this process by converting some of the visceral fat to muscle. All of a sudden, the cycle gets changed to a positive direction, with less fat, so less insulin production so less fat storage.
Women experience a dramatic increase in visceral fat at the time of menopause. On average, women gain 10-15 pounds during menopause and I can assure you that this is not 15 pounds of muscle. As noted above, the visceral fat leads to the onset of many illnesses. Women who take bioidentical hormones get rid of this excess fat, losing an average of 10-15 pounds.
Reducing visceral fat helps reduce those inflammatory cytokines, which decreases the risk of heart disease. This could explain why women who take bioidentical hormones dramatically reduce their risk of heart disease (by 2.5 times). It is interesting that so many women are afraid to take hormone replacement, partly due to a perceived risk of breast cancer. However, many studies have shown that bioidentical estradiol does not increase the risk of breast cancer. In fact, hormones play a valuable role in keeping women healthy and vital during the premenopausal fertile years and continue to play such a role when continuing hormone replacement after menopause.
Another key strategy to reduce visceral fat is to optimize thyroid function. Around the onset of menopause, many women are susceptible to low thyroid function. As a key driver of metabolism, the thyroid plays a vital role in reducing visceral fat. A common complaint from both men and women who have poor thyroid function is that even when they cut down on their food intake, they are unable to lose weight. This is because their metabolism is slowed so instead of energy production, their food gets directed to fat deposits.
Eating better is a great way to reduce your visceral fat. This is challenging for those with increased insulin in their blood. That is because the insulin resistance can lead to constant hunger and sugar cravings. It is hard to reduce your carbohydrate and sugar intake when your body is constantly calling out for sugar. By starting hormone replacement, and reducing the visceral fat, there will be less insulin produced. This makes it easier to reduce the sugar binges and reduces hunger so you are reversing the vicious fat cycle to the right direction of fat reduction.
Another great way to reduce your visceral fat is with exercise. But here again that bad cycle rears its ugly head. When you have excess visceral fat, you often have inflammation that makes working out more difficult. Chances are, you have lower energy and the increased inflammation makes you susceptible to injuries with exertion. Thus, starting an exercise program is very challenging. The good news is that by starting bioidentical hormones, you start to chip away at that visceral fat. The visceral fat starts to decrease and when that happens, your inflammation starts to go down. You then have the energy to exercise more which helps you reduce your visceral fat even further. Again, you have moved the cycle in the right direction, toward great health.
In summary, visceral fat creates an environment that promotes chronic illnesses including heart disease, diabetes, dementia and even cancer. A vicious cycle is created where the fat makes you sick, which leads to increased visceral fat. A great way to reverse this cycle is to start bioidentical hormones with testosterone for men and estradiol and progesterone for women and possibly thyroid for both. Once the cycle is reversed, you feel better and are able to exercise more and have more control of your appetite. You will reduce your visceral fat, feel great and can even reverse many chronic diseases. In effect, you are saving your life.