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Dr. Jacqueline Berens on What to focus on to be successful with weight loss!and Oregon Grape

This week, Dr. Jacqueline Berens of The Wellness Way — Centennial talked to The Wellness Way Student Club on what to focus on to be successful with weight loss and the supplement Oregon Grape!

  • All about no sugar challenge this month!
  • What to do when patients are hitting roadblocks?
  • Educating parents on what all these things mean is essential. Especially when they’re making all the lifestyle changes and not getting the progress that they want. Patients need to really understand that hitting a plateau is all part of the process. There is no process that does not
    take time.
  • Did you know?! According to CDC…
    • 42% of adults are obese in this country
    • 74% of adults 20 and over are either overweight obese or both (3/4 adults in the US)
  • Keys factors to focus on for success:
    • Stress: how are their cortisol levels?
      • Best way to test is a blood draw, two hours after waking up in the morning, when their cortisol should be at its peak.
    • Inflammation: it’s important to know what’s our starting point, how full is the bucket of stuff to begin with, especially if you’re working with somebody that already is overweight and obese.
    • Hormone Imbalance: do they have a hormone imbalance issue?
    • Insulin Resistance: how is their body handling blood sugar?
    • Food Choices
    • Movement
  • If we don’t understand some of these factors especially in front of something like a no sugar challenge, patients will hit a wall at some point, or they will be successful for a while until they plateau and then again, you’re going to have a very frustrated patient on your hands. You need to help them understand these things and why their body is reacting a certain way.

Patient Case

  • 31 y/o F
  • Overweight and Obese
  • Big wakeup call when her father suffered from a heart attack in front of her.
  • After testing, patient was flatlining in the morning and tanking early in the afternoon. Favoring cortisone over cortisol.
  • CRP – 12.9
  • Hormones & Insulin Resistance
    • Progesterone – 0.37
    • Estradiol – 33.0
    • DHEA-S – 242.8
    • Total Testosterone – 25
    • Glucose – 93
    • HbA1c – 5.5
    • Insulin – 50.5

Key notes:

  • Severe inflammatory state
  • DHEA-S is heavy up top. Aim for 120-150 especially for a young female that’s cycling.
  • Her testosterone it’s converting down nicely.
  • Her estradiol should’ve been caught during her mid cycle, meaning it is too low.
  • Indicating that we’re starting to have issues converting and getting things down and out of her system.
  • Her progesterone is very, very low and the reason why is very high stress.
  • Cortisol is a factor that is “eating some of these hormones” and going down the wrong pathway. Cortisol can take progesterone, it can take DHEA and testosterone and shut it down that path.
  • Fasted glucose ideally should be in the low 80s or high 70s.
  • A1c ideally should be 5.0 or less.
  • Insulin ideally should be 5.0 or less.
  • Outcomes
    • After the first month she lost 35lbs, and after 9 months she’s lost a total of 55lbs.
    • She can actually move now, when moving for her was very painful beforehand.

Steps towards true lifestyle changes:

  1. NO SUGAR Challenge (with Food allergy test or not)
  2. Walking (30 minutes 4-5x/week)
  3. Pool Time
  4. Supplement Support: Oregon Grape
    • Digestive bitter, big stimulator for the gallbladder and liver. This herb helps with the regulation of blood sugar, helps stimulate secretions to get these organs functioning properly, increasing protein and fat digestion. It is an anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and helps support and clean out the gut. Directly impacting the upper gut half (stomach, pancreas, gallbladder, and liver) to support from the top down, which is what most patients need when they are very overweight. Everything’s going to be under stress, so supporting all the way from the top down is going to be key.


Submitted by Carlos Ayala


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Disclaimer: This content is for educational purposes only. It’s not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your Wellness Way clinic or personal physician, especially if currently taking prescription or over-the-counter medications. Pregnant women, in particular, should seek the advice of a physician before trying any herb or supplement listed on this website. Always speak with your individual clinic before adding any medication, herb, or nutritional supplement to your health protocol. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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