What is Leptin?
Leptin is a hormone produced by fat cells that says “stop eating- I am satisfied”. It is known as the satiety hormone.
Leptin has a specific action in the hypothalamus of the brain to control your metabolism and your appetite. The more fat you have and the more food you eat, the more leptin is produced, and when it works correctly, it signals to the brain, “I have plenty of stored fat and fuel, I don’t need more”, and shuts off hunger signals in addition to increasing metabolism to burn more body fat. However, when there is too much leptin being pumped out of the fat cell, which is abnormal, the body and brain become resistant to the message. This is similar to insulin resistance when the body stops listening to the insulin messages.
The receptors that receive leptin become resistant to leptin, and the fat cells continue to produce an abnormally high amount; the receptors essentially downgrade their response. An abnormal response occurs from leptin; the more weight you gain and the more fat stores you have, the more your body thinks it is starving. Obese people have an excess of leptin, but it’s unavailable to the receptors and their hunger persists at a very high level. In other words, they have plenty of energy stored in their fat cells but they still are feeling extremely hungry and unsatisfied, and it is very difficult to have the willpower to fight the hunger.
What is Leptin Resistance?
As you gain more and more fat cells, your leptin levels continue to increase in the blood. Eventually, the brain becomes numb and non-responsive to the signal and starts to tune out the leptin. As the brain starts to tune out the leptin signal, it starts to think you are in a state of starvation. As a result, your brain slows down your metabolism and increases your appetite to try and compensate. Instead of burning the extra food you just ate, your body stores it all as fat and increases your appetite in the process. This leads to a vicious cycle of more weight gain and higher leptin levels.
The two main ways you get leptin resistance is weight gain in a short period of time, or consistent yo-yo dieting. As you yo-yo diet, your body is being told it is going to get a restricted amount of calories, and it subsequently slows down its metabolism which leads to high levels of leptin.
Signs of Leptin Resistance
Do you watch other people eat food, not exercise, and wonder how they can do that without gaining weight while you feel like if you smell food you will pack on the pounds? You probably have Leptin Resistance. Do any of these symptoms sound familiar?
- Inability to lose weight no matter what you do
- Constant weight gain
- Constant food cravings, even after eating plenty of food
- Constant fatigue and feeling “sluggish”
- Worsening symptoms of hypothyroidism
How to Diagnose Leptin Resistance
I don’t believe you need a diagnosis, as the symptoms above are indicative of the problem. However, if you want to confirm the diagnosis, you need a lab test to check your serum leptin level. Your serum leptin should be less than 12, and if it is higher,you have leptin resistance.
Also, you should check your uric acid levels, as they tell you how well your body is metabolizing fructose. If your uric acid levels are greater than 5, then you are consuming too much fructose for your body. Fructose combined with a high fat diet can make leptin resistance and weight gain worse.
Testing for ReverseT3 is also helpful. As leptin increases and your metabolism slows, your Reverse T3 level will increase. If Reverse T3 is higher than 15, that indicates that there is a problem with thyroid conversion. As Leptin levels increase and your brain slows down your metabolism, your body will start to convert Free T4 into Reverse T3. Reverse T3 is an antithyroid metabolite, which means it completes with the active thyroid hormone at the cellular level.
A typical pattern for someone with Leptin Resistance on their thyroid panel includes:
- Low Free T4
- Mid-high Free T3
- High Reverse T3
- Low-normal TSH
How to Reverse Leptin Resistance
Yes, it is possible to reverse both Leptin Resistance and Thyroid Resistance! Here’s how:
Support Your Thyroid
- Acceleradine Iodine®: In reference to T4 and T3, the numbers indicate 4 and 3 molecules of iodine. If the thyroid doesn’t have sufficient iodine, the thyroid hormones will be low and lead to a slow metabolism. Furthermore, this is the only iodine supplement that is monoatomic with zero toxicity unlike most iodine supplements that can lead to further toxicity in the body. Acceleradine® is programmed with Scalar frequency to detox the thyroid, and all cells, from the toxins that inhibit proper function.
- Accelerated Thyroid®: This comprehensive thyroid supplement not only reverses hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s, but improves overall endocrine function. It will help improve metabolism, thyroid health, energy, cognition, and more.
- Accelerated Scalar Copper™: Copper plays an important role in ensuring that the thyroid gland functions properly. It works with other trace minerals like selenium and zinc that are needed to balance thyroid activity. When the thyroid gland does not work properly, the production of hormones may cause unwarranted effects on the overall body’s metabolic processes as well as heart and digestive function, muscle control, brain development, and bone maintenance. Copper and zinc work in conjunction with each other; these two elements should be balanced for everything to function properly. It may be essential, but just like all other vitamins and minerals, copper should be taken in moderation.
Detox with the Accelerated Ascent Diet Cleanse
The supplements combined in this cleanse work synergistically to lower Insulin Resistance, Leptin Resistance and Thyroid Resistance. Additionally they detox toxins including heavy metals and radiation, produces apoptosis (the death of diseased cells), burns fat, corrects irregularity, and boosts physical and mental energy – all without typical “detox flu” symptoms. Learn more about the Accelerated Ascent Diet Cleanse here.
High Intensity Interval Training
This sensitizes the body to leptin and to insulin better than other ways of exercising. It boosts growth hormone and testosterone, which both improve fat burning, anti-aging and metabolism.
Get More (Quality) Sleep
I recommend 8 hours of sleep. Without enough sleep, ghrelin, which is your hunger hormone, increases, and leptin resistance increases. Read my post on ways to improve the quality of your sleep.
Avoid Processed Foods, Vegetable Oils, Fructose and Carbs
These foods increase inflammation and high levels of inflammation, make thyroid function worse and increase Leptin Resistance.
Sara Banta is a Stanford University Graduate with a Degree in Economics and Psychology, and a certified Natural Supplement Expert & Graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Sara is the Founder of Accelerated Health Products and host of the health & wellness podcast, Accelerated Health Radio.