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October, 2010

Addressing Obesity with New Hormone-Centered Modalities

By Theresa Dale, PhD, CCN, NP

Current patients will refer new ones if you acknowledge their feelings related to their body, weight and health. Find out what they have done in the past to lose weight. Sometimes, patients can eat a 1,000-calorie daily diet, exercise and not lose an ounce. The causes are toxicity, elevated cortisol levels (watch blood sugar) and a dysfunctional HPA axis. All of this is tied into emotions.

Give your patients a wellness program, which should include diet, nutrition and a plan for success. Motivation is key for patients' overall success, therefore, a little time spend in education will go a long way. Most patients are fed up with their struggle to lose weight and will do what it takes to achieve success. Patients are tired of talking about a "diet only" program. They want a new, innovative approach and are open to being educated.

Adrenal Cortisol Levels

Cortisol is a hormone that is released when your body and mind perceive a threat. It's that fight-or-flight reaction. If you are under constant stress, the levels of cortisol in your body can start to build up causing weight gain and fatigue and can also be related to thyroid function. The thyroid and adrenal glands are on the same axis. This means that when the thyroid is presenting symptoms, check the adrenal glands and cortisol levels and visa versa. (I recommend testing with an advanced saliva test panel for all hormones, as it is definitely more accurate than blood testing. Contact me for more details).

A mild case of elevated cortisol levels may not even cause any noticeable symptoms. On the other hand, weight gain can be one symptom with both depressed and elevated cortisol levels. For this, a blood test is needed. Cushing's syndrome occurs when the body is exposed to highly elevated amounts of cortisol, usually over a long period of time.

Under normal circumstances your body produces more cortisol in the morning than in the evening, giving you the energy that you need to begin your day. In the evening your cortisol level should drop by approximately 90%. Elevated cortisol levels may indicate adrenal fatigue, high levels of stress, adrenal tumors, and Cushing's syndrome.

The HPA Feedback Loop

Discussing the HPA feedback loop and the function of the hypothalamus with your patients is essential due to the potential connection. The hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA pathway or feedback loop) may be dysfunctional, and this needs to be addressed as part of the weight loss program. The adrenals are key in weight loss since chronically elevated cortisol levels are connected to blood sugar. Discuss balancing the adrenal glands by eliminating, first and foremost, the foods that cause your patients to be exhausted and dehydrated. Examples would be caffeine, too much alcohol consumption, sugar, and the wrong carbs and fats.

Homeopathic medicine has the best success of fixing this HPA feedback loop by addressing the causes of dysfunction. Along with homeopathic formulas, diet and nutrition, detoxification of the filtering organs is essential. I generally don't recommend glandular medications due to toxicity and the fact that a glandular medicine is not going to fix the dysfunctional feedback loop. I do recommend homeopathic combination formulas and clean supplements in veggie capsules and/or herbs. Of course, testing the appropriate remedies on the patient with a reproducible method is always preferred.

hCG, Diet and Protocol

Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is produced in pregnancy and is made by the developing embryo soon after conception and later by the syncytiotrophoblast (part of the placenta). Human chorionic gonadotropin is a glycoprotein composed of 244 amino acids with a molecular mass of 36.7 kea. Its total dimensions are 75x35x30 angstroms (7.5x3.5x3 nanometers).

Human chorionic gonadotropin signals the hypothalamus (the area of the brain that affects metabolism) to mobilize fat stores. In pregnancy, this helps the body bring nutrients into the placenta, fueling the fetus with the energy to grow. Human chorionic gonadotropin interacts with the LHCG receptor and promotes maintenance of the corpus luteum during the beginning of pregnancy, causing it to secrete the hormone progesterone. This hormone then enriches the uterus with a thick lining of blood vessels and capillaries so that it can sustain the growing fetus. Due to its highly negative charge, hCG may repel the immune cells of the mother, protecting the fetus during the first trimester. It has also been hypothesized that hCG may be a placental link for the development of local maternal immuno-tolerance.

For example, hCG-treated endometrial cells induce an increase in T-cell apoptosis (cell death). These results suggest that hCG may be a link in the development of peritrophoblastic immuno-tolerance and may facilitate the trophoblast invasion, which is known to expedite fetal development in the endometrium. It has also been suggested that hCG levels are linked to the severity of morning sickness.

Because of its similarity to luteinizing hormone (LH), hCG can also be used clinically used to induce ovulation, as well as testosterone production in men. As the most abundant biological source is pregnant women, hCG is extracted from their urine for use in fertility treatment. Human chorionic gonadotropin is the only hormone in the glycoprotein family not produced by the anterior pituitary but by the placental trophoblast. Thus, detection of hCG is on the basis of pregnancy tests. It is very similar to LH and has essentially the same function. Human chorionic gonadotropin also plays a role in cellular differentiation/proliferation and may activate apoptosis (cell death). Like other gonadotropins, hCG can be extracted from urine or by genetic modification.

Human chorionic gonadotropin can be utilized four different ways: injectable, transdermal, nasal spray and oral homeopathic medicine. However, there are actually two types of hCG; pharmaceutical grade and homeopathic medicine. The only oral administration is in homeopathic form and it is the safest. The pharmaceutical grade, whether injection or nasal, may have side effects.1 This is exactly why you need to talk to your patient about oral homeopathic hCG, along with a specific low-calorie diet and other supplements. Homeopathic hCG should be used according to directions for best results, but has no side effects and is extremely effective if made in the correct potencies. Finally, hCG is not an FDA-approved treatment for obesity.


  1. Young RL, Fuchs RJ, Woltjen MJ. Chorionic gonadotropin in weight control. A double-blind crossover study. JAMA 1976 Nov 29;236(22):2495-7.

Dr. Theresa Dale has been in private practice since 1980 in the areas of homeopathy, naturopathy and nutrition. Her Web site may be found at

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