One Woman’s Story of Unexplained Weight Gain and What She Learned Was Actually Happening

deborah_alexanderIt started 4 years ago. Within a span of one year, Deborah gained about 30 pounds. She wasn’t pregnant and she hadn’t changed her diet or workout routine.

She had always had genetically elevated cholesterol, but it began to grow even higher along with her weight gain.

What made it even stranger was that Deborah was competing on a master’s rowing team, lifting weights with a trainer, swimming, and watching what she was eating. There was no visibly apparent reason that she should have been gaining weight.

Every year at her annual physical, her doctor ran standard blood tests and gave her the same advice: you need to work out more and eat less. He attributed her increasing cholesterol to the weight she’d gained, and assumed that poor diet and exercise were the culprits.

Deborah did all the research she could, but couldn’t pinpoint what was happening. She tried different diets, from raw food to Paleo, and while her weight finally plateaued, her cholesterol and blood pressure numbers continued to ratchet up each year. The basic blood tests that her doctor was running weren’t giving them the whole picture. There had to be something else going on.

Pushing to extremes

Deborah pressed on, working out and watching her diet obsessively to prevent another drastic weight gain.

In November of 2012, Deborah moved and changed doctors. Her new doctor performed another round of routine blood work and measured her blood pressure. The doctor was so alarmed by the results that Deborah was ordered to stop working out, certain that she was at risk of a heart attack. An EKG was ordered on the spot.

Fortunately, Deborah’s EKG results came back normal. But based on her lab values and her family’s history of early and fatal heart disease, the doctor encouraged her to start taking statins and blood pressure medications immediately.

How WellnessFX Helped

Deborah found out about WellnessFX’s comprehensive blood tests by reading one of Tim Ferriss’ books. Without wasting much time, she went to a local lab and had her results sent to WellnessFX. She then booked a consult with one of our most popular practitioners, Dr. Jeff Edman. Her results came back with some interesting information: Her usual high cholesterol numbers were no surprise, but she was surprised to see an elevated TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) level.

During her consult, she was able to ask Dr. Edman all the questions that her regular doctors hadn’t had time for. On top of that, she had the benefit of viewing her lab results along with Dr. Edman as they went through each panel.

Deborah voiced her concern about taking too many medications, especially statins. Dr. Edman recommended that she take specific supplements for her high cholesterol numbers. He recorded these directly in her WellnessFX account so she could access them anytime.

Dr. Edman ran additional thyroid tests that Deborah’s previous doctors hadn’t run. The results were off, so Dr. Edman prescribed thyroid medication to bring her levels back to normal.

The results

Access to more advanced blood testing and a clear record of her thyroid and cholesterol numbers allowed Deborah and Dr. Edman to detect trends and work to improve her data. Two months after Deborah started her thyroid medication, her TSH moved to the low risk range and she finally began to lose the weight she had gained.

A screenshot of the WellnessFX dashboard.

After the first few months of taking her recommended supplements, her cholesterol dropped considerably – to the lowest level she’d reached in her life. No medications necessary. “I implemented each recommendation in the order [Dr. Edman] recommended and saw the best results possible,” Deborah said. “I lost the excess weight I was carrying, cut my cholesterol numbers to healthy numbers and lowered my blood pressure within a few short months.  All of these things will help ensure that I am healthier, longer and I owe that to Dr. Jeff Edman.”

A screenshot of the WellnessFX dashboard.

A screenshot of the WellnessFX dashboard.

These days Deborah doesn’t worry about exercising and watching her diet obsessively. She’s lost all the weight she gained and enjoys her life more fully than she has in a long time. “It’s nice to not feel like I have to be constantly worried about my health.”

How WellnessFX Can Help

Interested in finding out more about your biochemistry, just like Deborah did? Check out any WellnessFX diagnostic package to get started today, whether you’re trying to lose weight, improve your fitness performance, or just deciding to take control of your overall health. Even our most basic package includes more tests than the routine checkup.

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The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice of any kind. Any information in these posts should not be acted upon without consideration of primary source material and professional input from one's own healthcare professionals.