Dr James Schaller
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Leptin and Weight Problems:
Why Do Heavy People Never Get It Tested?

If you look at the labs done by the common internist, family doctor, pediatrician or even Bariatric weight physicians, you will be stunned to see they rarely check more than organ failure labs. They seem almost to be like the little boy who was afraid to look under the bed at night because he might see a monster -- and what would he do if he REALLY saw a monster!

At the VA, many years ago, an elderly internist told us to not bother getting some proposed labs, because, "What if they turn out positive? Then you have to find out why they are positive and you cannot discharge the patient."

The HMO/PPO trash medicine model that has taken over medicine, in this model where small minds tell experts if a medicine or a test is approved, less is always better. Do not look under the bed because the money monster is there and we do not want to make him mad. Now, of course, we need to appreciate that some lab tests are expensive. But lets also appreciate that chronic diseases that last decades are very expensive, and so is death in terms of lost economic contribution to the society -- now they even have me thinking of a dying person in terms of lost money -- sick.

Lets talk a little about leptin and why you should get it tested if you are even slightly overweight. Leptin comes from the Greek leptos, meaning "thin." It is a hormone that has many effects, e.g., weight and metabolism. Most leptin comes from fat cells. Some of the catcher's mitts of leptin, called "receptors," are in the hypothalamus which is a very important gland involved in your weight.

Tell Me Simply What Leptin Does

If you read all the studies, you will find that Leptin is a bit tricky, so let me just tell you what I see. All the heavy folks in my practice have excess leptin. All the thin folks have low leptin. Most researchers see the same thing. The heavier a person is the more leptin they have being made. So perhaps one sign we are doing something right is when your leptin is lowering into the lower end of normal?

The other issue is that sometimes leptin has receptors that are jammed up, perhaps with various biotoxins or due to inflammation. Then the body makes more and more to overcome the receptor trouble. The leptin may increase and become very high and disrupt normal hypothalamus function. The low leptin found in very skinny folks is proposed to cause the end of periods, as does the loss of fat estrogen. On the other hand, normal leptin causes normal LH and FSH from the hypothalamus, and promotes normal reproduction hormone function.

New Medicine New Concerns

One of my concerns is that my study of the most common missed illnesses in the USA, Lyme infection and indoor mold biotoxin exposure, do not follow the leptin material that I am reading. Specifically, we are told that leptin goes to the hypothalamus and makes the very important alpha MSH. I see many patient's that have failed smart "diet and exercise" treatments, so what is going on? I am regularly finding that their leptin is high and their alpha MSH is low. High leptin in most writings seem to say the aMSH should be very high with high leptin.

The point?

Could these smart and sincere doctors be missing something? In some cases, I think they are missing something massive.

First off, everyone agrees that aMSH causes weight loss with lower appetite, and many other benefits such as less acne, profound drops in inflammation and tans without skin cancer. However, in my cases of biotoxins I repeatedly see that high leptin is often associated with biotoxins. Bariatric weight research does not seem to have anything to say about biotoxins. I do not think they routinely look for them in anyone. But according to the US biotoxin pioneer, Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker, these common biotoxins ultimately lead to low aMSH, not high MSH. So it seems that biotoxins increase obesity through leptin resistance at the receptors, one finds excess leptin levels, and aMSH falls -- leading to obesity. Biotoxins or severe inflammation fit what I see -- high leptin goes with low aMSH, which increases obesity.

The moral of this short story is simple?

At your next blood testing, have your doctor test your leptin, alpha MSH and the genes involved in removing biotoxins to see if you can remove them. The last two tests must be done at Lab Corp and the codes are:

  1. Leptin (LabCorp test code 146712)
  2. Alpha MSH or Melanocyte Stimulating Hormone (LabCorp test code 010421)
  3. Biotoxin Processing Genes: HLA DRB, DBQ Disease Evaluation (LabCorp test code 012542)

This is not just boring lab work. Since obesity, which affects one in three Americans, increases diabetes risk over 2500%. It is also a major risk factor for heart attacks, prostate and other cancers, high blood pressure, stroke, sleep apnea, gallstones, and arthritis. In the United States, 50 million adults are obese so we are not talking a small issue. So I wish you sincere help on your journey to full health and long life.

To You Health and Happiness!

Dr. J



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