Solving the Genetic Puzzle of Weight Loss

Genetics influence things like our eye color and hair color, but our genes can also influence how our bodies process and store energy (food), how sensitive we are to the types of foods we eat (such as proteins and fats), and how our bodies respond to different types of exercise.
At Spring we can use genetic testing specific to weight loss that helps us tailor a patient’s weight loss plan to meet their specific goals. We use testing that looks at 38 specific genes. Six of these genes help determine the body’s resistance to losing weight, which helps us create a more realistic plan to weight loss, whether that includes a stricter diet, more exercise, or longer duration program. One these genes helps us identify the body’s susceptibility to insulin-resistance. Insulin resistance is associated with diabetes, trouble losing weight, and sensitivity to high carb, low fiber diets. Certain botanicals and nutrients can be used to affect insulin sensitivity in addition to exercise and nutrition.

And then there is the question of exercise; how much and what type is best for each individual body? Genetic testing can identify 22 genes that relate to an individual’s response to cardio versus strength training exercise. Seven of these genes help determine if an individual is likely to do better on a high fat or high protein diet as part of a weight loss program.
Lastly, we learn about the MTHFR (or, Methyltetrahydrofolate reductase) gene, which determines how our bodies use folate, also known as Vitamin B9. Folate is important for clearing inflammatory markers like homocysteine, which can increase risk for cardiovascular disease. Folate is also important for building healthy DNA and supporting energy metabolism reactions in the body. Understanding how the body processes folate, and then supporting folate levels as indicated, can help reduce inflammation and improve metabolism, therefore supporting weight loss.

Genetic testing to support weight loss is an optional add on to our current weight loss and detoxification packages here at Spring. If you are curious about how genetic testing can apply to your own weight loss journey, please ask your ND! We will all be happy to help answer your questions and guide you on the path of genetic testing for weight loss support.

 Dragging through the days? Tired after a full night sleep?

By: Dr. Alisun Bonville — Just helping you out in your everyday journey 🙂

Let’s talk about adrenal fatigue. This is a true epidemic in our society due to the pressure to succeed in all categories of life and to look great while doing so! We work hard, play hard and spend more hours in our day working than we do relaxing and enjoying each other. Between the pressures of life and the food we have come to know as “healthy” it is no surprise that most of us are walking around exhausted and dependent on stimulants like coffee, sodas and sugar.

What is Adrenal Fatigue?

This is our bodies reaction to us asking too much of it. Each time we wake up and drink our morning cup of coffee, the adrenal glands kick in and produce the hormones known as corticosteroids. Cortisol levels typically are at their peak in the morning when we wake up and then taper off at night to help us begin our sleep cycle. Caffeine and sugar increases our cortisol levels. Once we begin our work day and our stress levels rise because of deadlines, a difficult boss, co worker or customer etc and more cortisol is produced to help the body manage these stressors. Now after a hard day of work, we hit the gym or the trails and we push our bodies to the max asking more from our adrenals. Or perhaps we lead a life of low stress that includes meditation, gentle exercise and pretty good diet, however we have an unknown food intolerance that causes bloating, joint pain, fatigue, brain fog and dis-ease. Or perhaps we have an injury or a accident that called for surgery….All of these incidents and lifestyles can lead to adrenal fatigue or worse exhaustion. Sounds hopeless? Not at all!

What are the symptoms?

Chronic fatigue, menstrual abnormalities, insomnia, hypoglycemia, hypothyroidism, depression, rapid aging, obesity, stress. Waking up after a full 8 or more hours of sleep and you’re still tired or not being able to fall asleep until the wee hours of the night are both symptoms that your adrenal glands are stressed.

How do I prevent this?

The good news is there’s a lot we can do to avoid this adrenal catastrophe! We can test for adrenal fatigue, hormonal imbalances and food intolerances to get a clear picture of what’s going on. We can work with a doctor and nutrition expert to guide us through diet and supplements to support our adrenal health. A two fold approach is necessary in maintaining adrenal health.


A clean diet void of food intolerances, fried and processed foods and low in sugar, caffeine, alcohol and gluten not only help your body run like a freshly lubed engine, but also gives your adrenals a break and allows them to produce enough hormones at the appropriate times, rather than all day long! If you can maintain a diet rich in plant nutrients, healthy fats & proteins and organic fruits and vegetables along with probiotic rich foods like fermented cabbage (think sauerkraut, kimchi) your gut will thank you with a balanced gut flora and strong immune system. When your gut is healthy and balanced, your adrenals don’t have to go in over drive. This diet will also reward you with a sharper, more relaxed mind and sustained energy rather than brain fog, sugar spikes and crazy energy.


Laugh more, dance more, love more, and do what you enjoy more! Managing your stress through meditation, practicing your spirituality, talk therapy, self care (massage, acupuncture, craniosacral work, yoga, time away) and moderate exercise is important not only for your sanity, heart and bones but also for your over worked adrenals. Take some time to listen to your favorite music and go for a walk or perhaps you play an instrument or used to dance and sing? Tap into the things you used to do before life got hectic! Unplug from your electronic devices and plug into your loved ones or nature.

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