STUBBORN BELLY FAT CONFUSION
WHAT WORKS BEST: Nonsurgical Treatments, Liposuction, Lifestyle changes… ?
Dr Nedic reports….
The public has never been more confused with what does and what does not work for belly fat removal. The reason for this is that on the internet there are many “successful” methods stated to cure belly fat which can be overwhelming and over-promising.
Hence, spring is here, and we are certainly determined to get this belly fat gone by Christmas time. What is the best treatment to achieve this?
Understanding the danger of abdominal fat:
To find the best way of getting the flat tummy, we need to go back to the science and research.
Abdominal fat is always a red flag and indicates that a person could have an underlying health issue. Visible belly fat (subcutaneous) is associated with visceral fat situated deep between the organs. If there is too much of it, you may be more likely to get insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, dementia, and certain cancers including breast and colon cancer.
What is more concerning is that even though an individual may have a “healthy” weight, is looking lean and only exhibits a small amount of belly fat, this person could still be carrying dangerous visceral fat underneath. “Several studies have shown that an excess of intra-abdominal fat increases the risk of CVD and type 2 diabetes even in the absence of obesity “.
The emphasis should be placed on WAIST TO HIP RATIOS as opposed to a total body weight or BMI in order to identify whether the individual fits into the above-mentioned group or not. The problem is that there are patients who don’t care whether or not there is an associated health risk, they only really want a flat tummy.
This visceral fat further perpetuates abdominal (visible) fat by creating inflammatory cytokines that often cause full body insulin resistance. Thus, the likelihood of losing tummy fat simply by dieting and exercising becomes very slim. At this point, patients would turn to nonsurgical fat removal procedures or liposuction because diet and exercise have failed to help.
An interesting study was done on patients who had done liposuction: “Liposuction did not significantly alter the insulin sensitivity of the muscles, liver, or adipose tissues; did not significantly alter plasma concentrations of inflammatory markers, cytokines, and adiponectin and did not significantly affect other risk factors for coronary heart disease. The risk of the cardio- metabolic syndrome remains the same regardless of subcutaneous fat removal as visceral fat remains intact.”
BELLY FAT-Why do we get it?
The best way to cure and overcome the problem is to find a reason as to why it started in the first place. However, today’s patients want instant results with less dedication which places an enormous amount of pressure on integrative physicians. Educating patients about the complexity of the situation is a prerequisite for a successful outcome. Reasons for getting abdominal fat:
- Excess energy intake which overwhelms metabolic pathways (high carbohydrate and trans-fatty acid diet, excessive alcohol and can drinks (fructose)and sedentary lifestyle
- Stress-nutritional, emotional, physical and chemical with altered cortisol levels
- Organic pollutants in the environment acting as endocrine disruptors
- Gut endotoxemia ( leaky gut, constipation, bacterial imbalance in the gut)
- Genetic predisposition
- Hormonal dis-balance (growth hormone, testosterone, estrogen, cortisol, and thyroid are all involved)
- Sleep deprivation (A 16-year study of almost 70,000 women found that those who slept five hours or less a night were 30% more likely to gain 30 or more pounds than those who slept 7 hours)
- Deficiencies (The Western diet is over cluttered with junk and processed foods. For example: the consumption of sugar causes Vitamin D, Magnesium and Chromium deficiencies that are involved in insulin resistance and visceral fat pathophysiology).
Now when we know that a person with abdominal fat is likely to have a health issue, and there is a clear reason for why this is happening, do we still think that treating abdominal fat externally will solve the problem permanently?
Nonsurgical fat removal and liposuction:
Non- surgical or minimally invasive body contouring treatments are designed to treat subcutaneous fat which is typically present as localized fat. However, these procedures, as well as liposuction, have no effect on visceral fat that keeps on “producing” subcutaneous fat.
Different modalities are used: from cryolipolysis, tripolar and controlled radiofrequency, cold laser and ultrasound, and results can vary from excellent to less successful. Although, subcutaneous fat is treated with a different success rate many patients remain happy even to have a temporary improvement The long lasting results obviously depend on the concomitant pathology described above. The nonsurgical fat reduction is the best method if you are already at your ideal weight, have good skin elasticity, and want to target smaller, stubborn fat spots. Liposuction according to the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery has more permanent results -although you do need to “eat” to your new shape or fat will reappear elsewhere on your body.
In both cases reason for developing belly fat still persist!
Nowadays we have Functional medicine tests to identify the stage of Insulin resistance, hormonal and toxicity problems, genetic predisposition, etc.; and they provide a more profound overview of a health problem as well as protocols to treat this issue permanently Nonsurgical fat removal and liposuction should be complementing procedures and not exclusive.
Refrences 1.Vague J. Sexual differentiation, a factor affecting the forms of obesity. Presse Méd. 1947;30:339-340 2. Després JP, Moorjani S, Lupien PJ, Tremblay A, Nadeau A, Bouchard C. Regional distribution of body fat, plasma lipoproteins, and cardiovascular disease. Arteriosclerosis. 1990;10:497-511 3. Boyko EJ, Fujimoto WY, Leonetti DL, Newell-Morris L. Visceral adiposity and risk of type 2 diabetes: a prospective study among Japanese Americans. Diabetes Care. 2000;23:465-471 4.Klein S, Fontana L, Young VL et al. Absence of an effete of liposuction on insulin action and risk factors for coronary heart disease. N Engl J Med 2004; 350(25): 2549–57|