i suspect the various issues are interconnected. fortunately there appears to be plenty of research out there to help (listed below).
if you can fill up on healthy, anti-inflammatory, low-GI whole foods, i would think you`d start to see improvements across the board.
fyi if it helps any, certain nutritional supplements can help combat cravings, eg chromium and magnesium.
chromium (NOT the erin brokovitch kind)http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tnam ... oodsources
"Concentrated foods sources of chromium include onions, tomatoes, brewer's yeast, oysters, whole grains, bran cereals, and potatoes. Many people do not get enough chromium in their diet due to food processing methods that remove the naturally occuring chromium in commonly consumed foods."
magnesiumhttp://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tnam ... oodsources
"Excellent sources of magnesium include Swiss chard and spinach."
also fyi: research linking obesity and spinal degeneration, balance, memory, inflammation and immune dysfunction:
Disc degeneration of the lumbar spine in relation to overweighthttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15917859
"The study provides evidence that the BMI above 25 kg/m(2) increases the risk of lumbar disc degeneration. Overweight at young age seems to be particularly detrimental"
Balance Control and Balance Recovery in Obesityhttp://link.springer.com/article/10.100 ... 012-0018-7
"...increased body mass produces anteroposterior instability in both genders..."
Obesity is associated with memory deficits in young and middle-aged adults. http://ukpmc.ac.uk/abstract/MED/1680173 ... HtYASYMS.0
"obese individuals had poorer memory performance when comparing persons across the adult lifespan (age 21-82 yr), but also when examining only younger and middle-aged adults (age 21-50 yr). Regression analyses found no evidence of an interaction between BMI and age on any memory variable, suggesting the relationship between BMI and memory does not vary with age. These findings provide further support for an independent relationship between obesity and reduced memory performance and suggest these effects are not limited to older adults."
Unraveling the multiple roles of leptin in inflammation and autoimmunity
"Initially described as an antiobesity hormone, leptin has subsequently been shown also to influence hematopoiesis, thermogenesis, reproduction, angiogenesis, and immune homeostasis. Leptin links nutritional status and proinflammatory T helper 1 immune responses, and the decrease in leptin plasma concentration during food deprivation leads to impaired immune function
. This review focuses on the multiple roles of leptin in chronic inflammation and autoimmunity and suggests new possible therapeutic implications for leptin modulators."
Obesity and susceptibility to autoimmune diseases
"the molecular basis for the association between obesity and low-degree chronic inflammation is still unknown. More recently, the discovery of leptin, one of the most abundant adipocyte-derived hormones, has suggested that nutritional status, through leptin secretion, can control immune self-tolerance modulating Treg suppressive function and responsiveness. Furthermore, recent experimental evidence has shown the presence of an abundant adipose tissue-resident Treg population responsible for the control of metabolic parameters and glucose homeostasis. Better knowledge of the intricate network of interactions among leptin-related energy regulation, Treg activities and obesity could lead to valuable strategies for therapeutic intervention in obesity and obesity-associated insulin resistance."
my approach: no meds so far - just nutrient-dense anti-inflammatory whole foods, and supplements where needed
info: www.whfoods.com, www.nutritiondata.com