Metabolic syndrome – It’s estimated that 25% of the world’s population has “Syndrome X.” Sounds like a spy code and sadly it can be as deadly if not dealt with. Syndrome X is the underlying factor for a whole host of common health problems we treat every day at our clinic.
In a nutshell, Metabolic syndrome “Syndrome X” is a cluster of simple abnormalities leading to hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, and glucose intolerance followed by reduced insulin sensitivity, further leading to hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, obesity, and T2 Diabetes.
What’s going on in Metabolic Syndrome?
Insulin resistance is a condition where your body produces insulin but doesn’t use it properly. Insulin (a hormone secreted by the pancreas) helps your body use glucose for energy.
When you’re healthy, your digestive system breaks your food down into glucose. This is absorbed into the bloodstream and travels throughout your body. As your blood glucose level rises after eating, the pancreas releases insulin to help your cells take in and use the glucose. This is a normal process and all settles pretty quickly until the next time.
But when someone is insulin resistant, the cells in their muscle, fat, and liver don’t respond like they should to insulin. They “lock the door” and won’t let the glucose in. As a result, their body needs MORE insulin to help glucose enter their cells. This increases stress on the pancreas which is trying to keep up with this increased demand for insulin, but eventually the pancreas fails. The excess glucose then builds up in your bloodstream, and you are on route to Type II diabetes.
The hidden dangers of Syndrome X (insulin resistance)
People with metabolic syndrome are at a greater risk for developing these medical problems as well:
* High blood pressure
* Elevated triglycerides
* Coronary artery disease
* Heart attack
How Metabolic Syndrome happens
Insulin resistance is largely due to eating a daily diet of refined carbohydrates (sugars, white flour, white rice, pasta, bread, cake, biscuits and all products made with them. There are thousands of them you would never realise). This over time takes its toll on your body.
Also important and needs more research is the role of genetics as well as a deficiency in Omega-3 essential fatty acids. We now know about eating too many refined carbohydrates, but do you know about Omega -3?
Omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) are found at every level of your body. They’re a major part of your cell membranes where they help control cell signalling, immune responses, inflammation and other metabolic functions. Including the production and release of insulin.
EPA and DHA are important building blocks of nearly every organ and organ system and play a crucial role in your health. Your body depends on having the appropriate balance of Omega-6 to Omega-3 fatty acids. Having an imbalance leads to inflammation, sickness and disease.
An estimated 6 out of 10 in western societies have far too much Omega-6. They are also seriously low in Omega-3. This is because our typical diet of convenient processed foods and lots of processed meat is heavy in Omega-6 fatty acids.
The studies prove it
Many studies have been performed that show when animals are fed a diet high in Omega-6 oils, they become insulin resistant and obese. But when the animals were given Omega-3 their metabolism became normal. Even when they continued to eat lots of Omega-6 fats.
Prevent metabolic syndrome – What you can do
To avoid being a Syndrome X statistic, it’s essential to ensure that you follow a suitable dietary intake for your health, take exercise, lose weight if required. Ensure where possible you are not elevating your blood sugars and creating insulin resistance.
It is important your body has essential Omega-3 fatty acids and consciously avoid foods high in omega 6. You may require several supplements initially. This will ensure you are nutritionally optimal to allow your body to heal itself. Picking the correct supplement to your needs is crucial to get right.
It can be a minefield and so if you have any concerns with: blood pressure, cholesterol and lipid levels, weight gain, excess weight around your abdomen, blood sugar control issues… we can help you so do get in touch.
121 Dietitian are the experts assisting you in turning the clock back on inflammatory health concerns. Nutritional programmes are completely created to suit you. They take into account your food likes and dislikes, your activity levels, your abilities to cook, if you have a family to include, if you travel with your job, your health parameters, your blood tests, body composition and much more….
The most worrying fact about metabolic syndrome:
Even if you don’t have any of the associated health issues as mentioned at present in your body, it can still be showing normal while you have problems starting 10-15 years in advance.
The body can store up problems and this is a certainty if you are eating incorrectly and slowly gaining weight. Don’t get to the stage where your body and bloods are showing ill health.
Unsure of how to change your eating habits, or need help optimising the foods you eat please do contact us. We would love to help you or your family and friends with any nutrition related queries big or small.
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