How To Know If You Have Metabolic Syndrome, How To Know If You Are No Longer In The Metabolic Range
One of our subscribers to the Tip Of The Day had asked a question about Metabolic Syndrome, and in cases like this I simply farm out to the experts. In this case Dr. Laurie Rothman answered the call from her weight loss clinic in the Palm Beach area. We will be hearing more from her so feel free to forward questions to us and we can even arrange a phone or in person consultation for you. She has a very nice and warm manner and we are thrilled to be working with her.
The subscriber wanted to know how someone could tell if they were leaving the Metabolic Range. This is Laurie's response and overall explanation of the issue.
"Metabolic Syndrome - What is it and why should I care?
Metabolic syndrome is a combination of health risks that increase one's risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and dementia. It has also been known as Syndrome X, Insulin Resistant Syndrome and Dysmetabolic Syndrome. It is estimated that 1 in 5 Americans has metabolic syndrome.
The precise cause of Metabolic Syndrome is not known. It is related to abdominal obesity, elevated blood insulin levels and insulin resistance at the cellular level. It is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic factors and lifestyle choices, such as the types of foods you eat and how physically active you are. The amount of alcohol you consume and whether or not you smoke are also contributing factors.
In order to diagnose Metabolic Syndrome you must meet at least 3 out of the following 5 criteria:
1. A waistline of 35 or more inches in women or 40 or more inches in men.
2. Blood pressure of 135/85 or greater.
3. An elevated triglyceride level of 150mg/dl or higher.
4. An HDL cholesterol of less than 40mg/dl in men or less than 50mg/dl in women.
5. An elevated fasting blood glucose of greater than 100 mg/dl.
When you meet 3 or more of these criteria, you have metabolic syndrome. It means your risk of Type 2 Diabetes is increased by 9 times the normal risk and your risk of heart disease is 2-4x above normal. The more criteria you meet, the greater overall risk you have to your health.
Metabolic Syndrome develops when the normal mechanism for delivering glucose (sugar) to your body's cells stops working properly. Normally, when you eat, your digestive tract breaks down the food you eat into glucose. Your bloodstream absorbs and carries the glucose to all of your cells for energy. Insulin is needed to help the glucose enter the cells. In some people, more and more insulin is needed to help glucose get into the cells. This leads to insulin resistance and high blood sugar and high insulin levels.
High blood sugar and high insulin levels can cause increased appetite, weight gain, increases in blood pressure and have a bad effect on cholesterol levels.
The good news is that Metabolic Syndrome can be treated or even reversed.
The mainstay of treatment for Metabolic Syndrome is making lifestyle changes in your nutrition and physical activity. Increased exercise will improve blood pressure and cholesterol levels and insulin sensitivity, even if it does not result in significant weight loss. Increasing physical activity is important with the goal being trying to achieve a minimum of 30 minutes of aerobic activity 5 to 7 days a week. Set realistic exercise goals, write them down and then stick to them.
In terms of dietary changes, it has been shown that a diet that a Mediterranean type diet works well for Metabolic Syndrome. However, no single diet is currently recommended for patients with metabolic syndrome. Reducing calories, while ensuring adequate nutrition is the goal. Emphasis should be on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean protein. A minimum of 35 grams of fiber a day should be consumed. Dairy products should be fat free. Alcohol should be consumed in moderation - this means no more than 1 serving of alcohol a day for women and no more than 2 servings of alcohol a day for men. For those with elevated blood pressure, a low salt diet is important.
Your physician can make recommendations for medications to help you in certain cases when risk factors are not reduced adequately by lifestyle changes. LDL, HDL or Triglyceride levels may need to be treated. Metformin can help to treat insulin resistance and prevent the onset of Type 2 Diabetes. Low dose aspirin may be appropriate as a preventive measure in some patients. In addition, weight loss medications may sometimes be prescribed."
It is important to note that we strongly suggest that you find a great doctor. In this case, in order to test for some of these signs you need to have lab work done and you need to see your doctor. Maybe learning about this in greater detail will help you with your motivation and developing your "why".