You could have metabolic syndrome symptoms and not realize it.
In fact, the condition itself has only been identified (and thoroughly researched) in the past decade. Metabolic syndrome is also referred to as insulin resistance syndrome. It’s defined as a group of specific health factors that substantially raise your personal risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.
With simple (but effective) changes to your nutrition and lifestyle, you can slow and even stop the progression of metabolic syndrome. There is even the possibility of reversing the damage already done at the cellular level.
Remember, it wasn’t very long ago that scientists around the world believed that new brain cells could not be created by the body.
That’s right, the commonly accepted theory was that a human was born with a certain number of brain cells and if you lost them, that was it! You could never get them back! We now know the human brain can and does create new cells to replace old or damaged ones. Which cells and which regions are still hotly debated but there’s no doubt that new ones appear!
The same is likely true for every organ in your body (science can be slow but it just makes sense). Cells die by the millions daily and millions more are created – why would those new cells be limited to only certain areas like your skin or digestive system?
Back in 1988, researchers and doctors called what are now known to be metabolic syndrome symptoms as Syndrome X. It took another twenty years before those in the medical and scientific community agreed that the link between heart disease and diabetes was absolute.
What you must always remember is that it’s never too late to make positive changes that help your body do what it does best…keep you healthy and strong!
Top 8 Metabolic Syndrome Symptoms
- High blood pressure (hypertension – higher than 130/85)
- Obesity (particularly excess fat around the abdomen)
- Low levels of HDL “good” cholesterol (healthy fats)
- High levels of LDL “bad” cholesterol (unhealthy fats)
- Elevated triglycerides
- Raised blood sugar levels (insulin resistance)
- Increased C-reactive proteins (mediates system inflammation)
- Increased fibrinogen (protein responsible for proper blood clotting)
The presence of these preventable lifestyle problems raised patient odds of deadly disease. There was also the startling realization that the patients who presented with three or more of these symptoms were no longer just older people.
Young people and even children were showing signs of obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and overall poor health.
According to the American Heart Association, 47 million adults in the United States have metabolic syndrome. Statistics for children are hard to come by since they aren’t routinely tested for “adult” conditions such as bad cholesterol and too many c-reactive proteins!
Once Again – Diet is Center Stage
My warnings about the dangers of the Standard American Diet should be on loop at this point. The United States (and other nations who’ve started eating the same) has awful eating habits.
A great majority of U.S. men, women, and children eat so much over-processed garbage food that their bodies are starving nutritionally. To make matters worse, the chemicals, hydrogenated oils, and sugars (found in most mass-produced food) are essentially “strip-mining” your body of the good stuff it does have.
In a study published in FASEB Journal, researchers from The Netherlands found that even occasional junk food binges can have drastic long-term effects on your total health.
During the study, participants who exhibited symptoms of metabolic syndrome at the beginning had a far worse reaction to having one milkshake that was high in calories. Their existing risk factors showed immediate signs of worsening and their sugar metabolism, fat metabolism, and inflammation numbers were abnormal.
However, what surprised the researchers was that healthy participants who had no symptoms of metabolic syndrome at the start of the study also showed immediate (and drastic) changes to the exact same bodily processes. As if they too already had metabolic syndrome!
Lead author, Suzan Wopereis, Ph.D., explained, “Acute [short term] effects of diet are mostly small, but may have large consequences in the long run. Our novel approach allows detection of small but relevant effects, thereby contributing to the urgently needed switch from disease-care to health-care, aiming for a life-long optimal health and disease prevention.”
Gerald Weissmann, FASEB Journal Editor-in-Chief, added, “Eating junk food is one of those situations where our brains say yes and our bodies say no. Unfortunately for us, this report shows that we need to use our brains and listen to our bodies. Even one unhealthy snack has negative consequences that extend far beyond any pleasure it brings.”
When it comes to metabolic syndrome, prevention is best but stopping it in its tracks (if you already have it) is critical! There is no time to lose because every day you ignore (or worsen) this condition, your risk of other (far deadlier) disease goes up.
9 Steps To Prevent & Stop Metabolic Syndrome Right Now!
- Achieve (and maintain) a healthy body weight
- Work actively against central obesity (excess weight around the abdomen)
- Limit or eliminate refined sugars and carbs
- Drastically lower intake of grains (pasta, rice, and flours)
- Lower alcohol consumption
- Quit smoking and use of other tobacco goods
- Commit to at least 15 mins of low-impact exercise daily
- Remove all hydrogenated oils and products made from them from your diet
- Raise your daily consumption of fruits and vegetables
Whenever a patient looks at me with terror when I give them a list of healthy lifestyle changes they need to make to improve their health, I remind them of two things: 1) you didn’t get here overnight so you won’t reverse the problems overnight, and 2) start small and be consistent.
A good rule of thumb is to make one change and stick to it until you don’t have to think about it. Then work on the next task, and the next, and so on.
You must take an active role in your health. No matter how old (or young) you are or what your health is right now, you have to be the one at the wheel. You only get one life, one body.
It’s your responsibility to take care of it!
You can stop the symptoms of metabolic syndrome and possibly even reverse much or all of the damage done on the cellular level. By paying attention to this one condition (metabolic syndrome), you are protecting your body from a host of other dangerous diseases. Another positive “side effect” to taking this prevention list to heart and tackling your habits one by one!
To your health!