Metabolic syndrome which is also known as insulin resistance is among the most common metabolic disorders suffered by adult over the age of 40 and above today. Nowadays, some of the prominent health issues face by many patients in developed world includes high blood pressure, weight control and high cholesterol. You may not have any idea that these 3 diseases are related. They are members of metabolic disorder group known as “metabolic syndrome”. These types of diseases can lead to you developing heart and other diseases.
According to the recent statistics released by the Center for Disease Control; those between the age of 40 and 70 are between 3-6 times more prone to metabolic syndrome. Those suffering from metabolic syndrome are at more risk of getting cardiovascular disease compared to those who do not have this condition. This risk of heart disease also goes higher if the patient has diabetes. According to American Heart Association, over 50 million American adults are living with metabolic syndrome; unfortunately many of them don’t have an idea that they have this condition.
How Does Metabolic Syndrome Occur?
It is known that we consume more of processed foods in world of today due to our busy lifestyle; as such we are more likely to eat lot of carbohydrates in form of bread, sugar, potatoes and high fructose corn syrup which is too much for our body system. More than 68 million Americans consume over 180 lbs of sugar a year which lead to most of them have pre-diabetes or type-2 diabetes. Let’s explain how this correlate with metabolic syndrome.
The food we eat is processed by a hormone secreted by the body known as insulin. It helps in conversion of all the food we eat into glucose. Foods such as vegetables and proteins are slowly metabolized into glucose and help in keeping blood sugar stable. On the other hand, sugar and other form of carbohydrates quickly metabolize in the body and force blood sugar to quickly soar up and then fall lower than the level it was before. The drop in blood sugar leads to feeling of hunger.
As we become older, most of us become unable to effectively process sugar/carbohydrates like we use to do when we are younger. We secrete too much insulin as a response to these sugar and carbohydrate which leads to development of resistance to insulin…thereby less is being utilized for energy and more is stored in our body as belly fat. In addition to blood sugar going up when we eat bad carbs, our blood pressure and cholesterol levels also goes up. This triad is the components of this syndrome.
Symptoms of Metabolic Syndrome and Health Risks
Having metabolic syndrome put you at the danger of having heart diseases. It could also lead to other diseases. Health conditions such as kidney failure, non-alcoholic cirrhosis, sleep apnea, colon cancer, polycystic ovarian syndrome and dementia can all be traced in one way or another to this disorder.
Being overweight does not automatically imply that you have metabolic syndrome, however it look like overeating can trigger it. The following are some of the symptoms notice in people with metabolic syndrome:
- Elevated Triglycerides
- High LDL (bad) Cholesterol – usually about 40 mg lower in men and 50 in women
- Predominant Abdominal Obesity
- High blood Pressure
- Low HDL (good) Cholesterol
- Insulin Resistance
How Can I Avoid or Treat Metabolic Syndrome?
Like we said above, metabolic syndrome can lead to other health issues especially heart disease. Fortunately, this condition can be avoided as well as treated with the following methods:
Reduce Your Sugar Intake: Fructose, sugar and high fructose corn syrup are all contained in processed foods we eat every day. Try and limit the amount of sugar you consume daily to 25 grams.
Lose Weight: Excess weight in belly areas is among one of the factor that causes metabolic syndrome. Try and reduce your weight, in fact reducing your weight by 10% can help you to reverse this disorder.
Reduce Caffeine Intake: Too much of caffeine is not good; it makes you to crave sugar and secrete insulin.
Change Your Diet: A diet that has low-glycemic index will help you to avoid too much secretion of insulin and balance blood sugar levels. For your breakfast add olive and coconut oil and oatmeal. These foods help in boosting good cholesterol levels.
Quit Smoking: Smoking can lead to heart disease, fortunately this is preventable, and quitting smoking can help you avoid heart disease, stroke and other health related issues.
Exercise: 30 minutes or more of daily exercise like aerobic exercise or bikram yoga can help you to reduce insulin levels, burn fat, build muscle and raise metabolism in the body.
Metabolic syndrome is really a bad condition which can affect your heart. Suffering from heart disease is a very difficult situation to manage; thereby it is very important that you apply the tips given above to help you stay away from heart disease which can be caused by metabolic syndrome.