WHAT IS METABOLIC SYNDROME?
According to the American Heart Association, “Metabolic Syndrome” is seen in 35% of American adults. Those with Metabolic Syndrome have up to three times the usual risk of developing significant cardiovascular disease, and up to a 5-fold risk of developing overt diabetes.” This was nine years ago, 2005. This syndrome is growing in epidemic rates. It is the number one cause of obesity and cardiovascular disease. It also plays a huge role in cancer, depression and osteoporosis.
Medical expenses in this country could be cut in half by successfully treating and curing this syndrome. The problem is in today’s medical community only the symptoms are treated not the cause. It is like pulling a weed and leaving the roots, the weed will grow back.
So what is this mysterious syndrome — which also goes by the scary-sounding name Syndrome X (also known as Insulin Resistance, Glucose Intolerance, Pre-diabetes, and Cardiovascular Dysmetabolic Syndrome)
Understanding Metabolic Syndrome
Metabolic Syndrome is not a disease in itself. Instead, it is diagnosed by a group of risk factors — high blood pressure, high blood sugar, unhealthy cholesterol levels and abdominal fat.
I believe this is too conservative. Waist size above 32 inches equals double the risk for diabetes, 40 inches is 12 times the risk. Ideal blood pressure is 110/70.
The following values indicate that you are at risk for insulin resistance and Metabolic Syndrome:
Fasting insulin >= 15 µU/mL
Triglycerides >= 130 mg/dL
Triglycerides: HDL ratio >= 3.0.
Blood glucose over 85 is not healthy and is damaging the body (glycation). Those with glucose above 85 mg/dL are at increased risk of heart attack. This was shown in a study of nearly 2,000 men where fasting blood glucose levels were measured over a 22-year period. The results showed that men with fasting glucose over 85 (mg/dL) had a 40% increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease. Recent trial results in more than 1,200 men followed for 11 years found that those with Metabolic Syndrome were up to 360% more likely to die from coronary heart disease.
Furthermore, advanced cardiovascular indicators such as lipoprotein (a), homocysteine, and C-reactive protein (an indicator of endothelial inflammatory response) should be part of the routine workup of anyone suspected of Metabolic Syndrome.
What Causes Metabolic Syndrome?
Metabolic Syndrome is caused by an unhealthy lifestyle; specifically overeating sugars and starches and not getting enough exercise. Stress, lack of sleep and hormone imbalance also plays a critical role. This leads to insulin resistance which leads to obesity and hormone imbalance the detail are in my book Metabolic Syndrome 2011.
Subtle signs of Metabolic Syndrome are: feeling sluggish, physically and mentally, especially after a meal. Gaining a pound here and a pound there-and having increasing difficulty losing them. Having blood pressure creep up year after year and finding that the blood cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood sugar levels are doing the same. These are all accepted signs of aging. They are also all of the symptoms of Metabolic Syndrome.
Metabolic Syndrome often results in high triglycerides, high cholesterol or high blood pressure, feeling lousy after meals, depression, rapid aging. Metabolic Syndrome sets the stage for catastrophic health problems, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, cancer, and other age-related diseases. It is an epidemic of massive proportion.
Metabolic Syndrome develops slowly over time, often over a course of ten years or more. It is the end results from years of eating the Standard American Diet (S.A.D.) a diet high in refined carbohydrates and excess calories such as sweets and starches excess proteins and large meals in general. This SAD diet triggers a rapid increase in blood sugar levels, and the body responds by raising levels of insulin. Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas. It helps the body utilize glucose (blood sugar) by binding with receptors on cells like a key would fit into a lock. Once the insulin has unlocked the door of the cell, the glucose passes from the blood into the cell. Inside the cell, glucose is either used for energy or stored for future use in the form of glycogen in liver or muscle cells. After glycogen stores are full glucose is stored as fat. Glycogen stores are emptied at night (fasting) and filled at break-fast.
Risk Factors for Metabolic Syndrome
According to the American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, there are five risk factors that make up Metabolic Syndrome.
1. Large Waist Size: For men: 40 inches or larger For women: 35 inches or larger
2. Cholesterol: High Triglycerides. Either 150 mg/dL or higher or using a cholesterol medicine
3. Cholesterol: Low Good Cholesterol (HDL) Either For men: Less than 40 mg/dL For women:
Less than 50 mg/dL or using a cholesterol medicine
4. High Blood Pressure Either Having blood pressure of 130/85 mm Hg or greater or using a high
blood pressure medicine
5. Blood Sugar: High Fasting Glucose Level 100 mg/dL or higher
To be diagnosed with Metabolic Syndrome, you would have at least three of these risk factors.
If you continue to eat carbohydrates or excess protein after the stores are full, the more your pancreas releases insulin to lower the excessive blood sugar by storing it as fat. High-glycemic index foods like sugar, sodas, flour, bread, white rice etc. create sharp spikes in insulin. While insulin levels rise and fall with each meal and is part of the normal metabolic process, chronic glucose overload causes chronic insulin overload. The cells of the body recognize that excessive sugar is toxic. To minimize the influx of sugar into the cells they down-regulate the response to insulin. This is insulin resistance. Now that some cells are not bringing sugar in blood sugar continues to rise. The pancreas responds by secreting more insulin. The last cells to become insulin resistant are the fat cells. The fat cells continue to build more and more fat particularly intra-abdominal fat.
Insulin levels continue to climb to many times their normal level
In advanced stages of insulin resistance 20% of those with Metabolic Syndrome will exhaust their pancreas and develop adult onset diabetes mellitus (also called Type II diabetes). The other 80% will continue in insulin resistance. High insulin causes a myriad of destructive damages to almost every tissue they touch.
Each tissue reacts to insulin differently. Some organs are highly sensitive to high insulin, while others are less sensitive. Insulin resistance is not the problem it is the reaction of the various tissues to chronic high insulin. An example is the kidney. The ability of insulin to stimulate sodium re-absorption by the kidney could be very normal but at the same time the muscles in that individual could be quite resistant to insulin action. The kidney is therefore an “innocent bystander” of the increased insulin secretion in this person due to the muscle insulin resistance.
Excessive insulin causes multiple system damage. Hyperinsulinemia, oxidation and glycation cause most chronic diseases of aging. It is the main cause of aging in virtually all life.
Metabolic syndrome is the main cause of cardiovascular disease, Type II diabetes, cancer, senility and premature aging
Glycosylation is a caramelization reaction like cooking sugar, cross-linking by AGEs involve a chemical reaction between sugar and protein molecules. Since our bodies are made of protein this affects every organ. Glycated proteins don’t function well. Some of the proteins will turnover (remanu-factured) some turnover slowly, like collagen and a protein that makes up nerve tissue. These proteins accumulate and the A.G.E.’s accumulate and they continue to damage. That includes the collagen that is in the structure of your arteries. Our macrophages clean up the damage in our bodies. The macrophages recognize the AGEs as garbage and try to clean them up. Every time they do this there are free radicals and inflammation produced. Inflammation creates havoc in our bodies, cardiovascular disease arthritis, cancer headaches just to name a few. The inevitable result is aging, disease and finally death.
Exercise: 150 minutes a week. This could be walking 25 minutes a day. My preference is resistance training 30 minutes two or three days a week with walking on alternate days. This exercise should get your heart rate up to 50% to 85% of your maximum heart rate (Your maximum heart rate in beats per minutes is based on how old you are — it’s 220 minus your age.)
No Carbs after 2 PM Diet.
No Wheat products at any time
This means no cookies, cakes, candy, biscuits, gravy, breads, pastas, crackers, chips and no white potatoes or corn
The following information comes from the book Wheat Belly by cardiologist William Davis, MD:
There are three major reasons that wheat products, not just gluten (along with sugar in all its forms) is a major contributor to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, dementia, depression and most other modern ills.
Starches and sugars kill more than twice as many people as infectious disease globally. This low fat high carb diet will cost our global economy $47 trillion over the next 20 years.
It is the hidden components of wheat that drive weight gain and disease. This is not the wheat your great-grandmother used to bake her bread. It is FrankenWheat — a scientifically engineered food product developed in the last 50 years.
How Wheat and Gluten — Trigger Weight Gain, Metabolic Syndrome, Diabetes and More
This new modern wheat may look like wheat, but it is different in three important ways that all drive obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, dementia and more.
1. It contains a Super Starch — amylopectin A that is super fattening.
2. It contains a form of Super Gluten that is super-inflammatory.
3. It contains forms of a Super Drug that is super-addictive and makes you crave and eat more.
When processed by your digestion, the proteins in wheat are converted into shorter proteins, “polypeptides,” called “exorphins.” They are like the endorphins you get from a runner’s high and bind to the opioid receptors in the brain, making you high, and addicted just like a heroin addict. These wheat polypeptides are absorbed into the bloodstream and get right across the blood brain barrier. They are called “gluteomorphins,” after “gluten” and “morphine.”
These super drugs can cause multiple problems, including schizophrenia and autism. But they also cause addictive eating behavior, including cravings and bingeing. No one binges on broccoli, but they binge on cookies or cake. Even more alarming is the fact that you can block these food cravings and addictive eating behaviors and reduce calorie intake by giving the same drug we use in the emergency room to block heroin or morphine in an overdose, called naloxone. Binge eaters ate nearly 30 percent less food when given this drug.
What to eat after 2 PM
• Non starchy vegetables: Any lettuce, including iceberg, romaine, Bibb, escarole, mache, raddichio, arugula, and endive. In addition to the lettuces, leafy herbs (such as dill, thyme, basil, oregano, and cilantro) and Bok choy, chives, cucumber, fennel (anise), parsley, celery, peppers (hot or sweet), radishes, daikon, sprouts, mushrooms, olives, and jicama, asparagus, cabbage, cauliflower, eggplant, kale, kohlrabi, tomatoes, onions, squashes okra, turnips, avocado, Brussels sprouts, leafy greens (mustard, turnip, beet, collards,) broccoli and artichokes.
• 4 to 6 ounces per meal of all meats, poultry, fish, shellfish, fowl, and eggs; up to 4 ounces (113 g) of hard or semi-soft cheese such as cheddar cheese; most salad vegetables; other low carbohydrate vegetables; and butter, olive oil and vegetable oils. Drinking eight glasses of water per day is a requirement.
• Dr. Bailey does limited personal training and health consultations.
• See Dr. Bailey’s latest book “Metabolic Syndrome 2011” at amazon.com