Functional MedicineNutritionWeight Loss

A Vicious Cycle:  The Trappings of Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic Syndrome Weight loss

I have made reversing Metabolic Syndrome a mission of my practice since 2004.  That was the year I turned 40.  I wasn’t happy about my weight and the way I looked.  At that time, my health was still remarkably good, but I couldn’t lose weight and the pounds just kept piling on.  I found myself (at age 40) 50 pounds overweight and at risk of becoming another statistic of Metabolic Syndrome.

The bad news:  despite all of the awareness campaigns, obesity, hyperglycemia and diabetes is still on the rise.  The Good News:  I now know how to treat and potentially reverse Metabolic Syndrome, so that you will not become another statistic.

Metabolic syndrome is a collection of symptoms including:

  • Waist circumference more than 40 inches in men and 35 in women
  • Elevated BMI (over weight or obesity)
  • Triglycerides above 150mg/dl
  • High Blood Pressure (over 130/85mmHG)
  • Fasting Blood glucose of 110mg/dl or higher
  • Elevated A1C (insulin resistance or diabetes)
  • Low HDL
  • Elevated LDL
  • Elevated Total Cholesterol
  • Low Vit D levels

When these metabolic markers get out of balance, it raises your risk for heart disease and diabetes.  But, I’m more interested in addressing the root of the imbalances than simply substituting your cholesterol medication for say garlic and your high blood pressure medication for Hawthorne.  The high cholesterol and high blood pressure, after all, are just symptoms of a body and a metabolic system under stress.  Metabolic Syndrome is not so much a disease, rather it’s a set of conditions that often lead to disease.  And, it’s a syndrome that really is stress driven:  excess stress, leads to excess cortisol, and excess cortisol leads to excess insulin and hypoglycemia.  Metabolic-SyndromeYour body then craves sweets and fats to stabilize blood sugar and give you extra energy during the times of stress, but an excess sedentary lifestyle allows for those extra calories to be stored as fat around your mid-section.  That fat around your middle is metabolically active, releasing and influencing hormone production and actually working to keep you and your belly FAT.

The American Lifestyle and diet are key culprits in the development of this syndrome.  Drinking coffee to wake up, and drinking alcohol or taking sleep aids to sleep are lifestyle practices very often associated with illness.  Certainly you may have a genetic predisposition to certain tendencies, but it is the epigenetic expression of the genes that bring about the illnesses – not the genes themselves.  Since lifestyle and behaviors are the biggest influencers on genetic expression, it is well within your control to correct the conditions that cause metabolic syndrome and disease.

I’d say about half of the patients I see have Metabolic Syndrome and it isn’t that difficult to identify:   Does your belly enter the room before you do?  Do you have a pot belly or a spare tire?  Do you have brain fog or fatigue?  Is it hard to focus?  Is it difficult to get to sleep or to wake up in the morning? Are you sleepy after a large meal?  Do you feel blue or are you depressed?  Is your belly bloated or do you feel very full even after a relatively small meal?

Metabolic Syndrome, left untreated, can lead to cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis, hypertension, and diabetes which are comorbidities.  Simply taking another pill (drug) for yet another symptom isn’t the answer and isn’t even close to working to help improve patients’ health and longevity.  In the same token, addressing a patient’s Metabolic Syndrome, it is much more involved that telling them to eat better and to take a few vitamins.  There is hard work involved in reversing this trend and preventing serious health conditions.  What you eat is as important as when you eat.  And, for those already entrenched in this syndrome, moderation isn’t necessarily part of the treatment plan.

metsyndBut, Metabolic Syndrome doesn’t occur over night.  The onset is slow and happens without much notice, so it’s important NOT to continually medicate these problems (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc.) as they occur…because the components of the syndrome reinforce one another and patients may well succumb to a downward spiral in health eventually.

If you need more encouragement to do something about your metabolic syndrome, chew on this:  “Metabolic Syndrome is connected in the literature to Alzheimer’s and Dementia and it causes blood sugar to be dysregulated.  When blood sugar is spiking all the time it causes dAGEs – an acronym for dietary advanced glycation end products – which are like bruising.  Metabolic Syndrome also often progresses to non-insulin-dependent (type 2 or adult onset diabetes) which of course creates circulatory problems, vascular destruction and peripheral neuropathies.”

Metabolic Syndrome is a metabolism problem.  Each hormone involved in metabolism works with all the others the way a complicated well-oiled machine with thousands of moving parts works.  If one hormone over or under produces, it knocks all the rest out of balance which will cause inflammation, which can throw off micronutrient balance in the gut and muscles leading to leaky gut.  This digestive disturbance can cause sugar balance issues and so on.  Only addressing one component doesn’t do a lot to correct metabolic syndrome and its effects.  You need a multi-pronged approach that can break the vicious cycle.

My approach to resolving Metabolic Syndrome:

  1. Reduce inflammation,
  2. Improve digestion and support whole body nutrition
  3. Reduce weight, especially central body fat or belly fat
  4. Restore Lipid Balance
  5. Address Hormonal imbalance
  6. Break destructive habits

My Metabolic Weight Loss Program (which utilizes a healthy diet and HCG) isn’t simply about losing weight.  It’s designed to identify and correct metabolic problems before they become disease processes.  It helps those who are already trying to treat diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular problems get some control over their body’s metabolic processes so that these diseases can be helped or even reversed.

If you are ready to get back your energy, lose the belly fat and regain normal metabolic function, call to schedule your consultation:  (239) 243-8735

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