Metabolic & Heart Health

High Cholesterol, Blood Sugar, Hypertension and Weight Issues

Metabolic Health Conditions We Treat

  • Insulin Resistance
  • Fatigue
  • Slow Metabolism
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Weight Gain in Abdominal Region

What is Metabolic Syndrome?

Metabolic syndrome, also called insulin resistance syndrome, dysmetabolic syndrome, or Syndrome X is a group of factors that increase your risk of developing heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.

The body uses insulin to transport glucose into your cells for energy. Insulin resistance prevents the body from properly using insulin. Instead of transporting glucose in the cells where it can be used as energy, glucose remains in the bloodstream. The amount of glucose that your cells need for energy decreases causing your body to go into survival mode, which causes the body to store extra fat for energy. Additionally, your metabolism declines and you begin to experience low energy levels.

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Symptoms of Metabolic Syndrome

According to guidelines, if you have three or more of the below traits (including those you are using medication to control), then you may have metabolic syndrome-

  • Low HDL (“Good” Cholesterol) Levels – In women, HDL levels should be greater than 50 milligrams per deciliter, while in men, it should be greater than 40 milligrams per deciliter
  • High Triglycerides – High triglyceride levels above 150 milligrams per deciliter
  • High Fasting Glucose (Blood Sugar) Levels – Elevated fasting glucose levels above 100 milligrams per deciliter
  • High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) – Blood pressure higher than 130/85 millimeters of mercury
  • Large Waistline – Waistline larger than 35 inches for women or 40 inches for men

Approximately 35 percent of Americans have metabolic syndrome; with the numbers increasing with age. In fact, by the time a person reaches 60 years old or older, the risk of developing metabolic syndrome increases to 50 percent.

The metabolic syndrome symptoms listed above are highly linked to diet, lifestyle, inflammation, and environmental toxins and can be reversed in the vast majority of cases.

Health Complications Arising from Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic syndrome can lead to a number of health issues, including:

  • Arterial Damage or Blood Clots – Lining of your arteries can become damaged, increasing your risk of developing blood clots resulting in stroke or heart attack.
  • Kidney Dysfunction – Reduce your kidneys’ ability to remove sodium and salt from the body, increasing the risk of high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease.
  • Diabetes – Increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Uncontrolled type 2 diabetes can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and can damage your kidneys, nerves, and eyes.
  • Fatty Liver – Fatty liver occurs when the body stores excess fat in your liver. If left untreated, fatty liver can lead to inflammation of your liver (nonalcoholic steatohepatitis), cirrhosis of the liver (scarring), and eventually liver failure.
Metabolic Syndrome Risk

Risk Factors for Metabolic Syndrome

  • Central obesity, or excess fat around the middle and upper parts of the body
  • Insulin resistance, which makes it difficult for the body to use sugar appropriately
  • Age
  • Family history of metabolic syndrome
  • Not getting enough exercise
  • Women who have been diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

However, insulin resistance (high blood sugar) is one of the key underlying drivers of metabolic syndrome. Insulin resistance can cause weight gain, sugar cravings, and low energy as common symptoms and increases the risk for type 2 diabetes and a host of other serious health problems, including heart attacks, strokes, memory decline, and cancer.

Insulin Resistance

What is Insulin Resistance

Insulin is a hormone released by our pancreas in response to a high sugar or carbohydrate load which comes mostly from our diet but can also be produced by our body in response to stress and inflammation.

Insulin’s job is to take the sugar or glucose from our digested meal and transfer it into our cells where it can be burned for necessary fuel and energy utilization by our body. If you have insulin resistance, however, insulin cannot do its job effectively. This results in the sugar or glucose remaining in the bloodstream and not getting inside the cells adequately causing high BLOOD sugar and low CELLULAR sugar. Low cellular glucose results in low metabolism and low energy due to lack of cellular fuel.

Causes of Insulin Resistance

Several things can increase the risk of developing insulin resistance including-

  • Unhealthy Diet (high-calorie, high-carbohydrate or high-sugar diet)
  • Aging – Risk of insulin resistance increases with age
  • Menopause – Postmenopausal women have an increased risk of insulin resistance
  • Excess body weight – especially weight located in the abdominal region
  • Too much belly fat
  • Lack of exercise
  • Sleep Deprivation – Sleep allows the body to heal itself and to create the hormones it needs for optimal health
  • Chronic stress – Stress causes the body to go into survival mode, which can cause adrenal or cortisol imbalances
  • Hormone Imbalances – high testosterone and too high estrogen can contribute to insulin resistance
  • Nutrient Deficiencies such as zinc, chromium and manganese
  • Imbalanced Gut Microbiome – Studies have shown that an imbalance of the good and bad bacteria can influence weight and insulin resistance
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Steps to Reduce Risk of Metabolic Syndrome

Lifestyle changes make a significant difference with reversal of this condition.

  • Decrease alcohol consumption – No more than 1 drink per day for women and no more than 2 drinks per day for men.
  • Control Inflammation – Inflammatory foods like refined carbohydrates, sugars, processed junk foods can lead to inflammation. Food allergies and sensitivities can lead to inflammation. Incorporate anti-inflammatory foods like wild caught cold fish, avocados, nuts, seeds, olive oil, green leafy veggies, antioxidant fruits (berries), high quality protein
  • Regular exercise of at least 150 minutes per week, HIT with strength training can help with blood glucose levels. The important thing is to get moving and get your heart rate up. Combining high-intensity interval training (HIIT) with weight resistance can be especially effective in managing blood sugar and insulin levels.
  • Weight Loss – Maintaining a healthy BMI losing 10 percent of body weight can lower blood pressure, insulin resistance, and diabetes.
  • Stop smoking
  • Address Nutritional Deficiencies – vitamin D, chromium, magnesium, and alpha lipoic acid increases insulin sensitivity and reduce glucose levels
  • Manage Stress – Chronic stress elevates cortisol, which in turn elevates blood sugar and promotes the accumulation of belly fat. Yoga, meditation, breathing can help you “find your calm”.
  • Adequate Sleep – Get 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night
Metabolic Syndrome Treatment

Uncovering the Root Cause of Metabolic Syndrome

Discovery – During your initial consultation, our clinician will perform a comprehensive medical exam understanding your past and present medical conditions. Your family history along with lifestyle choices and diet will be evaluated.

Analysis – Finding the root cause of your metabolic syndrome is the first step towards optimal metabolic health. This could be caused by environmental toxins, hormone imbalances, gut dysbiosis, systemic inflammation, a poor diet, or unhealthy lifestyle choices. We may recommend diagnostic tests and labs to help determine the cause of insulin resistance.

Personalized Treatment Plan – Once we have gotten a well-rounded picture of your metabolic health, we will develop a personalized treatment plan to optimize your health. Recommendations may include dietary changes, nutritional supplements, stress relief techniques, exercise, and bioidentical hormone therapy.

Are you ready to begin your journey toward optimal metabolic health and reduce disease risk of heart disease and stroke?

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