Metabolic Syndrome, sometimes referred to as insulin resistance or Syndrome X, is a problem of increasing severity. It is estimated that 20% to 25% of Americans have some degree of insulin resistance or Metabolic Syndrome.
Metabolic Syndrome is a group of conditions that put you at risk for heart disease and/or diabetes!
The conditions associated with Metabolic Syndrome include:
- High blood pressure
- High blood sugar (elevated glucose)
- High levels of triglycerides, a type of fat in your blood
- Low levels of HDL, high density lipoprotein, the good cholesterol in your blood
- Too much fat around your waist (abdominal obesity)
Insulin is a hormone, made in the pancreas gland, involved in the metabolic processes that convert the food we eat into the fuel our bodies need to survive. Insulin's main functions are to regulate the amounts of blood sugar (glucose) that flows into the body's cells to create energy, and to communicate the need to refuel (that is, to eat or stop eating).
In patients who have Metabolic Syndrome, or insulin resistance, the cells start to "resist" the influence of insulin hormone, thereby reducing its effectiveness and causing it to build up in the blood, eventually resulting in this condition.
Insulin resistance is known to be genetically coded, but it also appears to be activated by behaviors.
Contributing factors that play significant roles in developing Metabolic Syndrome include:
• Excess weight • Sedentary life-styles • Poor diet
• Vitamin and mineral deficiencies • Hormone imbalance
The typical human diet has changed markedly since the Stone Age. A diet once rich in complex carbohydrates, fruits and nuts has been replaced by foods made from processed grains such as white wheat flour. Much of the fiber content of our ancestor's diet has been eliminated from the average American diet. Our diets contain more and more processed foods and foods high in sugar, especially high-fructose corn syrup.
Many organs and hormones are involved to keep the entire process of digestion and blood sugar regulation working smoothly. The thyroid gland produces thyroid hormones which play a key role in determining how fast or slow the digestive process occurs. People with a thyroid deficiency typically have a slower metabolism, high cholesterol levels and sluggish livers that struggle to handle excess glucose. Restoring healthy thyroid levels allows the liver to properly store and release glucose.
Cortisol, produced in the adrenal glands, reduces insulin's ability to carry glucose into the body's cells. Stress raises cortisol levels, triggering the release of stored sugar as part of the "fight or flight" response. Chronically high levels of cortisol contribute to insulin resistance and may explain why some insulin resistant people report unexplained feelings of alarm or anxiety.
Testosterone and Progesterone
Low testosterone and progesterone levels may also lead to insulin resistance in both men and women. One of the major causes of hyperinsulinemia (too much insulin) appears to be too little progesterone, especially in women. Low progesterone appears to cause an over-production of insulin, leading to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and an outpouring of adrenaline to restore the low sugar level.
Natural bioidentical hormone replacement reduces insulin and helps regulate blood sugar levels.
For both men and women, restoring and maintaining testosterone levels helps to maintain normal body muscle mass and restore insulin balance.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Metabolic Syndrome can be controlled, improved and cured with the right treatments. The first step is to make the right diagnosis. Treatments typically used at Wycoff Wellness include:
Improving your diet - This is the first step to improving insulin resistance. Eliminating highly processed foods and refined sugar is critical to improving insulin resistance. The timing and overall composition of meals can also affect blood sugar levels. Eating several small meals (instead of three large ones) reduces spikes of blood sugar, while eating some protein along with carbohydrates helps the body make better use of both. Avoiding caffeine, which triggers the liver to release sugar, and alcohol also are helpful.
FIRST LINE THERAPY
At the Wycoff Wellness Center, we offer a unique program called First Line Therapy. This is a "eating for life" program that involves a medical food shake/supplement along with a sound dietary eating plan.
Increasing your exercise - Moderate activity such as brisk walking for 30 minutes five days per week helps improve insulin resistance. Exercise helps you lose weight and promotes improved glucose utilization by your cells. Weight lifting and muscle building also helps to improve muscle mass and will improve your overall body composition.
Nutritional Supplements - Taking the correct nutritional supplements is important. Many key nutritional supplements may improve insulin resistance significantly.
Wycoff Wellness uses state of the art testing to determine the specific deficiencies that you may have and to make appropriate recommendations to improve any identified imbalances
Healthy Hormonal Balance - Even a slight hormone imbalance can have a significant effect on the complex chemical processes involved in metabolism. Specifically, the thyroid hormones, cortisol, progesterone and testosterone - in both men and women - all play major roles in keeping insulin and glucose levels in check.
Evidence suggests that restoring hormone balance - particularly with regard to the fat-storage hormones like estrogen - can be a key factor in losing excess weight and keeping weifght off!
The Wycoff Wellness Center employs appropriate, state of the art testing to determine hormonal balance and uses only bioidentical hormone replacement, when needed, to restore balance!
Call today to learn how Wycoff Wellness can help you achieve optimum health and wellness!