Metabolic Syndrome affects nearly one third of all adults putting them at a greater risk for heart attack, stroke and type 2 diabetes. Individuals with metabolic syndrome generally live a sedentary lifestyle and have poor dietary habits.
What Is Metabolic Syndrome?
If an individual has 3 of these 5 risk factors they have metabolic syndrome
High Blood Pressure: Systolic >130 and Diastolic > that 85
Excess Fat Around The Waist: Men with a waist of 40 inches and women 35 inches
High Blood Sugar: Fasting blood sugar > 100; HbA1c > 5.5
High Triglycerides: Triglycerides above 150mg/dl
Low high-density lipoprotein (HDL): Men <40mg/dl; women < 50mg/dl
Why Is It So Common?
There are several factors that can lead to Metabolic Syndrome. To begin with we need to address the Standard American Diet. This is very high in high fructose corn syrup, trans fats, hidden sugars, refined carbohydrates, gluten and refined vegetable oils.
We also have to address all the environmental toxins that we are exposed to. These include BPA from plastics, pesticides, phthalates and heavy metals.
It has also been argued that our food is much less nutrient dense coupled with the amount of processed foods we consume creating deficiencies in vitamins, minerals and fatty acids.
Chronic stress whether is emotional, physical or environmental can lead to increase in cortisol levels which in the long term can cause blood sugar abnormalities as well as it can affect the permeability of the gut.
Ultimately this makes us more fatigued leading to a lifestyle that is more sedentary but eventually can impact normal sleep patterns.
What Happens When Our Cells Become Resistant To Insulin?
The main job of insulin is to deliver sugar to our cells to produce energy. When insulin becomes elevated due to the dietary, environmental, physiological and psychological factors mentioned above the cells become resistant to insulin and glucose or the blood sugar elevates in our blood stream.
When insulin resistance occurs this will not only impair glucose metabolism and elevate blood sugar, which is extremely inflammatory to the body and brain but it will also affect blood pressure, cholesterol levels, triglycerides and obesity. It can even lead to hormonal issues, PCOS, and liver disease.