What is Metabolic Syndrome?
Metabolic syndrome (aka syndrome X) is a common conditions that increases a person’s risk of heart disease, stoke, and type 2 diabetes. The underlying cause of metabolic syndrome is insulin resistance. Insulin, a hormone produce by the pancreas, is responsible for bring glucose (sugar) into the cells. After a meal, our blood sugar levels rise and insulin is released from the pancreas to help transport glucose from the blood into our muscles and other tissues. With insulin resistance, our cells don’t respond to the normal amount of insulin being produced and blood glucose levels stay elevated. Our body will try to compensate by working harder to produce more insulin.
How is Metabolic Syndrome Diagnosed?
Based on the guidelines set out by the American Heart Association (AHA), metabolic syndrome is diagnosed when a person has three or more of the following traits:
Abdominal obesity, which is defined as a waist circumference that is 40”+ in men and 35”+ in women
A serum triglyceride of 150 mg/dl or higher
HDL cholesterol of 40 mg/dl or lower in men and 50 mg/dl in women
Blood pressure of 130/85 or higher
Fasting blood glucose of 100 mg/dl
What are Risk Factors?
A family history of heart disease and type 2 diabetes increases the risk of metabolic syndrome. Furthermore, one of the biggest risk factors includes obesity, which increases the risk of insulin resistance. Other risk factors include smoking, poor diet, and lack of exercise.
How can Naturopathic Medicine Help?
Naturopathic medicine can be very helpful in treating metabolic syndrome. A naturopathic doctor may run additional tests to identify your fasting insulin resistance. This is an important test to assess early stages of blood sugar dysregulation. Typically, diet, supplements and lifestyle interventions will be used to treat metabolic syndrome. Book your appointment today with Dr. Lukasko to get your blood sugar and hormones under control!