By: Kennedy Shelley
Your doc comes in checks your heart, your blood pressure and now your waist size?
He will if he’s doing his job right.
One of the leading killers in the US is metabolic syndrome. Basically, this is pre-diabetes (type 2). Some doctors suggest that when you have this, your body is laying down the groundwork for a heart attack.
Metabolic syndrome has five risk factors:
- increased blood pressure (greater than 130/85 mmHg)
- high blood sugar levels (fasting level higher than 125)
- excess fat around the waist (bigger than a 40” waist for men, and 35” for women)
- high triglyceride levels (150 or higher)
- low levels of good cholesterol, or HDL (less than 50)
Having three or more of these risk factors needs to be a big red flag that you need to make lifestyle changes. You might be able to take a pill to lower your blood pressure, but all the rest of these are controlled by lifestyle, particularly what you eat.
Metabolic syndrome happens when your body becomes insulin resistant.
Every time you eat sugar or carbohydrates your body dumps in insulin to regulate the amount of sugar that is going into the bloodstream.
It is vitally important because too much sugar in the blood will kill you. That’s why diabetics need to monitor their blood sugars so carefully.
Type 2 diabetics are people who have lost their ability to self-regulate their insulin. Metabolic syndrome is the sign that you are heading in that direction.
INSULIN AND FAT
Insulin is made in the pancreas and it is an important hormone to balance out our blood sugar levels.
And when you eat too many carbs and sugar, the body uses insulin to store these extra calories as fat for when you need it or glycogen stores in the muscle.
It stops the burning of your fat for energy at the same time.
So lower insulin means that you are not storing energy as fat and utilizing the fat you already have.
But when the system is damaged because of prolonged high levels of insulin your body becomes more resistant to insulin, which leads to the need for more and more. Therefore, the waist gets bigger.
And carbs attract more water into your system, which increases blood volume, leading to higher blood pressure.
And carbs increase triglycerides and lower the HDL or good cholesterol.
And then it leads to higher blood sugars.
Cut carbs and sugars. If you can, eliminate them from your diet entirely. Your body doesn’t need them to live. Protein only moderately increases insulin and fat barely causes insulin production.
If you do this, you take insulin from your body and will stop metabolic syndrome.
There are other effects that happen. You lower inflammation in your body, especially in your cardiovascular system which will probably lower your heart attack risk.
This is the only known treatment for lowering insulin levels.
If you continue to get more insulin resistant and become a type 2 diabetic, you doctor will have to prescribe insulin shots as the last-ditch way to moderate your blood sugar levels.
Unfortunately for most type 2 diabetics, this creates a vicious cycle where they need more and more of this expensive hormone to live.
So, a good doctor is going to bring a tape measure to see how big your waist is (not your pant size) to check and see if you have one of the five risk factors for metabolic syndrome.
(To learn more about metabolic syndrome, see this article in Freedom Health News.)