From a lifestyle medicine perspective metabolic imbalances that occur due to our fast and processed food world cause a great deal of the chronic diseases of our day. Let’s quickly review metabolic syndrome and remind practitioners in the physical/manual medicine world that if your patient has metabolic syndrome it does affect their joints and musculoskeletal system in a degenerative way and deters from overall healing. Do you check your patients for metabolic syndrome?
Metabolic syndrome was first known as Syndrome X and later as Insulin Resistance Syndrome, but now it is understood that it is caused by an imbalance or disturbance to ones overall metabolism. Metabolism is the chemical processes occurring within a living organism that are necessary for the maintenance of life. Most people who have been diagnosed with metabolic syndrome know it as pre-diabetes, but it is much more than that.
People who have metabolic syndrome have developed dysfunction in the chemical processes in their body that are necessary for the maintenance of their health and their life and are putting themselves at risk for many different diseases including diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, arthritis, heart disease and many types of cancer. What’s becoming more and more disturbing is the growing number of Americans who have metabolic syndrome! It is estimated that presently one in every five adult Americans has metabolic syndrome.
Those who have metabolic syndrome have three out of the following five criteria:
- Waist Circumference greater than 35 inches for women and greater than 40 inches for men.
- Triglycerides greater than 150
- HDL cholesterol less than 50 for women and less than 40 for men.
- Blood pressure greater than 130/85
- Fasting blood sugar greater than 100
So, why is this becoming such a concern? There is a direct link between ones weight or more precisely with ones percentage of body fat with the development of metabolic syndrome. The more glucose (sugar) one eats causes the body to have to put out more insulin to digest or metabolize that sugar and the excess gets stored as fat. Therefore, people become fatter and over time their body cannot keep up and they develop insulin resistance which means they have to put out more and more insulin to be able to metabolize the same amount of sugar.
Next blog will review the glycemic index.