ASK THE DOCTOR
by Dr. Chad Larson
Metabolic Syndrome:
The Fast Growing Epidemic and What You Can Do To See if You Are at Risk
The central issue in Syndrome X or Metabolic Syndrome is insulin resistance or the inability of the body to properly metabolize sugar through insulin. In people with insulin resistance, insulin doesn't lower glucose as readily as in normal cases and increasing amounts are necessary to keep the level of glucose in check as insulin becomes less effective. This syndrome is related to excessive consumption of carbohydrates that rapidly metabolize to sugar and is connected to weight gain, elevated cholesterol and triglycerides, hypertension, diabetes, atherosclerosis, polycystic ovary disease, magnesium loss, acidic pH, decreased serum phosphorus and Candida.
Eventually the level of insulin is high enough in the bloodstream that it becomes a significant health issue itself. Vitamin, mineral and other nutritional deficiencies are also predisposing factors along with lack of exercise and poor food choices.
    Know Your Risk
Syndrome X, also called Metabolic Syndrome or Cardiometabolic Syndrome, was recently given defining parameters through an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association. It is defined in patients having at least 3 of the following parameters:
  • Waist measurement of 40 inches or greater in men and 35 inches or greater in women.
  • Serum triglycerides level higher than 150mg/dl.
  • Constant hunger
  • HDL cholesterol less than 40 mg/dl. In men and less than 50mg/dl in women.
  • Blood pressure of 135/85 mm Hg. or greater.
  • Fasting serum glucose of 110mg/dl or higher.

Reference: "Prevalence of the Metabolic Syndrome among US Adults: finding from the Third national Health and Nutrition Examination Survey." Ford ES, Giles WH, Dietz WH. JAMA 2002, Jan. 16; 287(3):356-9
This JAMA article estimates that nearly 25% of Americans (47 million) have Syndrome X. The rate in Latin Americans is about 33%. And most likely, another sizable group is hovering just under qualifying levels in one or more of the parameters that define this metabolic disorder. The survey reported in this article was completed from 1988-1994. Has the situation improved since?
  • 20% of American children are overweight.
  • 25% 4-10 years of age and
  • 21% of those 11-18 have early signs of Type 2 diabetes demonstrated through impaired glucose tolerance.
  • 25% 4-10 years of age and
  • 21% of those 11-18 have early signs of Type 2 diabetes demonstrated through impaired glucose tolerance.

Researchers found insulin resistance in the following percentage of patients:

  • 66% in subjects with impaired glucose tolerance,
  • 84% in those with noninsulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM),
  • 54% in participants with hypercholesterolemia (elevated cholesterol),
  • 84% in those with hypertriglyceridemia (elevated triglycerides),
  • 88% in subjects with low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels,
  • 63% in participants with hyperuricemia (elevated uric acid) and
  • 58% in those with hypertension.
Reference: Diabetes, October, 1998; 47:1643-1649.
According to USDA we now consume an average of 150 pounds/year of sugars! In 1900 it was about half that amount.
    Review
Syndrome X May Lead To:
  • Increased cholesterol, triglycerides and glucose.
  • Increased blood pressure, weight gain, type II diabetes, atherosclerosis, polycystic ovary disease, acidic pH, decreased phosphorus and magnesium.
  • lncrease in conversion of macrophages to foams cells.
  • Lowering of immune response.
  • Increased platelet adhesiveness.
Stressed Out? High cortisol (an adrenal gland hormone) levels contribute to:
  • Increased glucose levels.
  • Inhibits proper conversion of T-4 to T-3 (thyroid hormones).
  • Insulin Resistance.
  • Increased Reverse T-3.
pH (hydrogen concentration)
  • Refined carbohydrates metabolize to sugar and sugar is acidic (low pH).
  • Both coffee and sodas are acidic.
  • Sugared Cola drinks also contain 9 teaspoons of sugar per 12 once serving.
  • Most grains and meats are acidic.
  • Acid pH causes the calcium channels to remain open too long leading to increased Blood Pressure.
Your risk factors for this growing epidemic can easily be tested by a simple blood test, which we now offer at pureprescriptions.com. Your blood test will be comprehensively evaluated by one of our Doctors and will go over the results with you during the follow-up consultation.
    Further Reading
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