Metabolic syndrome is identified by insulin resistance, abdominal obesity, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia. The condition is very dangerous and due to rising rates in the population, considered a global pandemic. Research dictates that the increasing number of people who adopt a low-fiber and high-calorie diet coupled with a sedentary lifestyle has caused a rise in this condition.
Patients with this condition are five times more at risk of developing Diabetes. Data gathered shows that metabolic syndrome increases along with rates of obesity and Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes. The CDC has found that about 1/3rd of the total adults in the US have type 2 Diabetes. Data gathered by the CDC also shows that metabolic syndrome and prediabetes cases have increased threefold over the years.
Please note that diet and exercise are not the only factors that affect metabolic syndrome. Economics, stress levels, and someone’s health microbiota can all play a part in metabolic syndrome. Psychosocial stressors from shift work may help cause metabolic syndrome. The Whitehall 2 study that followed British civil service workers for 14 years has shown that chronic work-related stress had increased the chances of an employee developing the cardiometabolic syndrome.
People who are experiencing symptoms of depression, stress, tension, and are angry all contributed to developing Cardiometabolic Syndrome. There is a study that suggests that metabolic syndrome becoming epidemic is also affected by lifestyle transition, economic development, and dysbiosis of the subject’s gut microbiota.
Research has found that early intervention can help prevent the onset of metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome screening can be done by a physical exam for acanthosis nigricans and visceral adiposity. Lab tests can also be ordered for metabolic syndrome should more information be needed. A waist-to-hip ratio may also show an increase in risk for heart disease, diabetes, and other complications.
Dietary Interventions are also effective for preventive care or even controlling metabolic syndrome. Epidemiologic evidence has found compounds related to Glucose metabolism when eating diets with plenty of whole grains. Whole grains improve insulin secretion and resistance, which can help against metabolic syndrome. Eating a higher quality diet as found in DASH or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension can make you less insulin resistant, pro-thrombotic, pro-atherogenic, and adiposity may impact an individual’s risk of metabolic syndrome.
Proinflammatory HDL and Phagocyte-derived myeloperoxidase are both associated with metabolic syndrome and an increase in risk for cardiovascular disease. Adopting therapeutic lifestyle changes such as eating a Mediterranean diet and getting enough exercise may decrease an individual’s risk of developing metabolic syndrome.
Therapeutic lifestyle changes have been found to inhibit the MPO-mediated oxidative stress, which then improves the HDL function. Dynamic resistance exercises, aerobic exercises, and isometric exercises may lower blood pressure and improve the individual’s glycemic control.
Many other lifestyle changes can help individuals struggling with metabolic syndrome. By working with a trained Functional Medicine physician to examine each patient’s unique history, genetics, lifestyle, and physical exam findings, they can create an effective custom-made treatment plan for metabolic dysfunction.