Half of all adults in the United States have diabetes or pre-diabetes (metabolic syndrome). According to the World Health Organization, who has made diabetes the focus of this year’s World Health Day (April 7th, 2016), as of 2014, 422 million people are known to have diabetes worldwide, a four-fold increase in the last 25 years. W.H.O. projects that by 2030, diabetes will be the seventh leading cause of death in the world.
Some people believe type 2 diabetes (non-insulin dependent diabetes) only occurs in middle-aged or older people, this is not true. In fact, the incidence of type 2 diabetes is rapidly increasing in children.
With increasing consumption of sugary beverages, lack of exercise leading to alarming increases in the percentage of children and adults who are overweight, and poor food choices in general, the risk of developing type 2 diabetes is very real for many people.
You may have heard about “metabolic syndrome”, this is a pre-type 2 diabetic condition, where people are developing “insulin resistance”. This means that their bodies and specifically their cellular receptors are desensitizing to insulin, and the body has to produce more insulin to maintain blood sugar at acceptable levels. Unfortunately, insulin is very lipogenic (causes the accumulation of fat) and this can lead to increased risk of several chronic diseases. (Cancer, heart disease, dementia, and arthritis)
You are diagnosed with metabolic syndrome (pre-diabetes) if you have any 3 of the following symptoms:
- · High blood pressure 140/85 or higher
- · Central adiposity (increased belly fat) waist measurement greater than 40 for men or 35 for women
- · Low HDL (the good cholesterol) below 40 for men and below 50 for women
- · Blood sugar levels over 100 after fasting
- · Blood levels of triglycerides over 150
Metabolic syndrome is present in about 35 percent of adults over age 20 in the U.S. and increases to 50% for people over age 60. Increasing weight is the single biggest risk factor for developing metabolic syndrome.
How to avoid or treat metabolic syndrome:
1- Lose weight if you are over your ideal weight
2- Reduce sugar consumption
3- Exercise more
4- Consume more fiber in your diet
5- Speak to your physician or nutritionist about the supplements chromium and alpha-lipoic acid, which help to restore insulin sensitivity.
Fortunately, metabolic syndrome can be successfully avoided or reversed, but you have to be aware of it and then follow the advice in this article and of your physician.
To the Best of Health,
Curt Hendrix, M.S., C.C.N., C.N.S.
Chief Science Officer, Akeso Health Sciences
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