Metabolic Syndrome

Fat man standing hands on stomach

There are 5 metabolic risk factors for diagnosing metabolic syndrome. The more risk factors you have, the higher your risk for heart disease and diabetes.

According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), you must have at least three metabolic risk factors to be diagnosed with metabolic syndrome. The risk factors include:

  1. A Large Waistline (Excess Fat in the Stomach Area)
  2. A High Triglyceride Level (Type of Fat Found in the Blood)
  3. A Low HDL Cholesterol Level (Raises Risk for Heart Disease)
  4. High Blood Pressure (Leads to Plaque Buildup Around Heart)
  5. High Fasting Blood Sugar (It May be a Sign of Diabetes)

Metabolic Syndrome Defined

Metabolic syndrome is the name for a group of risk factors that raises your risk for heart disease and other health problems, such as diabetes and stroke.  

If you have three or more of these risk factors, your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and stroke increases.

Causes of Metabolic Syndrome

Patients who are overweight and obese are most susceptible to developing metabolic syndrome. In fact, the rise in obesity, poor quality diets, and low physical activity are major contributing factors.  

Insulin resistance is also a contributing factor. Insulin resistance is a condition in which the body can’t use its insulin properly, and as a result, can lead to high blood sugar levels. Consistent high blood sugar levels can also lead to being overweight and obese.

Treating Patients with Metabolic Syndrome

Quite often conventional medicine practitioners will recommend the following to treat patients with metabolic syndrome:

  1. Get some exercise. 
  2. Eat a healthy diet. 
  3. Lose some weight
  4. Quit Smoking (if you smoke)

All these things can help improve your cholesterol, insulin resistance, and blood pressure, alleviating a lot of the risk factors associated with metabolic syndrome; however, patients do not often stick with their diet regimen and subsequently regain the weight.

Why do people regain weight?

Within the diet industry, many websites reference the statement that 95 percent of diets fail and people gain the weight back within 1-5 years.  Although the apparent origin of this statement is unknown, there is some truth to it.

According to a 2011 study in the New England Journal of Medicine, the researchers’ aim was to examine the nature and duration of the physiological changes that occur as a result of diet-induced weight loss. They found that the post-diet body undergoes a host of changes designed to ensure that weight loss is regained. Specifically, the metabolic rate drops allowing the post-diet body to do more with fewer calories, and a myriad of hormonal signals shift in ways that boost appetite. These changes endure for a year after weight loss and contribute to further weight gain.  This high rate of relapse was based on a strong physiological basis and not because the study participants had reverted back to their old eating habits.

This is quite discouraging information, especially for patients trying to get healthy and decrease their risk factors associated with metabolic syndrome.

Is permanent weight loss possible?

At BodyPro Wellness Center, we feel that permanent weight loss is possible through a personalized wellness intervention that emphasizes diet and exercise, as well as lifestyle changes (e.g., smoking cessation).  

According to a 2010 study published in Preventing Chronic Disease, the researchers investigated the effect of a short-term, multifaceted wellness program on weight, metabolic syndrome, and self-reported wellness. They found that this multifaceted approach to wellness, incorporating nutrition education and exercise in a supportive, faith-based environment, can promote healthy lifestyle changes in overweight and obese adults, and a reduction in the conditions that define metabolic syndrome

As part of our personalized wellness program, we will work with you in understanding your physiology, so that:

  • We understand how your body functions.
  • We discover the triggers that cause your weight gain.
  • We help you to eradicate what ails you.
  • We help you become healthy.
  • We get your metabolism working like it should be, converting fats to fuels and using fuels more efficiently to burn fat.

Healthy bodies burn fat.

Ultimately, though, our primary goal is to make you well, so that you may reduce any risk factors you may have associated with metabolic syndrome.