Know the symptoms and solutions to prevent Type II Diabetes.
Metabolic Syndrome, a.k.a Pre-Diabetes, has exploded into a worldwide epidemic, and even as these numbers skyrocket, many people are living with this degenerative condition unknowingly. Also called Syndrome X, Metabolic Syndrome dramatically increases risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke and other life-threatening conditions.
The biggest contributing factors include a diet high in fats, sugars and processed foods; lack of exercise; chronic stress; and long-term exposure to certain environmental toxins. In integrative medicine, the spring season provides an ideal time to address these risk factors. But since one in five people in North America are estimated to have Metabolic Syndrome, this area of health needs focus 365 days a year.
Most patients with Metabolic Syndrome will develop full-blown Type II Diabetes within a decade. Often, Metabolic Syndrome progresses undiagnosed because symptoms can be vague, develop slowly or are mistakenly attributed to less serious causes. By recognizing the earliest signs and strengthening your metabolic systems with targeted natural solutions, you can beat back Metabolic Syndrome and its sinister offspring, Type II Diabetes. If you are already battling metabolic health issues, the same natural solutions can help reverse even the most chronic conditions by balancing blood sugar, decreasing inflammation, increasing insulin sensitivity and assisting your body to utilize energy efficiently.
Signs of Metabolic Syndrome
Metabolic Syndrome is defined by a group of risk factors that also signal the development of Type II Diabetes. If you have three or more of these symptoms, you have a diagnosis of Metabolic Syndrome:
• Fasting blood glucose over 100 mg/dl
• Overweight, particularly excessive fat around the abdomen
• Low HDL (good) cholesterol, and high LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides
• Chronic inflammation
• A tendency toward excessive clotting, marked by high fibrinogen (a sticky fibrous coagulant in the blood)
• High blood pressure
• Insulin resistance
The most dominant symptomatic clues here are elevated blood glucose and insulin resistance. This means your body isn’t responding to insulin, and therefore, your cells are not able to utilize circulating blood glucose for energy. Cells become energy-starved and damaged as glucose accumulates in the bloodstream and wreaks havoc on tissues and organs.
Solutions for Metabolic Syndrome
De-Sweeten your Diet: Follow the Glycemic Index
The “glycemic index” is a scale that rates different foods according to the length of time they take to break down into sugar during digestion. The most important dietary modification you can make is the avoidance of any foods that will cause a rapid spike in glucose. At the top of this high-glycemic list are refined sugars, refined grains (white flour), white potatoes and most fruits/juices. Instead, emphasize low-glycemic foods, including high-fiber vegetables, lean protein, whole grains and legumes and most nuts. Low-glycemic foods sustain blood glucose over a longer period of time to support lasting energy and improved metabolism.
Exercise also plays a key role in preventing Metabolic Syndrome and maintaining overall health. Even just 15 minutes of walking every day will support lasting health. Stronger muscles and bones, increased insulin sensitivity, improved weight, lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, increased energy and reduced stress and anxiety are some of the benefits of exercise that will also help prevent and control metabolic health problems.
Engage in a Seasonal Spring Cleanse
Another powerful way to control metabolic health is to engage in a detoxifying cleanse. Studies show that long-term toxin exposure from the environment and other sources can contribute to the onset of Type II Diabetes and metabolic issues. A safe and effective cleanse can be a great starting point for addressing this risk. Gentle detoxification helps balance blood sugar, reduce toxic body burden and improve metabolism.
Maintain a cleansing diet of organic vegetables (especially leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and kale), whole grains and legumes, lean protein, along with plenty of water and herbal teas. Avoid stimulants and processed, sweetened or non-organic foods. Gentle detoxification provides numerous health benefits, including:
• Support for organs and systems of detoxification
• Lowered blood glucose
• Improved digestion
• Immune support
• Hormone balance
• Reduced toxic body burden including heavy metals
Supplements for Metabolic Health
Additional benefits provided by targeted natural ingredients will allow for a deeper and more thorough detoxification. Specific supplements can also offer vital metabolic health support. Heavy metal removal always plays a part in any comprehensive seasonal cleanse, as aluminum, lead, mercury and other toxic metals surround us on a daily basis. As an integrative medical doctor, I recommend a modified citrus pectin (MCP) and modified alginate formula, which will help to safely remove heavy metals from the body and provide additional health support. MCP is a highly-researched natural compound with numerous benefits, including heavy metal toxin removal, enhanced immunity, cellular health support, and more. Modified alginates help to detoxify the digestive tract and circulation, while supporting balanced blood sugar and preventing glucose spikes.
Another top recommendation for metabolic health is a comprehensive natural formula, which includes Traditional Chinese, and Ayervedic herbs such as gymnia leaf, cinnamon, holy basil, ginseng, medicinal mushrooms, alginates, nutrients such as L-taurine and Lipoic acid and others. This type of unique formula can:
• Improve the way your body metabolizes fat and glucose
• Reduce sugar cravings
• Stabilize blood glucose
• Decrease insulin sensitivity
• Provide critical anti-inflammatory and antioxidant support
These recommendations can be modified to create an individual metabolic health protocol that is most appropriate for you, depending on health, lifestyle, work, etc. If you experience any of the signs of Metabolic Syndrome, consult with an integrative health practitioner to help you design a program to reduce your risk of metabolic problems and set a foundation for optimal lifelong wellness and vitality.
For more information about maintaining long-term wellness and vitality, visit www.dreliaz.org.
• Estimates report that Metabolic Syndrome affects one in five people in North America and numbers are increasing
• Metabolic Syndrome leads to Type II Diabetes, heart disease and stroke
• Signs: Elevated fasting glucose, excessive weight around abdomen, elevated LDL and inflammation, high blood pressure and others
• Leading Risk Factors: Poor diet, lack of exercise and toxin exposure
• Solutions: Improve diet and lifestyle, engage in gentle detoxification and supplement with targeted herbs and nutrients