Metabolic Syndrome


Metabolic syndrome and its related illnesses and conditions have finally reached popularity in the medical field.  Currently, Metabolic Syndrome is noted as having a collection of disorders.  The World Health Organization defines metabolic syndrome by two main criteria. First, the patient must have two of either high blood pressure, high blood fat levels – dyslipidaemia, central obesity, low levels of protein in the urine and second the patient must have insulin resistance.

Those two words appear over and over “Insulin resistance” is a cause of many many conditions within the human body.  It’s such a play on words as Metabolic Syndrome was once referred to as Insulin resistance syndrome.  

We do not need to introduce the problems with obesity. It is well recorded, and a condition that is spreading through our community at an appalling rate.   Everyone has an opinion about obesity. Whether it is supportive or judgemental, we all have one.  Bodies that present with excess fat are the obvious reflection of metabolic syndrome and its many consequences. Many people are unaware that they have excess body fat, as our understanding of what healthy looks like has, changed dramatically since the 1980’s.  Any photo you have of the 70/80’s will mostly show you people who are slimmer on average than what is “normal” these days.  When I was at school there were no bigger kids in the classroom, we were generally skinny kids.  Playing and very active outside.  These days the challenge to move children away from devices is very real.

Insulin by its own rendition is a productive hormone that creates many effects in the body.  It does have its uses of course, but if we are considering metabolic syndrome as our first condition then insulin will play a major role in the creation of this condition. 

The question here is how do you know if you have insulin resistance?  I feel from my experience this is the first place to start. You will need a blood test categorically showing your fasting insulin levels and a GP will need to do this for you.  However, from a visual perspective, you will have 2 of the conditions that occur when you have Insulin Resistance.  High blood pressure, muffin top around your waist, if your belly jiggles when you brush your teeth then possibly you have insulin resistance.  If you are tired constantly, find it difficult to lose weight, have low energy are always looking for sugar.  Those are the things I would look for if I was trying to decide if I had Insulin Resistance.  It’s important though to seek out professional help to have your fasting insulin levels tested.  

Sugar is a driver of insulin.  When we consume sugar, in anything, white rice, brown rice, pasta, bread, starchy vegetables, anything that is in a package at the supermarket will have some degree of sugar in the ingredient list.  Packaged food also contains high amounts of vegetable oils, generally, which is another ingredient that we all need to be wary of and try to stay away from.

Metabolic syndrome, then, is a condition that occurs in your body when you have conditions like increased blood pressure, higher than optimal blood sugar, excess body fat around your waist and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels. These conditions increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.  

It is important to know that metabolic syndrome can occur up to 10 years before it is diagnosed. Struggling with things like the inability to lose weight, tiredness after exercise, tiredness generally, bloating, issues with emptying your bowels, constipation, IBS, skin disorders, snoring, belly fat and many other conditions. If you’re running on a treadmill, riding your bike and enjoying a muffin or a sugary treat afterwards, if you are carb-loading then you will have an increased risk of developing metabolic syndrome which can ultimately lead to Type 2 diabetes.  This is important to realise.

Looking for guidance on healthy living? Reach out.

Looking for some extra reading?

BIkman, B. (2020). Why we get sick. Dallas: BenBella Inc.