The Way Up Newsletter
NAMASTE & WELCOME TO THE WAY UP MONTHLY NEWSLETTER!
| We've seen many fad diets come & go. Some very popular ones
emphasized a high pasta, high carbohydrate intake. We have discovered excess
carbohydrates can ultimately be more problematic than excess fats.
This month we're going to focus on a relatively new syndrome only first described in 1988. It is new in description, but not in existence. Some believe it potentially affects a minimum of 25% of the US adult population. The name of this constellation of metabolic changes is SYNDROME X.
WHAT IS SYNDROME X?
I don't know why this condition was given such a vague mysterious sounding name. It consists of excess insulin production (hyperinsulinemia), followed by insulin resistance which leads to even more insulin production in a vicious cycle. Over the years this leads to multiple undesirable changes in our bodies.
When we eat too many of the wrong carbohydrates our blood sugar is temporarily raised. The pancreas responds by releasing more insulin to cope with this overload. As the body chronically deals with the overproduction of insulin, the cells become less & less responsive to it & the problem insidiously grows over time. The increased insulin production may many years precede the ultimate development of Syndrome X.
WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF EXCESS INSULIN?
The chief functions of normal insulin release are the regulation of carbohydrate & fat metabolism (especially the oxidation of glucose & fat), the stimulation of amino acid & sugar uptake by the cells, & the formation of glycogen (the main carbohydrate storage material in the liver) & mucupolysaccharides (combinations of simple carbohydrates). Insulin also promotes sodium retention.
Insulin helps the body to store fat so when there is excess insulin more fat is stored with consequent weight gain, especially around the middle. Then we have another vicious cycle because fat in the middle of the body causes free fatty acid levels to rise in the liver circulation, thus enhancing the liver's own production of glucose, which leads to even further insulin production & decreased extraction of insulin by the liver, hence further insulin resistance. There is also fat mal-metabolism leading to increased triglycerides & cholesterol.
With excesss insulin there is also inefficient glucose metabolism leading to glucose intolerance & sometimes ultimately to adult onset diabetes. Increased blood pressure may be a part of this syndrome. There is an increased risk for atherosclerosis & finally cardiovascular disease. The overdose of glucose & insulin accelerate the general aging process as well.
WHAT ARE THE RISK FACTORS?
Chronic stress puts you at risk because stress causes increased adrenal cortisol output which raises blood sugar & again leads to increased insulin. You are also at risk if several of the following circumstances apply to you: more than 10 pounds overweight, cholesterol over 240, triglycerides over 160, thirst or frequent urination, crave sugar or carbohydrates, no regular structured exercise, symptoms if don't eat on time, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, spaciness, irritability, blood pressure over 140/90, family history of obesity, increased blood pressure or diabetes.
Your dietary risk factors are more than: 6oz fruit juice daily, 3 beers weekly, 4 glasses of wine weekly, 1 pint of liquor weekly, 3 or more sweets weekly, meals emphasizing pasta, white rice, corn or potatoes more than 2 times weekly, breakfast bars, granola, ready to eat cereals more than 3 times weekly, potato chips, hot dogs, burgers, fries, pretzels, junk foods fried chicken, more than 2 times weekly. Well????
HOW DO YOU DIAGNOSE SYNDROME X?
This was mostly answered in the above section. An elevated fasting or 2 hour post eating insulin level would contribute to the diagnosis. The ideal fasting blood sugar is between 80-100. Anything over that would raise suspicion. Often those with Syndrome X also have a low serum DHEA Sulfate level.
HOW DO YOU TREAT / AVOID SYNDROME X?
The treatment is fourfold. Stress reduction, diet change, exercise, & supplementation.
Aerobic exercise & pumping iron improve insulin sensitivity, thereby decreasing output. Exercise also uses up excess glucose, thus lowering insulin levels.
Change to a higher protein, higher soy diet. Use non starchy vegetables. Minimize the following high glycemic food: white flour products of any kind such as tortillas breads, buns, bagles, white flour pastas, dry breakfast cereals, grain based snack food such as corn chips, honey & sugar, cookies, candies, desserts, corn, potatoes, bananas, dried fruits, soft drinks, alcohol, processed foods, white rice, popcorn, jams & jellies, soft drinks.
WHERE IS MORE INFORMATION ON SYNDROME X?
If this has whetted your appetite for more information on Syndrome X, I refer you to a very useful book to be released next month. The title? non other than SYNDROME X by Jack Challem, Burtin Berkson, M.D., & Melanie Diane Smith. It provides a more detailed explanation & guidance on diet shopping, recipes, & supplements. Another similiarly relevant book is The Schwarzbein Principle by Diana Schwarxbein M.D. & Nancy Deville.
WHAT SUPPLEMENTS CAN HELP?
A number of products help with insulin utilization & blood sugar regulation. I will list them in the order of preference I would use in my practice.
If you get so efficient
BE Here Now
Until next month
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