Syndrome X - Living with a Disease with No Name
Syndrome X is also known as Metabolic Syndrome. This life threatening disease is estimated to impact 25% of the population. Frequently undiagnosed, it is treatable if addressed early on.
Syndrome X is a cluster of metabolic disorders which substantially increase the risk for cardiovascular disease and premature death. These disorders include: insulin resistance, high blood pressure, low HDL and high LDL cholesterol levels, high triglyceride levels, and obesity. Associated diseases and signs are: obesity, elevated uric acid levels, systematic inflammation, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, polycystic ovarian syndrome, dark patches on skin, and problems processing iron.
Increased physical activity and weight loss are the two best tools for preventing metabolic syndrome. Unfortunately, this only works for some of the population.
Once you have Syndrome X, your first step should be to increase your physical activity by walking thirty minutes a day. Your second step should be to decrease caloric intake. However, you will probably require medication as well to address the cluster of disorders which make up Syndrome X.
Utilizing medication to treat the underlying cause of Syndrome X (insulin resistance) is controversial and not yet approved by the FDA. In my personal experience, treating insulin resistance via medication has been extremely effective. Other guidelines provided by my doctor included: eating within thirty minutes of waking up; eating smaller meals more frequently; never eating fat or carbs without protein; and daily exercise.
An additional step to treat Syndrome X is through a change in diet. Not diet as in weight loss, but diet as in NUTRITION. Utilizing whole foods to reduce bad cholesterol, lower blood sugar and reduce inflammation will result in a lessening of symptoms from the cluster of disorders. Foods which have been shown to reduce inflammation include Omega-3's, green tea, extra virgin olive oil, dark leafy greens, colorful fruits and vegetables, and flaxseed. Eating whole grains can reduce blood sugars. Tofu and soy milk help in reducing bad cholesterol as they are a vegetable product.
An improvement in diet by increasing fruit, vegetable and whole grain intake combined with increased physical exercise will do wonders to increase overall well-being. Insulin resistance may slow progress but don't get defeated. Each day of improved nutrition and increased exercise is one day closer to feeling like yourself again.