What is Metabolic Syndrome and Why Should I Care?

Metabolic Syndrome is an encompassing term related to a group of ailments that often hit us in our later 40’s and into our 60’s after a lifetime of just that, life.  We work, we play, we raise families, we shuttle kids everywhere and grab dinner, anywhere!  We brag about all that we juggle and how great we are at multi-tasking.  We are so busy being busy we have no time to learn about the long-term effects.  Why would we care about long-term effects, we are young and we are proud we are invincible…..UNTIL you are no longer.  Metabolic Syndrome seems to come on all of a sudden, but actually has been brewing for many years, some say up to 10 years.  Our bodies are amazing at survival.  They will do whatever it takes to maintain homeostasis, until they don’t or can’t anymore.

Does any of the following sound familiar?

  • Your jeans are in the closet because you only wear “stretchy pants” now? Have you thought about stock in Spanx?
  • Your bags are packed, but not the ones for vacation…the ones under your eyes.
  • You need that glass of wine or pill to relax…Stress Management 101
  • Bloodwork showing elevation of Triglycerides, what’s that?
  • A1C at the bottom of the range of not OK :/
  • Is the C-Reactive Protein marker in your blood under 1, or closer to the high end of 10? You won’t know unless you test for it, as it’s known as Silent Inflammation and its gift is a heart related event.
  • Blood pressure creeping up a little year after year? The dam will break when under enough pressure.
  • Are you getting headaches from poor blood sugar regulation? You know, the one where you eat chocolate and it goes away, even if only for a little while.

Metabolic Syndrome is defined as 3 of any of the following:

  • Elevated triglyceride
  • Low HDL (that’s the good one, it should be high)
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Elevated glucose
  • Abdominal obesity

Your body is yelling at you to pay attention.  If you don’t, the above symptoms can and more often then you realize lead to:

  • Diabetes
  • Cardio-vascular disease
  • Strokes
  • Obesity (visceral fat)
  • High blood pressure

What frustrates me is that many of our conventional medicine doctors tell you that you are fine because your bloodwork, for the most part is “within range”.  But is anyone watching the progression from one blood test to another?  What did your bloodwork show 1 year ago, 2 years ago and so on?  Yes, pull out last year’s blood work and look at it.  YOU do it, don’t rely on your doctor.  In the current medical / insurance world we live in, doctors are limited in the amount of time they spend with patients.  They are trained to TREAT symptoms more than prevent.  This is not a slam or blaming of conventional medicine at all, but a fact. They were trained for treating ailments and are greatly respected by this writer!  They have worked hard for their knowledge and deserve and have my admiration.  I am actually writing this from the waiting room as my husband is having toe surgery, and I am comforted that they are taking great care of him.  However, you are the one responsible to pay attention to your symptoms. Oh, and be honest with your care providers.  If you don’t want to or are not comfortable in taking on that responsibility, find a holistic provider who can help you read the results and navigate your way to maintain or find health again.  It’s your body, you take the lead and don’t wait for someone to waive the white flag for you!  Become the protector of your greatest gift, your vessel of life.

I know, who wants to face the facts?  Who wants to give up French Toast Casserole with extra maple syrup?  Not me!  Who wants to hit the gym 3-4 days a week?  Not me!  Who wants to do the work to feel better?  Not me!

If not me, then who?

When we get sick enough, we are forced to face the facts.  We then must work from a place much deeper in depression or illness to get back to when we felt good.  We as humans wait for a sign that we must make a change and that sign can be heart attack for some, diabetes for another, maybe a stroke or two for the next guy. I am here to tell you don’t wait!  I know from 6 years of downward decline in my health, which includes 50# weight gain, uncontrolled anxiety leading to panic attacks, severe brain fog, sleepless nights and 9 months of chronic hives.

I was warned by my functional medicine doctor that I was approaching “A heart related event”, but it took me a few more years to make real change.  I thought I was superwoman….just drink more wine and while you are at it, take another Xanex, the stress will go away.  Expanding waistline, no problem…I can diet that away.  I have gone up and down in weight all my life, but WHAT is happening now?  What the hell is diet resistant fat and why won’t it go away?  Our bodies change with stress and poor blood sugar regulation and hormone imbalance that is amplified by our Standard American Diet (SAD). Like the Bonnie and Clyde of declining health.

News reports told us to graze all day, but we are not horses or cows, we are humans.  Our species needs periods throughout the day that our glucose is not going up and down and up and down along with an imbalance in our hormones.

A change must be made, and if our own government agencies on health won’t help us, you must do it yourself.  I do believe we will see a change in education of how to eat, the science is now catching up and they must make changes, hopefully soon.  The industrial revolution might have been a boom to our world, but the industrialization of food was our doom.  Our bodies are made to eat pure, real, wholesome foods.  100 years ago, our great grandparents opened their back door, and there was the refrigerator.  All their food came from out the back door.

Our bodies identify natural chemicals made up of specifically shaped molecules…not man-made ones.  They can’t use them, so they are processed through our liver and stored in our adipose (fat) tissue.  Sounds lovely doesn’t it.  We are a walking trash can!

Ok, time for my rant to end!!!

I may not be the thinnest nutritionist out there, but by golly, I do know how it feels and will not stop working toward maximizing my own health.  I am now prescription free from all mood and stress regulating drugs.  I have lost about half of the weight and am in the battle to lose the rest.   I rarely drink, and when I do, it’s because I want to not because I have to.  I am 11 years into the reversal process.  I am not perfect, but I am capable of learning and action.  Let’s get your health moving in the right direction OR better yet, stop it from going the wrong way.

I am proud to be an amazing human and thorough formal education starting in my mid 50’s I have learned to respect my body, listen to it and respond.  I do understand how you feel!

Join me for a 6-month journey to understand our bodies and the “why” and “how” to a BETTER YOU!.  Personalized coaching for YOUR condition and goals.  Mind Over Meals is a one of a kind program, newly created for 2020.  Click here for more information.

Let’s start navigating to where YOU want to go!