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Syndrome X

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"Syndrome X" or “Metabolic syndrome” is a group of conditions that puts a person at risk for diabetes and heart disease. With Syndrome X, the risk of developing heart disease jumps twenty fold.

Syndrome X

"Syndrome X" or “Metabolic syndrome” is a group of conditions that puts a person at risk for diabetes and heart disease. It comprises of -

Bullet Elevated blood pressure (Hypertension)
Bullet Elevated triglycerides
Bullet Low HDL (good) cholesterol levels
Bullet High LDL (bad) cholesterol levels
Bullet Significant “uncontrolled weight gain” (central / abdominal obesity)

Insulin resistance is the most probable cause of this condition. Insulin is a hormone the body produces to help turn sugar from food into energy for the body. With insulin resistance, too much sugar builds up in the blood, setting the stage for type 2 diabetes.

“Syndrome X” in a person sets in by the following pathways.

Path 1

Bullet Excess weight and inactivity release cytokines in the blood stream
Bullet This causes inflammation
Bullet Inflammation inhibits the action of insulin
Bullet Body is unable to use insulin effectively
Bullet The demand for insulin increases
Bullet Body powers the pancreas to produce more insulin
Bullet Larger amounts of insulin is shelled out to control sugar levels
Bullet Elevated levels of insulin lead to serious health problems
Bullet These problems constitute the very alarming stage called as “The Syndrome X” or “Metabolic Syndrome”
Bullet The pancreas are eventually exhausted
Bullet They fail to make enough insulin
Bullet Blood glucose rises to “pre-diabetic levels”
Bullet This subtle process takes 5 to 10 years
Bullet When the pancreas are unable to keep up with the demand for insulin, blood glucose rises to levels that warrant the diagnosis of diabetes.

Path 2

Bullet Increased frequent consumption of high glycemic index foods like white bread, white pasta, rice, potatoes
Bullet The blood sugars rise rapidly
Bullet This stimulates release of insulin
Bullet When the blood sugar drops, one feels hungry again very soon
Bullet There is an intake of another big meal or a snack and the entire process is again repeated
Bullet After a period of time, the body becomes less and less sensitive to insulin

Once insulin resistance sets in, the process of atherosclerosis accelerates. That is why it is critical to recognize syndrome X as soon as possible and encourage lifestyle changes that correct the condition. A patient may have syndrome X many years before the actual detection of diabetes. A healthier lifestyle makes all the difference. It can reverse the condition back to normal.

Through exercise and healthful eating, the release of the hormone glucagon takes place. Glucagon has an action opposite of that of insulin. It utilizes fat, lowers blood pressure, decreases triglycerides and LDL cholesterol, and raises HDL cholesterol.

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