What is Metabolic Syndrome?
Metabolic syndrome is characterized by a combination of interconnected metabolic irregularities that collectively elevate the risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. In this article, I will be going over how to reverse metabolic syndrome.
It is a combination of:
- High Blood Pressure
- High Cholesterol
- High Triglycerides
- High Blood Sugar
- Excess Abdominal Fat
The cause of metabolic syndrome is believed a sedentary lifestyle, obesity, and genetic factors. However, given the statistics on nutrient deficiencies, I believe that magnesium, vitamin D, and other mineral deficiencies may play a vital role in its development too.
How To Reverse Metabolic Syndrome
A low-carb diet reduces the amount of glucose your cells have to interact with, thus reducing the excessive need for insulin. By reducing the amount of time your cells are interacting with insulin, the cells can re-establish insulin sensitivity. This helps reduce blood sugar and the risk of Diabetes, weight gain, and the development of visceral fat. Studies have found that very low carb diets, such as the ketogenic diet, can actually put diabetes into remission (see study) as well as reduce the amount of visceral fat (see study) along with overall weight loss (see study). By reducing weight, blood pressure can also decrease. These combined benefits suggest that a low-carb diet can be highly effective for reversing metabolic syndrome.
I would recommend looking into the ketogenic diet, however, I suggest following a healthy version of it by including a lot of vegetables.
Resistance exercise such as weight training, bodyweight exercises, and calisthenics help to reduce blood sugar by increasing the expression of Glucose Transport 4 (GLUT4) which absorbs glucose out of the blood independent of insulin. Strength training has also been found to significantly reduce blood pressure (see study) as well as blood cholesterol and triglycerides (see study). Resistance exercise also initiates a drastic release of hormones such as growth hormone and testosterone which play a very important role in burning fat and building muscle. The combination of benefits that resistance exercise provides, targets all major parameters for reversing metabolic syndrome.
I recommend doing weight training at least 3-4 times a week, for at least 45-60 minutes per a session.
Not getting enough sleep can cause a cascade of issues related to normal physiology. Insomnia, less sleep time, and excessive sleep have all been linked to negative metabolic outcomes. This combined with night time eating, has been found to raise blood sugar, cholesterol, and fat gain. Sleep has to be balanced between 7-8 hours in order to be considered balanced and thus support ones metabolic health. Lack of sleep can also raise a stress hormone known as Cortisol which is directly linked to weight gain, high blood sugar, increased blood pressure, and increased blood viscosity. So make sure to get adequate sleep, but try to avoid sleeping in and going over 9 hours. (see study)
Learn more about how to improve your sleep in this article.
Stress is a known culprit for resulting in impaired metabolic function. Stress can cause the stimulation of the HPA (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal) axis and the parasympathetic nervous system. This causes the release of Cortisol – a stress hormone as well as catecholamines. Cortisol causes a series of changes in the body in order to establish a state known as “Fight or flight”. It does this by raising blood sugar, blood pressure, heart rate, and blood cholesterol. When this happens consistently, due to high levels of stress over a long period of time – disease can develop. This often starts with impaired metabolic function. The way to correct this is to remove ourselves from stressful situations (if possible) and to engage in things that reduce stress and the hormones associated with it, such as:
- Nature walks
- Deep Breathing or Pranayama (Yoga Breathing Exercises)
- Taking a vacation
- Watching comedies
- Playing with a pet
- Doing anything that brings you peace
Learn more about reducing stress in this article.
Herbs & Supplements for Metabolic Syndrome
If you want to know how to reverse metabolic syndrome, you absolutely have to consider herbs and supplements as there are many that have been studied for the purpose of reversing metabolic syndrome and the results are quite outstanding. The following herbs and supplements have been used in clinical trials specifically for reversing metabolic syndrome and have been found to be highly beneficial at treating all parameters including glycemic control, blood pressure, blood lipids, and even weight management:
- Amalaki (see study)
- Nigella Sativa (see study)
- Resveratrol (see study)
- Curcumin (see study)
- L-Carnitine (see study)
- Magnesium (see study)
- Zinc (see study)
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(Always use medicinal herbs under the supervision of a doctor)
by Dr. Nishal R.
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