What is Metabolic Syndrome?
- Having a large waistline (more than 35-inch circumference for women and more than 40 for men)
- Low levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol
- High triglyceride levels
- High levels of blood sugar
- High blood pressure
Carrying weight around your middle is an indication of excess visceral fat, a key risk factor for the development of metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and even certain cancers.
The good news is that metabolic syndrome can be reversed even if you have a genetic disposition or close relatives who have had diabetes or heart disease. Since your risk for metabolic syndrome increases with age, it is critical to understand how your lifestyle habits impact your risk as early as possible. We also recommend proper testing to see where your inflammation markers stand.
The Conventional Approach To Metabolic Syndrome
This is why you see people losing weight on diet plans that don’t work for you. If you already have some of the risk factors or have metabolic syndrome, losing weight can also be incredibly challenging for reasons I cover in the weight loss section.
The Functional Approach to Metabolic Syndrome
People with chronic inflammation have high levels of stress hormones like cortisol that don’t “shut off” – that can cause intense fat and sugar cravings that keep them in the vicious cycle of steady weight gain. Your gut health (also called your gut biome) is also a huge consideration: Many people have gut issues like bacterial infections, parasites or gut dysbiosis that can put their immune system in high alert and throw their entire bodies off.
Weight loss can be important part of healing metabolic syndrome. But it also has to be done the correct way, with an anti-inflammatory diet that helps to balance your hormones and gut health.
Many people don’t realize that even a modest 5% reduction of their body weight positively impacts blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol/triglycerides. That being said, most people who already have metabolic syndrome have an incredibly hard time losing weight due their their insulin issues and other challenges that they are unaware of. This is why it is so important to work with a functional medicine practitioner who can create the right weight loss protocol that can also meet any nutritional deficiencies you have while rebalancing the gut.