Generally poor health, being overweight and having an unhealthy diet and lifestyle are all contributors to a condition known as metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a condition where a group of risk factors for cardiovascular disease and type two diabetes occur together. Metabolic syndrome is an important condition to diagnose and treat, as it’s recognised as a major contributor towards heart disease and cancer (Australia’s two most common causes of death).
Having metabolic syndrome puts you at a much higher risk of having a stroke or heart attack, and increases your risk of developing diabetes. If a person with metabolic syndrome develops cancer, the syndrome can cause the cancer to be a lot more aggressive.
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Whilst metabolic syndrome clearly increases the risk of serious illness, the good news is that, because it is closely tied to lifestyle factors, there is plenty you can do to reduce your risk factors and to treat the condition. Vital chi offers naturopathy and clinical nutrition treatment as an excellent place to start.
Metabolic syndrome – Symptoms and contributing factors
There are many conditions and factors that can indicate metabolic syndrome. (You do not need to have all the symptoms to have metabolic syndrome diagnosed).
Symptoms and contributing factors can include:
- High blood pressure
- Diabetes, or pre-diabetes
- High triglycerides
- Low ‘good’ HDL cholesterol
- Extra weight/fat around the stomach area
- Poor skin health – darkened and/or roughened skin and skin tags.
- Nervous system problems – such as depression, headaches, migraines, memory loss
- Reproductive issues – male: impotence, low libido, prostate issues; female: polycystic ovary syndrome, early puberty, infertility, absent or infrequent periods
- Sleep problems – such as snoring or sleep apnoea (stopping breathing during sleep)
- Family history of diabetes or heart disease
Metabolic syndrome is strongly linked to lifestyle factors. An unhealthy lifestyle can soon through off your body’s ‘healthy balance’, and affect its ability to regulate the levels of fat and sugar in your blood. This can be the beginning of developing metabolic syndrome.
Unhealthy lifestyle factors include things like:
- Lack of exercise
- High calorie diets
- Diets high in refined, highly processed foods
- Diets lacking in nutrients
- Poorly managed stress
- Carrying extra weight around your middle.
Managing and treating metabolic syndrome
Some of the key steps in managing metabolic syndrome include:
- Control your weight – especially around the middle where excess fat sits close to your abdominal organs.
- Eat a healthy diet – rich in nutrients, and whole unprocessed foods
- Be a non-smoker
- Reduce stress
- Exercise regularly
If metabolic syndrome goes untreated, you run the risk of irreversibly damaging your heart, arteries, liver, kidneys and nervous system, or developing more serious illnesses. At Vital chi, our experienced naturopaths can help you treat the condition or assess and manage your risk factors. Certain diets and nutrient supplements can be very beneficial and tailored specifically for you. By offering a holistic approach to your health, our naturopaths can assess not only your diet, but your whole lifestyle, and help you find practical, effective ways to address areas that may be putting you at greater risk. Naturopathy and Nutrition can offer you a personalised path from metabolic syndrome back to health. Contact us today to find out more or make an appointment.