While one distinct and obvious characteristic of metabolic syndrome is a large waistline, unless you visit your healthcare provider for a checkup, blood analysis and diagnosis, the answer is yes, you could. Metabolic syndrome is not easily self-diagnosed, but is determined by the presence of a perfect storm of conditions that raise the risk of heart disease, stroke, fatty liver and type 2 diabetes. If that sounds serious, it is. For many years, heart disease was considered the “silent killer,” however, the usurper, metabolic syndrome, is now the rapidly rising threat to a long and healthy lifespan. Along with obesity, metabolic syndrome disorder, formerly known as Syndrome X, is swiftly becoming commonplace, negatively affecting our long term health.
A diagnosis of 3 of the following health conditions – central obesity, high blood pressure, high triglyceride levels, low HDL cholesterol levels, high blood sugar and insulin resistance – is the agreed upon criteria used to identify metabolic syndrome, even when you are on medication to treat any of the conditions. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, more than one-third of American adults and young adults have a dangerous mix of metabolic risk factors that are collectively diagnosed as metabolic syndrome. Even more disheartening, the risk rises dramatically with age, resulting in almost of half of our aging population being diagnosed with metabolic syndrome.
Diagnosis, as a key indicator of tripled heart health risk and a 5-fold increase in diabetes risk, is supported by many prominent medical associations including the International Diabetes Federation, the American Heart Association, The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and the International Association for the Study of Obesity. In general, researchers agree that the rise in metabolic syndrome directly correlates with the rise in abdominal obesity rates. With the estimation that the number of Americans who will be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes will exceed 44 million by 2034, preventing and reversing the disease is of the utmost public health importance.
Statistics show that approximately 5% of people of normal weight, 22% of those who are overweight and 60% of those who are considered obese have metabolic syndrome. Western diets along with a sedentary lifestyle are strongly associated with a higher risk of developing the syndrome, with progressive weight gain and low activity levels contributing significantly. Unfortunately, there is no easy or magic solution, but early diagnosis, encouraging a long term healthy diet, and lifestyle modifications appear to provide enormous benefit in terms of increasing life expectancy and improving cardiac health and quality of life. Exercise, with or without weight loss, has a beneficial effect on blood pressure, cholesterol levels and insulin sensitivity, aiding in prevention and treatment of metabolic syndrome.
Although genetics and aging are contributing factors, eating better, getting active, losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight can make a huge difference in reducing your risk factors for metabolic syndrome and lifelong chronic disease, and increase your chances of a longer, much healthier lifespan.
The following medical foods from Metagenics are formulated specifically to help manage conditions related to metabolic syndrome. For best results, follow your healthcare provider’s recommendations. Should you have any questions about these medical foods or any other products, please call or email Professional Supplement Center.
UltraMeal® Plus Medical Food – UltraMeal® Plus is designed to nutritionally manage conditions associated with altered metabolic function such as obesity, metabolic syndrome or compromised cardiovascular function. Clinically tested, low glycemic index ingredients provide targeted nutrition to help manage blood pressure, blood sugar and insulin levels, and blood lipid levels. Gluten and dairy free, Non-GMO formulation. Available in Natural Vanilla or Natural Dutch Chocolate flavors.
UltraMeal® Plus 360° Medical Food – Similar in design to UltraMeal® Plus but formulated with additional specific ingredients to provide additional metabolic support. This product is designed for those with conditions associated with metabolic syndrome and heart disease, such as elevated blood pressure, cholesterol and/or triglycerides, elevated waist circumference and/or blood sugar/insulin levels. Gluten and dairy free, Non-GMO formulation. Available in Natural Dutch Chocolate, Natural Vanilla and Natural Strawberry Supreme flavors.
Ultra Glucose Control™ – Formulated with a ratio-balanced combination of low-release complex carbohydrates, high quality pea and rice proteins, unsaturated fats, fiber and branched chain amino acids, Ultra Glucose Control™ supports the nutritional management of the glucose and insulin response. Provides 15 g of protein per serving. Use under the guidance of a healthcare practitioner. Available in naturally flavored Chocolate or Vanilla.
UltraGlycemX® – This medical food is formulated to meet the specialized nutritional need of those with type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance and hypoglycemia. Researched-based ingredients include Non-GMO soy protein, fiber, cinnamon, antioxidants and barley beta-glucans that provide a safe approach to help manage insulin and blood sugar function. Wheat and dairy free, Non-GMO formulation. Available in Natural Chocolate and Original flavors.
What Is Metabolic Syndrome? http://www.heart.org/idc/groups/heart-public/@wcm/@hcm/documents/downloadable/ucm_300322.pdf
Metabolic syndrome continues to climb in the U.S. http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/10/15/us-metabolic-syndrome-idUSTRE69E5FL20101015
One-Third of Americans Have Dangerous Mix of Heart Risk Factors. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_152622.html
IDF Worldwide Definition Of The Metabolic Syndrome. http://www.idf.org/metabolic-syndrome
Metabolic Syndrome? http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0062969/