Metabolic Syndrome: What It Is and How to Reverse It

by | Nov 15, 2017 | Lupus Blog, Symptoms | 0 comments

Hey everyone!

I hope you’re enjoying the colder weather. It is time to load up on vitamin C, zinc, selenium, and probiotics to keep your immune system in full working order.

I refuse the flu shot for myself and my kids, and we’ve done fine without it for a number of years just by boosting our diet with the necessary phytonutrients and micronutrients.

I’ve treated thousands of patients in my career and it’s a real joy when I can win over the most stubborn ones; hard cases both in temperament and in clinical presentations.  I enjoy a good challenge.

As a physical therapist, I become frustrated when patients don’t get well after structural and muscular fixes with the modalities that I use.  I typically get a good outcome, but there are times when my patients’ pain is more systemic in nature.

By that I mean that low back pain can be due to strain, sprain, and of course, structural issues like herniation, degeneration, and facet issues.

However, when I’ve addressed all these issues, sometimes the pain persists, and is usually diffused and debilitating.  This is when I look to more “systemic” inflammation as the root of such pain.

When you have pain, while many times you can trace the pain to the cause, often, there’s not a clear cut reason for the pain.

What I do know is that when you’ve got underlying inflammation in your body, your receptors can be hypersensitive and responsive, resulting in decreased tolerance for pain.

Many variables revolve around this issue, but notably, the underlying inflammation is at the root.  This inflammation can decrease pain threshold, which is your body’s way of telling you something is a bit off.

I’ll use low back pain today as an example because many times, my patients’ muscle and bone related issues are largely fueled by the systemic inflammatory process in their bodies.

Truth is that we all get old.  As we age, not only do things not work as well as they used to, but they also degenerate at a speed that at times we’re not ready for.  Yes it really is true, and it sucks getting old.

But you can reverse this.  Which leads me to Dick.

Reversing Disease

Dick Peterson, one of my favorite patients, was very cynical and resistant to anything that I would offer when he first came into my office over a year ago with his lovely wife, Debbie.

While Debbie eagerly wanted to get started with my care, Dick felt sure that our program was not something that he wanted to pursue.

At the time, his main concern was the low back pain that kept him from exercising, which he attributed to his recent weight gain and declining health status.

At the time, he was struggling with some fatigue, water retention, difficulty maintaining his weight. Dick also suffered from diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol.

He was on a list of medications for his health issues, but he was concerned with the lack of control over his increasing body weight.

Dick is and has always been a man of his word, and very disciplined.  He’s used to exercising and watching what he eats, and the weight would usually come off.

He came to me with not only unrelenting low back pain, but concern for his fatigue and persistent weight gain.

At first he was assessing our program. I gave him my clinical impression of how I felt systemic inflammation causes the weight gain, and the loading to his spine due to the weight around his belly perpetuates the low back pain.

I told him at that time too that he looked as if he was retaining water and noted his pitting edema, which was concerning to me.

Long and short of it was that he chose to go to another physical therapy center, and Debbie, his wife, began care with me.

After a few weeks of no relief at the other center, he decided to give me a try for his low back pain. After 4 visits, he was all better and didn’t need further treatment.

He returns approximately 3 months ago with unrelenting low back pain, severe fatigue, and labs out of normal ranges, so much so that his doctor referred him to a nephrologist.

He was concerned and was ready to discuss how I could help.

We were able to modify and meet his needs. He has a serious aversion to vegetables. He was able to go through the three month metabolic detox program, but not without problems.

As he began to see results, he was able to modify his cholesterol, diabetes, and blood pressure medications. All were tapered down significantly due to less toxins in his body now.

His body had begun to regain its balance.

Upon completion, he reported significantly improved energy, NO low back pain, and NO foggy brain. The link for Dick’s full testimonial can be found here.

What is Metabolic Syndrome?

So with that I’d like to go a bit deeper into the concept of metabolic syndrome, as it affects so many Americans in general, but is much more common for us autoimmune and Lupus patients.

Again, this validates my notion that there are no diseases, there are only manifestations of our physiological imbalances.

Due to high levels of steroids and pain, along with difficulty moving, we begin to gain weight.  When this happens, we tend to gain the weight around the waist line and around the organs of our body, known as visceral adiposity.

This “fat” gain causes inflammation, insulin resistance, fatty liver, fatty muscle, atherosclerosis, fatigue, foggy brain, and pain.

Pretty soon these fat cells are in your liver (fatty liver), in your muscles, and other organs of your body, and they begin to act like their own endocrine organ.

This creates disruption in our hormone signaling and receptivity, which in turn creates more inflammation.

As the dial turns up the heat in the body, our immune system becomes stimulated, our blood vessels become constricted, leading to hypertension, and our cells slowly become destructive due to too much fat and glucose.

Eventually, our cells begin to die.  The remaining cells then become toxic and the metabolic fire becomes a hot mess.

The fat now becomes toxic as it enters our blood stream as triglycerides, LDL, and HDL.

The ultimate result is that we become insulin resistant because our cells have lost the ability to shunt the sugar and fat into the cells, or if they do, they’ve caused too much shunting into the cells, so much so that the cells become burdened with fat molecules, rendering them unable to produce the energy that our body requires to function.

So the ultimate reason for your fatigue is this:

Too much food creates a surge in blood sugar and fat. The pancreas responds by creating and releasing excess insulin. Our cells slowly lose the ability to shunt the sugar and fat into the cells to produce energy.

This leads to increased sugar, insulin, and triglycerides floating around in our blood stream, all without producing energy.

Over time, you can see how this can create a hot, messy soup of dysfunction leading to disease.

So, metabolic syndrome can cause the following physiological manifestations:

  • Type II DM
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Dyslipidemia
  • Hypertension
  • Erectile Dysfunction
  • PCOS
  • Cognitive decline
  • Osteoporosis
  • Obesity
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Sarcopenia (shrinking muscle tissue)

This list shows how metabolic syndrome spans the whole population, especially autoimmune patients.

The point of today’s blog is to let you know that we can reverse this.

So for those of you who are struggling with this and have been told to watch your sugar, blood pressure, or cholesterol, please get serious about turning this around.

Metabolic syndrome can lead to worsening of autoimmune conditions or the creation of them.

How Can You Reverse Metabolic Syndrome?

  1. Eat a whole foods diet, mostly made by mother nature. Refer to our Alkaline Diet Guide here.
  2. Take probiotics, curcuminoids, fish oil, and vitamin D.
  3. Exercise, as it is just as effective as medications in lowering cholesterol and decreasing toxic burden.
  4. Manage your stress. Often we are hyper wired and our sympathetic nerve pathways are hypersensitive.  We can improve this with meditation or guided breathing.
  5. Consider a comprehensive Metabolic Detox to lower inflammation, heal your gut, and improve mitochondrial health.

Please believe me, we can reverse our disease, prevent illness, and create health in our bodies once and for all.

If you enjoyed this blog, please share, comment, like, and follow us on our social media.

I also would greatly appreciate it if you would subscribe to and rate our podcast, Health Made Easy.

Thanks so much for reading, see you next week.

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