Syndrome creates an increased risk of Cardiovascular
Disease, generating symptoms like hypertension (high
blood pressure) that can lead to a heart attack and stroke.
This dangerous condition, also known as Syndrome X, is affecting a growing
number of people as obesity reaches epidemic levels in the United States
and throughout the world. Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome are linked by
Insulin Resistance. This latter condition causes an imbalance of glucose
and insulin levels and is being increasingly identified as an underlying
cause of obesity- a crucial factor in heart disease prevention because
it inflicts major damage on the cardiovascular system.
Insulin Resistance prevents the efficient conversion of food into energy
by desensitizing the walls of your cells to insulin.
Insulin acts as "a key in a lock", allowing glucose to pass
through the cell wall and be converted to energy. But Insulin Resistance
prevents glucose passing through the insulin "door" into the cell. As a result, the rejected
glucose floats freely in the blood stream, causing elevated levels of
blood sugar, which are sent to the liver. Once there, the sugar is converted
into fat and carried via the blood stream throughout the body in a process
that can lead to weight gain and obesity.
Free-floating insulin also has a harmful affect. It can damage the lining
of the arteries and contribute to the development of several forms of cardiovascular damage.
Aterioscleroris is literally the hardening and thickening of the arteries.
This condition, divided into three distinct variants, can occur due to
thickening of the muscular wall of small arteries and aterioles (arteriosclerosis itself),
build-up of fat deposits (plaque) on the inner walls of arteries (atherosclerosis)
or the calcification of the wall of the arteries (Monckeberg's medial
In addition, the imbalance of glucose and insulin caused by Insulin Resistance can lead to a greater
risk of developing Cardiovascular
Disease because it causes increased levels of triglycerides, which
are fat-storing substances carried through the blood stream to the tissues.
As your weight increases, stressors build up on the entire cardiovascular
system. The heart and lungs, for example, have to work harder to distribute
an adequate amount of freshly-oxygenated blood throughout the body. As
well as the increase in triglycerides, there is also a lowering of “good”
HDL cholesterol, which increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Increased insulin and glucose levels in those suffering from Metabolic
Syndrome have also been proven to cause changes in the kidneys’
ability to remove salt as well as increasing the risk of blood clot formation.
All of these are key factors in the development of Cardiovascular
Disease, heart attacks and stroke.
The role of inflammation is another factor which is being studied closely
by the medical profession.
Inflammation is part of the body's immune
system, which triggers a defense response to harmful stimuli or injury
by sending specialized blood cells to damaged areas. Once there, they
attack "invaders" like the renegade molecules called "free
radicals" and clean up dead and dying cells. In the case of inflammation
and Metabolic Syndrome, the "invader" is thought to be excess
levels of insulin, which can be caused by Insulin Resistance.
As a disorder, inflammation can take an external form like the reddened, tender skin
which draws attention to a splinter in your finger. Or it can be an unseen,
internal process in response to something harmful like high blood pressure.
To combat internal harm, inflammation produces C-reactive protein (CRP),
which, unfortunately, can damage the arteries by helping to form plaque
while attempting to tackle a long-term condition like high blood pressure
or high LDL cholesterol levels - often accompanying symptoms of Pre-Diabetes as well as Metabolic Syndrome.
Plaque can seriously impair blood flow and lead to a heart
attack or stroke. A blood test measures CRP levels and the higher that
level is, the more at risk you are from cardiovascular
disease. There's contradictory evidence about whether CRP levels
and Insulin Resistance are closely linked.
Research about inflammation is often cutting edge material that still
needs ample verification. But scientists are gathering data that inflammation
precedes and may predict reversible Metabolic Syndrome.
Previous research had already linked inflammation to heart disease
and obesity, which are both common in people with Pre-Diabetes. To learn
more, click on Inflammation,
Insulin Resistance and Metablic Syndrome.
You may be interested in some of our Frequently
Asked Questions (FAQs) about Metabolic Syndrome and the Insulite MetaX
here to read about
the Symptoms of Metabolic Syndrome