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Metabolic Syndrome (Syndrome X) and Stress

Metabolic Syndrome and Stress InformationMetabolic Syndrome can damage the cardiovascular system via Insulin Resistance-related obesity and hypertension (high blood pressure) brought on by stress. Over-eating may cause decreased insulin sensitivity and is often associated with aspects of a stressful lifestyle such as one which includes work pressures.

Eating to excess is often a comfort for some people during times of stress. But the end result can be obesity leading to Metabolic Syndrome, a disorder also known as Syndrome X, which substantially increases the chances of damaging the cardiovascular system. This, in turn, may lead to a heart attack or stroke.

Stress in Daily LifeSymptoms of Metabolic Syndrome include excess abdominal fat, high LDL "bad" cholesterol levels, low HDL "good" cholesterol levels, high levels of blood fats called triglycerides and high blood pressure (hypertension). Metabolic Syndrome can also lead to liver and kidney disease.

While the underlying cause of Metabolic Syndrome is very often Insulin Resistance, the disorder is also influenced by such factors as poor lifestyle choices and sedentary habits. Reversing the symptoms of Metabolic Syndrome can be crucial for heart disease prevention.

As glucose levels in the body rise, they stimulate increased insulin production, which has a number of negative effects:

  • it raises noradrenalin levels which, in turn, can induce Insulin Resistance
  • it promotes the synthesis of atherogenic lipids (cholesterol)
  • it is associated with kidney dysfunction and hypertension
  • it favors atherosclerotic plaque formation
  • and it stores fat.

"The impact of fat on insulin resistance is even more pronounced during periods of stress, which releases the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol. Adrenaline in turn stimulates the hydrolysis of fat in fat tissue, raising the amount of free fatty acids in circulation, which eventually end up in the liver. On the other hand, cortisol builds back the fat in fat tissue."
A. MAUREEN ROUHI, Chemical and Engineering News. November 22, 2004 Vol. 82, No.47  
In people who are "stress-eaters", particularly women, the more they eat high-fat, high-sugar, high-carbohydrate foods in response to stress, the more fat they store and the more insulin they secrete. This, in turn, elevates glucose levels, causing even more fat to be stored, thus starting a vicious cycle that contributes to the development of Metabolic Syndrome.

Stress on the JobInterestingly, noradrenalin (the hormone that increases in response to excess levels of insulin in the body) is a stress-response chemical, released under conditions of emotional upset. Further, glucocorticoids (such as cortisol) are also stress-response chemicals in some women and these hormones are also responsible for increased storing of abdominal fat and raising blood glucose levels. One study demonstrated that persons with elevated levels of serum cortisol (caused by chronic stress) developed abdominal obesity, Insulin Resistance and lipid abnormalities.

Clearly, management of stress factors is a critical component to addressing the symptoms of Metabolic Syndrome. But, just as clearly, no single approach will effect all the components of this syndrome.

We feel that what's needed is a complete system, including nutraceuticals (vitamins, herbs and minerals that are disease specific), a realistic exercise program combined with nutritional guidance, advice on combating carbohydrate addiction and a support network that will help you change unhealthy lifestyle choices to lose weight.

Click here to read about the scientific breakthrough called The Insulite MetaX System, which is designed to reverse Insulin Resistance-linked Metabolic Syndrome, often an underlying cause of stress. The new system aims to reverse Metabolic Syndrome with numerous formulations, including MetaOmegaX, which features omega-3 fatty acids that can help improve mood.

You may be interested in some of our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Metabolic Syndrome and the Insulite MetaX System.

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Metabolic Syndrome and Mental Disorders

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Insulin Resistance Articles
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Teresa Ruth
  Boise, Idaho
"Researchers agree that insulin resistance is central to the metabolic syndrome. When target cells are unresponsive to insulin, the pancreas responds by pouring even more insulin into the bloodstream, leading to high levels of the hormone in the blood, a condition called compensatory hyperinsulinemia. The high level of insulin in the blood forces glucose into cells but also starts the events leading to arterial damage and eventually a heart attack. Under these conditions, a person may not manifest either diabetes or heart disease but could well be on the way to either or both."
A. MAUREEN ROUHI, Chemical and Engineering News. November 22, 2004.Vol. 82, No.47  
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  Stuarts Draft, VA
"Simply losing 5-7% of your body fat (typically 10-15 pounds) and increasing your physical activity by taking a brisk walk 4-5 times a week can reduce your risk of developing Type II Diabetes by almost 60%."
Diabetes Prevention Program study 2001, study funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, et al.
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  Perth, Australia
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"A non-pharmacologic treatment for these patients is needed, since drugs prescribed to lower blood pressure have been shown to actually worsen carbohydrate and lipid metabolism in Syndrome X patients, negating the beneficial effects of those drugs."
Duke University Study, results published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, September 2003.
Article by Dr. Sheri Colberg, Phd, FACSM
"I cannot believe the difference the Insulite System has made in how I feel. My appetite has changed tremendously. I do not crave carbs and sugar and my appetite is somewhat diminished."
  Bakersfield, CA
"...approximately 90% of overweight Hispanic children with a family history for type 2 diabetes have at least one feature of the metabolic syndrome and 30% possess the metabolic syndrome.

Our results support the view that improving insulin resistance may be crucial in the prevention of both type 2 diabetes and premature cardiovascular disease in this at-risk subpopulation of Hispanic youth."
Cruz ML, Weigensberg MJ, Huang TT, Ball G, Shaibi GQ, Goran MI.,J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2004 Jan;89(1):108-13.
"To gain the most benefit from modifying multiple metabolic risk factors, the underlying insulin-resistant state must become a target of therapy."
Bogdanovic, Streten and Langlans, Beata, "Metabolic Syndrome: New Opportunities in Diagnostics and Therapeutics", DMD Publications, 2004.  
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