Metabolic Syndrome - by Heather Caruso
Metabolic syndrome (MetSyn) is a cluster of physiological symptoms that contribute to the development of diabetes and heart disease. Some signs of MetSyn are a large waistline, obesity, high LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, hypertension, low HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) and high fasting glucose. Some other symptoms that may be associated with MetSyn are gout and kidney stones.
Risk factors for MetSyn include a high glycemic diet, a sedentary lifestyle and a family history of diabetes. Controllable factors are diet and lifestyle. There are many ways to support a person with a familial tendency to MetSyn naturally. Health reform should always start in the kitchen. Foods that are linked to MetSyn are fast and junk food, high carbohydrate and glycemic foods. Foods that are high glycemic are white flour, white rice, white sugar, found in pasta, bread, crackers, cookies, dates etc. High carbohydrate foods are starchy root vegetables, grains (even whole grains), oats, rice, bread, cereals, crackers, pasta, cookies, buns etc. It is best to limit high carbohydrate foods and eliminate high glycemic ones. Many popular diets help to reduce the symptoms of MetSyn, such as the Zone, Firstline therapy, South Beach and the Paleo Diet. Many people are doing the Ketogenic Diet. It is quite effective for weight loss but it is extreme and leads to multiple nutritional deficiencies. Anyone following this diet should consult a nutritionist to correct nutritional shortcomings.
An ideal diet, focuses on healthy fats, such as olive oil, nuts, seeds, lean or vegetarian proteins like chicken, fish, turkey, eggs and legumes. Limit the consumption of grains but those eaten should be a whole grains and high in fiber. Avoid dairy products like milk and cream because they contain lactose (milk sugar) and can increase blood sugar. Low carbohydrate fruits such as berries are excellent for heart and brain health. Certain foods and spices are known to help MetSyn. A study posted in the Annals of Family Medicine, in September 2013, found that cinnamon helps to lower fasting plasma glucose, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides and increase HDL. Other spices known to help with MetSyn are ginger, turmeric, rosemary, tamarind and garlic. Black beans and okra also help.
Supplements used for MetSyn such as alpha lipoic acid, chromium, vanadium, omega 3 fatty acids and berberine have scientific research into their efficacy. For example, studies have found that alpha lipoic acid helps lower blood glucose and improve symptoms of diabetic neuropathy and retinopathy. Research on vanadium and chromium found that it improves blood sugar, cholesterol and triglycerides. The extract Berberine, found in herbal remedies such as berberis aquafolium, Oregon grape, Goldenseal, yellow root, California poppy, and prickly poppy, has been found to lower blood sugar, improve cholesterol and digestion. Omega 3 fatty acids help with inflammation, heart and brain health.
Homeopathy is a system of medicine that is individualized to the person’s symptoms. It is often misunderstood. Homeopathy is tailored to symptoms not a disease name. Remedies are made from a variety of plant, animal or mineral matter but are very diluted and gentle. Two people with MetSyn would get different remedies based on their unique symptom picture. The administration of the correct remedy helps people to heal deeply rather than suppress symptoms. For example, Mary, 34 yr old, has high blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol and obesity. Her unique symptoms are feeling self-conscious. She walks only at night, so others cannot see her. Mary has cyclic overeating which causes diarrhea. Her feet have rough thick skin and her tongue is coated white. The homeopathic remedy that matches her symptoms is Antimonium Crudum. This substance matches her symptoms and addresses her unique dis-ease symptoms.
In a complicated disease a multi faceted approach to health using diet, nutrition and homeopathy help recover health in a much deeper manner than with medication alone.
Heather Caruso, Best Selling Author, Registered Homeopath and Nutritional Consulting Practitioner practicing in Guelph Ontario. www.carusohomeopathy. com