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Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of 5 conditions that can lead to heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and other cardiovascular issues. Rising obesity rates along with a sedentary lifestyle trigger a host of complications from insulin resistance to chronic inflammation – and that's why a functional medicine approach to holistic health is more important than ever to reverse metabolic syndrome naturally, without prescription drugs.

What is Metabolic Syndrome?

Are you concerned because your recent health check-up wasn't what you expected?

Have you noticed that you've gained weight, especially around the mid-section, and losing weight has become harder?

Even though you may not “feel” any symptoms, or just notice that you've slowed down in recent years, an additional risk factor is your body shape.

Because where you “wear” your fat matters: If you look more like an apple than a pear, your risk of developing metabolic syndrome is even greater.

Carrying weight around your middle is an indication of excess visceral fat, a key risk factor for the development of metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and even certain cancers.

Here are some of the markers of metabolic syndrome:

  • Having a large waistline (more than 35-inch circumference for women and more than 40 for men)
  • Low levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol
  • High triglyceride levels
  • High levels of blood sugar
  • High blood pressure

The good news is that metabolic syndrome can be reversed naturally, even if you have a genetic disposition or close relatives who have had diabetes or heart disease.

Since your risk for metabolic syndrome increases with age, it is critical to understand how your lifestyle habits impact your risk as early as possible.

We also recommend proper testing to see where your inflammation markers stand.

The Conventional Approach To Metabolic Syndrome

The conventional approach to addressing metabolic syndrome is typically “lose weight and exercise” – which is cookie-cutter advice that most people just ignore.

Sadly, most conventional doctors have received little to no training in nutrition and fitness – which means they are ill-equipped at guiding you on a real plan that will reduce your risk factors.

Unfortunately, the conventional approach does little to help you resolve gut health issues and inflammation that also play a role in metabolic syndrome.

What about a DIY approach? Sadly, most of the “healthy” eating information circulating on the Internet is incorrect and can actually worsen your risk for metabolic syndrome for many reasons:

First, most of these plans are high in hidden sugars and carbohydrates, include foods that are inflammatory in other ways, and may not be right for your unique nutritional needs or biological make-up.

This is why you see people losing weight on diet plans that don’t work for them. If you already have some of the risk factors or have metabolic syndrome, losing weight can also be incredibly challenging for reasons I cover in the weight loss section.

The Functional Approach to Metabolic Syndrome

Functional medicine is “whole body” medicine – meaning we treat the entire body and teach our patients the correct way to achieve balance through lifestyle, nutrition, and targeted medical-grade supplementation.

This is why functional medicine really shines when it comes to treating chronic illnesses and disorders like metabolic syndrome that need attention in many systems in your body – from insulin to metabolic hormones and your digestive health.

One of the reasons we are so successful at treating metabolic syndrome is that we also deal with deeper issues that keep your metabolism from functioning properly:

This includes dealing with chronic inflammation (which is typically high in patients with metabolic syndrome). When the body is very inflamed, your hormonal balance (insulin, cortisol, thyroid, etc) is oftentimes "off" as well – impacting your ability to lose weight.

People with chronic inflammation typically also exhibit high levels of stress hormones like cortisol that don’t “shut off” – in turn causing intense fat and sugar cravings that keep people in a vicious cycle of steady weight gain.

Your gut health (also called your gut biome) is also a huge consideration: Many people have undiagnosed gut issues like bacterial infections, parasites, or gut dysbiosis that can put their immune system on high alert and trigger inflammation as well.

Weight Loss

Weight loss can be an important part of healing metabolic syndrome. But it also has to be done the correct way, with an anti-inflammatory diet that helps to balance your hormones and gut health.

Many people don’t realize that even a modest 5% reduction of their body weight positively impacts blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol/triglycerides.

Yet most people with metabolic syndrome have an incredibly hard time losing weight due to insulin resistance and other challenges that they are unaware of.

This is why it is so important to partner with a functional medicine practitioner who can create the right weight loss protocol to help you safely release weight without crazy diets, pills, or potions.

If you experience metabolic syndrome and are looking for answers, schedule a discovery consult today so we can help you decide on your best next steps.

Areas Served

Dr. Pedro Gonzalez, MD is based in Chicago/Illinois, and serves patients throughout Illinois, Florida and Texas. These areas include but are not limited to Chicago Loop, Lincoln Park, Near North Side, River North, West Town, Streeterville, Lake View, Logan Square, Little Village, Bridgeport, Oak Park, Oakbrook, Harwood Heights, Arlington Heights, Bucktown, Old Town, Maywood, Lincoln Square, Edgewater, Evanston, Cook County, Lake County.

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