Many people are interested to know how to reverse metabolic syndrome because it is something serious. It refers to a group of risk factors that could ultimately lead to diabetes, stroke, heart disease, and other serious health problems.
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Having just one of these risk factors does not mean you have metabolic syndrome. However, it does mean that you are at a greater risk of getting these diseases. And if you develop more of these conditions, your risk of complications is even higher.
Unfortunately, metabolic syndrome is increasingly common these days. Studies show that about one third of US adults and about one in four in the UK have it primarily due to an unhealthy lifestyle.
The good news is, it is possible to reverse metabolic syndrome and lower your risk of developing these diseases. In fact, switching to a low carb diet like keto can usually help.
Before we get to how to reverse metabolic syndrome with keto let’s find out more about it.
What Is Metabolic Syndrome?
Metabolic syndrome refers to a cluster of conditions that occur together and increase your chances of developing heart diseases, stroke, and diabetes. Dr. Karla Saint Andre, an endocrinologist at Houston Methodist, has described it as,
“Metabolic syndrome, also known as insulin resistance syndrome or syndrome X, is a combination of several conditions that — together — increase a person’s risk of developing diabetes and heart disease.”
Metabolic syndrome is common worldwide. As mentioned, about a third of the US population suffers from this condition, and the risk is the same for both men and women. The health issues associated with metabolic syndrome are the following:
- High blood pressure or hypertension – blood pressure over 130/85 mmHg
- Excess fat around the waistline – waist circumference over 40 inches (men) or 35 inches (women)
- High blood sugar or hyperglycemia – fasting glucose 100 mg/dL or higher
- Low levels of good (HDL) cholesterol – less than 40 mg/dL for men or less than 50mg/dL for women
- High level of triglycerides – fasting triglyceride level over 150 mg/dl
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Once you are diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, it’s important to take immediate action. It can be reversed through medication but they have side effects so it’s best treated by following a healthy lifestyle, which includes changing your diet.
Is Metabolic Syndrome Dangerous?
In metabolic syndrome the cells become resistant to the effect of insulin. As you know, insulin is an important hormone whose primary role is to move glucose from the food you eat into the cells to be converted into energy or stored as fat. This helps to keep the blood sugar levels remain normal.
Once your body becomes resistant to insulin, your muscles, fat, and liver will not respond well and won’t be able to take up the glucose from your blood. As Dr. Karla Saint Andre explains,
“Among other very important functions, insulin helps the sugar in your bloodstream enter your cells, where it’s then stored or transformed into energy. But if your cells become less responsive to insulin, sugar has a harder time making it inside your cells, leading to high levels of sugar in your bloodstream,”
If your body’s response to insulin is reduced, this can lead to chronic system inflammation that will seriously affect your body. This can include damage to your blood vessels, weight gain, and worsening resistance to insulin.
The weight gain, especially gaining excess fat around the waistline, further worsens inflammation because this type of fat is pro-inflammatory.
Can Metabolic Syndrome Be Reversed?
Some preople with metabolic syndrome may not show any symptoms. However, the serious health conditions occurring silently in this syndrome could lead to serious and even catastrophic complications.
For instance, diabetes can lead to several symptoms, such as increased thirst, the need to urinate frequently, blurry vision, poor healing of the wound, and increased risk of infections. What’s more, diabetes may increase your risk of getting heart disease, one of the leading causes of death worldwide.
There are various risk factors for developing metabolic syndrome, but the good news is that many of these are reversible. Therefore, it is possible to prevent this syndrome for as long as it has not yet led to permanent cellular damage.
But, Dr. Saint Andre adds that if several of the conditions associated with the metabolic syndrome run in your family, you need to work even harder to prevent it.
And while having a genetic predisposition for metabolic syndrome is something that you cannot change, there are things you can do to minimize your risk of developing it. Remember genes are not your destiny. It’s what you do to your genes that counts.
If you’re wondering how to reverse metabolic syndrome, then read along.
Keto Diet Can Help Reverse Metabolic Syndrome
If your doctor has diagnosed you with metabolic syndrome, you must immediately take the proper steps to reverse it. Following a healthy diet like keto would be a great help. Studies show that the ketogenic diet can help improve a range of health markers in adults with metabolic syndrome.
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How To Reverse Metabolic Syndrome with Keto
In one study conducted by a group of researchers from Bethel University in Minnesota, they compared the health conditions of three groups of adults diagnosed with metabolic syndrome.
One group followed the keto diet without exercise. The second group followed the standard American diet and did not exercise. Meanwhile, the third group followed the standard American diet and performed 30 min of exercise for 3 to 5 days each week.
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The findings showed that the group who followed the keto diet without exercise was much more effective at achieving weight loss than the other groups. Also, they performed better at decreasing body fat percentage and lowering HbA1c. This is a blood test for glycated haemoglobin. This happens when the glucose in your blood sticks to your red blood cells.
The study proves that following a keto diet even without exercise may help reverse metabolic syndrome.
Another recent published study showed that a low carb diet can reverse metabolic syndrome within 4 weeks in the majority of people even if they don’t lose any weight.
So, how to reverse metabolic syndrome through keto? As you know, the keto diet requires reducing your intake of carbs. You should not consume more than 50 grams of carbs per day, and you must eat lots of healthy fats and protein instead.
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When you do, you’ll enter into the state of ketosis, where your body uses fats for energy instead of carbs. While in ketosis, that’s when you start to lose weight. According to some health experts, losing even a little amount of weight can lower your risk of developing metabolic syndrome.
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Metabolic syndrome is a serious condition that can lead to various complications if not addressed. Therefore, once your doctor diagnosed you as having this condition, you must immediately take action to reverse it.
So, how to reverse metabolic syndrome? Following a healthy diet like keto is the best way to do it. By reducing your intake of carbs and eating more healthy fats, you’ll start losing weight, which lowers your chances of developing the conditions associated with metabolic syndrome. A good way to manage all this is with the Lumen Metabolism Tracker.