Imagine this scenario. The doorbell rings, you open the door, and there's a man standing there pointing a gun at you. What do you do? Slam the door? Run Away? Karate kick the gun out of his hand? Or would you just stand there and let the guy shoot you, knowing it would result in either life-altering injuries or death?
I doubt that you would just stand there. You would more likely take some type of action to avoid that bullet!
Well, if you have Metabolic syndrome, it's like staring down the barrel of a loaded gun. If you are not familiar with the term Metabolic Sydrome, it is a group of risk factors occurring together that increase your risk of coronary artery disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. You may also hear it called "Syndrome X."
Based on the guidelines from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and the American Heart Association (AHA), any three of the following traits in the same individual meet the criteria for the metabolic syndrome:
- Abdominal obesity: a waist circumference of 40 inches or more in men and 35 inches or more in women.
- Serum triglycerides 150 mg/dl or above.
- HDL ("Good") cholesterol 40mg/dl or lower in men and 50mg/dl or lower in women.
- Blood pressure of 130/85 or more.
- Fasting blood glucose of 100 mg/dl or above.
It's bad enough is you have any one of these problems, but put them together and your risk of the gun going off and suddenly you find yourself having a heart attack, stroke, or diabetes becomes very likely.
When I was in college doing my clinical training for nursing, I had a patient that I will never forget. He was a man in his late 60's or early 70's, and he had a stroke. When I met him, he had been in the hospital for awhile and was beginning speech therapy treatment. This man was completely alert and 'with it' in his mind, but he could not communicate his thoughts to others because the stroke happened in the area of his brain that controls speech. My heart broke as I watched him sit with his wife with an look of utter despair and regret in his eyes. His wife told me that his doctor had warned him many times over the years that he needed to address some issues with his health or he would likely suffer a stroke, but he kept putting it off and didn't take it seriously. His 'gun' went off and left him with right-sided weakness, difficulty in walking and inability to communicate effectively with those around him. He couldn't speak, but his eyes said it all. "Why didn't I do something?"
My prayer for you is that you won't go down the road of experiencing devastating things like this that don't have to be. If you have Metabolic Syndrome or other health issues that you know put you at risk for even greater trouble, take action! Right now it's not too late to run from the gunman and turn your health around!
Here are three steps that you can take to improve all aspects of metabolic syndrome and/or maintain your health for a lifetime:
1) Eat to nourish your body and lose weight. Give your body what it needs to function properly and it will naturally heal itself as it was designed to do.
2) Get moving! Your body also was designed to be active, so regular exercise/physical activity will help it function properly and also lose excess weight. Losing even just 10% of your current body weight may be enough to set your blood sugar and blood pressure back into normal range and give you more energy.
3) Drink plenty of water! Your body needs to be well-hydrated to burn stored fat and for all of it's functions, so drink at least 6-8 8oz. glasses of water a day.
If you have tried to make healthy changes like losing weight or eating healthier but have been stuck in a cycle of trying and failing over and over, you are not alone! And I can help! I would be honored to partner with you as a health coach to see you overcome your obstacles and set a plan for action that will meet your goals and keep you healthy for a lifetime.