Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Treatment for Metabolic Syndrome


I have suspected for years that I have metabolic syndrome. My doctor is not convinced (he is old school) and thinks I need to eat less and exercise more. I don't think he believes I do eat very little and am very active. I have all the symptoms, and am currently taking medication for hypertension and eating low fat for the cholesterol. However, my large abdomen is not going down. Do you know of any other dietary things or herbs or supplements to try? I have heard exercise helps but there again some say it should be vigorous training while some say long daily walks. Any help appreciated! --Barry M.

Dear Barry,

I certainly sympathize with your situation. Metabolic syndrome is characterized by excessive belly fat, compromised glucose metabolism, elevated triglycerides, and high blood pressure. The treatment is, indeed, eating less and exercising more to lose weight and fat.

There are no herbs or supplements to help this, and the exercise does not have to be vigorous. Many times we believe we aren't eating much and that we are active when we are doing so only at times. We focus on the positive actions we are taking for our health, but tend to ignore the days we are less active because of weather or other obligations, and the times we go out to eat to celebrate or entertain or socialize and have a bit more than we know we should.

My suggestion is to start keeping records of your diet and activity. A food diary will show you how much you truly eat. Especially when we are "watching" our diet, we tend to 'treat' ourselves to more snacks and desserts and high calorie foods because we've been doing so well on our diet! You will notice right away that when you have to write something down you will stop to think about it and realize "Hey! What am I thinking, grabbing this donut!" and you will end up eating less and losing weight. You might even keep a record in the margin of your food diary of foods you 'almost ate' but then stopped yourself, just to see how many calories you are actually saving yourself by recording your intake.

For exercise the simplest way is to wear a pedometer--you can find very inexpensive ones in the sporting section of a Walmart or other department store. Keep track of your daily steps and try to increase by 1000 daily steps each week (which is just 1/2 mile per day) until you can get up to 10,000 steps a day (this equals 5 miles). Walking 5 miles a day can be divided up throughout the day to include taking stairs instead of the elevator, parking a little farther when you are going to a store, and taking 10 minute walks whenever you have a break. A one-mile walk will put 2000 steps on your pedometer and takes most people just about 20 minutes.
Ultimately you will burn about 100 calories for every 2000 additional steps you take, and you can end up losing a few pounds a month just by walking a bit more!
Do let me know how you're doing with this in a few weeks, I'm conifdent it will work surprisingly well for you.

No comments:

Post a Comment