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What is Metabolic Syndrome?

With sugars hidden in nearly all processed foods, it’s no surprise that metabolic syndrome is a leading challenge in our time. An increase in calorically dense, nutritionally lacking foods as well as sedentary lifestyles take the blame for the rising rates of metabolic dysfunction and its associated conditions.

Our integrative doctor shares the basics of metabolic syndrome with the reassurance that hope is not lost! If you’re concerned about your metabolic health, there are steps you can take to get back to optimal health.

The Five Components

Metabolic syndrome specifically refers to five markers occurring together, that indicate an increased risk of other conditions such as heart disease, strokes, type 2 diabetes, and more. These include:

  • Abdominal obesity/ proportionally large waistline

  • High blood pressure

  • Impaired fasting glucose

  • High triglyceride levels

  • Low HDL (aka ‘good’) cholesterol levels

Although insulin resistance is not officially a criterion for metabolic syndrome, it is a very important variable for diagnosing this dysfunction, especially from a functional medicine approach.

What is Insulin Resistance?

After you ingest food, a hormone called insulin moves glucose from your blood into your cells. If your body fails to adequately respond to insulin, the amount of glucose remaining in your blood may be too high. When this happens consistently, and your blood sugar levels spike too frequently, you may be considered insulin resistant.

Over time, this can progress to prediabetes and then type 2 diabetes. Symptoms of these conditions, whether metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, or diabetes, may include:

  • Fatigue

  • Sudden or unexplained weight loss or gain

  • Increased thirst and urination

  • Headaches

  • Vision troubles

  • Darkened skin

  • Feelings of hunger and cravings

  • Mood fluctuations

  • Rapid breathing

  • Sleep disturbances

How Can Integrative Medicine Help?

The Diabetes Prevention Program ran a study of 3,234 obese individuals with impaired glucose tolerance and divided them into three treatment groups.

  1. Metformin, a glucose-lowering medication that is frequently used for diabetics

  2. Lifestyle changes such as eating habits, exercise, and weight loss

  3. Placebo

Of the three treatments, lifestyle changes were by far the most effective option. At Seed and Soil Wellness, we focus on rebalancing the six pillars of health, which include sleep, movement, nutrition, emotional health, breath, and hydration. By healing our relationship with these pillars, we create an optimal environment for our bodies to heal.

Stabilize and Stretch Your Metabolism

Seed and Soil Wellness utilizes a variety of holistic modalities to improve metabolic flexibility. Through Red & Near Infrared light therapy, supplementation, fitness programming, and dietary adjustments, you can and will achieve optimal health. Reach out to our functional medicine clinic today!


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