- Metabolic syndrome is characterized by high blood pressure, high blood sugar, weight gain, high triglyceride levels in the blood, and low HDL cholesterol. In order to be diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, you must meet three of the five criteria listed above. Each of these symptoms is a contributing factor that increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- If you’re struggling with metabolic syndrome, you’re not alone — and you have options. Blood sugar balancing, diet changes, and liver support can help you decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease while mitigating symptoms.
- One possible component to healing from metabolic syndrome is adding some key supplements to your daily routine. Supplements like chromium, inositol, butyrate, and essential fatty acids are known to improve heart function while balancing blood sugar and stabilizing gut health.
Over the years, you’ve begun to notice changes in your body.
You feel jittery after just one cup of coffee. Your heart begins to pound even with minimal activity. It feels like you gain weight just by looking at food.
Your annual visit with your PCP shows your blood sugar and blood pressure levels aren’t looking good, either.
Is this normal?
You tell yourself these are just symptoms of aging. But you don’t totally believe it — something about this isn’t right.
The good news is, you’re not crazy — and you can trust your intuition. It’s possible you have something called metabolic syndrome, and while it isn’t normal, it’s one of the most common health conditions among American adults.
In this blog, we’ll discuss holistic lifestyle hacks and supplements you can use to curb symptoms of metabolic syndrome and protect your heart for many years to come.
Table of Contents:
- What Is Metabolic Syndrome?
- Metabolic Syndrome Self-Care: How to Take Care of Your Heart
- What Supplements Help Metabolic Syndrome?
- You Could Be One Supplement Away From a Healthier Metabolism
What Is Metabolic Syndrome?
The medical definition of metabolic syndrome is a series of risk factors that make you more likely to develop cardiovascular disease.
Metabolic syndrome includes risk factors like:
- High blood pressure
- High blood sugar
- Weight gain
- High triglyceride levels in the blood
- Low HDL cholesterol
While everyone will show symptoms differently, these five symptoms are used as the diagnostic criteria for metabolic syndrome. Those who display more than three of these symptoms may receive an official diagnosis.
Like any illness, metabolic syndrome requires more than just treating the symptoms. Typically, people with metabolic syndrome struggle with a deeper root cause — like thyroid dysfunction, liver toxicity (possibly due to poor diet, an unbalanced gut microbiome, or environmental pollutants), or poor blood sugar regulation.
While medications can help in some cases, we believe targeting the root cause is the best and most effective way to heal metabolic syndrome.
Metabolic Syndrome Self-Care: How to Take Care of Your Heart
If you think you may have metabolic syndrome, but struggle to find holistic solutions, we’re here to help. These metabolic syndrome self-care hacks can help to mitigate your symptoms and safeguard your heart over time.
1. Balance Your Blood Sugar Levels
Insulin resistance is a common symptom for people with metabolic syndrome — and one of the five diagnostic criteria. With insulin resistance, the pancreas most likely can create enough insulin for the body. The issue arises when the cells and muscles aren’t sensitized to insulin and are therefore unable to use it properly.
Over time, this could cause blood glucose levels in the bloodstream to fluctuate beyond the normal limits. In turn, this forces the pancreas into overdrive, generating more insulin in the hopes of stabilizing blood sugar levels. However, since the cells are resistant to insulin’s signal, levels of insulin and glucose continue to rise in the bloodstream. You can see how this quickly turns into a vicious cycle within the body!
Usually, it’s not too difficult to balance your blood sugar — with the right tools. Supplements like inositol and chromium have been linked to improved blood sugar.
Dietary interventions are also important. You may want to increase your intake of protein, fiber, and healthy fats while decreasing whole-food carbs like potatoes and grains. When you do consume carbs, eat fiber and proteins first. This will help support your gut health and decrease the glucose spike after your meal.
More balanced blood sugar means less cravings for junk food, more sustained energy, and even a better mood!
2. Choose A Healthy Diet
A healthy and diverse diet of protein, healthy fats, fruits, dietary fiber, and veggies is your first line of defense against metabolic syndrome. In many cases, people who struggle with metabolic syndrome aren’t consuming enough nutrients, even in cases where they’re overconsuming calories. Deficiencies of minerals, antioxidants, and polyphenols can greatly impact how oxidative stress, poor blood sugar balance, and liver toxicity impact you daily.
While weight loss is often the prescribed treatment for metabolic syndrome, it’s important to recognize your need for nutrient-rich calories. Rather than counting calories and potentially depriving your body of much-needed nutrients, our recommendation is to focus on balancing your blood sugar and nourishing your cells with whole, vitamin and mineral-rich foods.
3. Address the Liver
The liver is key to understanding metabolic syndrome, but it’s often overlooked.
One study shows that metabolic syndrome and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease both exhibit similar characteristics — especially when it comes to insulin resistance. Another study explores how insulin resistance often progresses into non-alcoholic fatty liver disease over time.
Think about it. Poor dietary choices, chlorinated tap water, pesticide-laden foods, and polluted air alone expose us to countless toxins daily. Add in pharmaceutical drugs, mycotoxin exposure, pathogens, and endocrine-disrupting chemicals from personal care products, and it’s no wonder so many people are experiencing symptoms of a sluggish liver.
If you think your liver may be causing symptoms of metabolic syndrome, it’s time for a detox. Remedies like drinking a tall glass of lemon water after waking, taking a TUDCA supplement, and castor oil packs can help to calm down your liver and process toxins efficiently.
4. Watch Your Cholesterol Levels
One symptom associated with metabolic syndrome is depleted High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol — aka, the “good” kind of cholesterol.
Let’s make one thing clear: cholesterol itself is good for the body — it’s needed to create cell membranes and a number of essential hormones, bile, and the myelin that protects your nerves. But the body makes two kinds of cholesterol.
While essential, too much Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol can clog arteries. That’s why it’s considered “bad” by medical professionals. It’s the job of HDL cholesterol to clear out excess LDL cholesterol to keep your arteries clear. It’s all about balance! A ratio of HDL to LDL >0.3 is good to watch out for.
Many people who struggle with metabolic syndrome have underlying health conditions that could poorly impact their HDL cholesterol levels.
This can be problematic, and cause a buildup of LDL (bad) cholesterol since the role of HDL (good) cholesterol is to flush bad cholesterol out through the liver.
BodyBio Tip: If you’ve consistently used binders in the past (like activated charcoal or cholestyramine), your risk for lowered HDL cholesterol is even higher, since healthy cholesterol comes from healthy fats, and binders steal healthy fats from your cells. It’s important to test your cholesterol levels and build up your HDL cholesterol with healthy fats, supplements, and regular exercise.
What Supplements Help Metabolic Syndrome?
Metabolic syndrome doesn’t have to be forever. There are a number of supplements you can use to improve high cholesterol levels, balance blood sugar levels, and feel more like yourself.
Butyrate (a short-chain fatty acid naturally produced by the gut microbiome) specifically targets gut health — and gut dysbiosis can be a surprising driver of metabolic syndrome. One study shows that people with a higher level of bad bacteria in their gut could be more susceptible to insulin resistance.
Another study shows that butyrate shows promising effects on weight loss, lipid health, and insulin resistance.
Due to nutrient depletion in our soil, we believe everyone should be taking mineral supplements — especially those with metabolic syndrome. One trace mineral, chromium, is known for its weight loss and blood sugar-balancing effects.
Magnesium can also help to regulate blood pressure and blood sugar while helping to calm the nervous system.
3. A Careful Balance of Fatty Acids
Fatty acids like omega 3 and omega 6 have been associated with a drastic decrease in risk factors for metabolic syndrome. Particularly associated with cardiovascular health, one study shows that higher levels of omega-3 in the bloodstream could decrease the risk of metabolic syndrome by up to 26%.
BodyBio Tip: When supplementing with fatty acids, it’s important to remember that omega-3 and omega-6 should be carefully balanced. Our Balance Oil is formulated with the exact 4:1 ratio recommended for optimal human health.
Essential for DNA methylation and lipid metabolism, inositol supplements are changing the way we think about insulin resistance.
In studies, it’s been noted that low levels of inositol in the body are attributed to metabolic and endocrine-related disorders, and you guessed it, metabolic syndrome.
Inositol is not only great for increasing insulin sensitivity in the cells, but it’s also known to scavenge free radicals (much like antioxidants), thereby reducing oxidative stress.
You Could Be One Supplement Away From a Healthier Metabolism
What if it just took one change to start to mitigate your symptoms? For many, butyrate is that supplement. People who struggle with metabolic syndrome often struggle with gut dysbiosis (an imbalance of the gut microbiome that causes digestive distress and many other inflammatory issues).
Butyrate specifically targets gut dysbiosis. Not only is this short-chain fatty acid associated with metabolic syndrome improvements, but it’s extremely helpful for anyone suffering from bloating, constipation, diarrhea, cramps, and other common gut issues.
When digestion is optimized, toxins can exit the body more freely and vitamins and minerals are more easily absorbed, further reducing the impact of metabolic syndrome and allowing you to make the most of your healthy lifestyle moving forward.
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