Obesity and insulin resistance, when they occur together, increase your risk for a host of serious health conditions, including type 2 diabetes, stroke, coronary artery disease, kidney and liver disease, and, possibly, certain forms of cancer. The combination of risk factors is called metabolic syndrome, and it is estimated to affect 47 million Americans.
Most of them don’t even know it. Researchers believe the majority of people who have metabolic syndrome, or who are at risk for developing the condition, are not even aware of it. At the same time, doctors are beginning to recognize the importance of properly diagnosing and treating metabolic syndrome.
Some treatment—and prevention—starts at home. Research has shown that losing weight and staying active may be the best way to prevent and control metabolic syndrome. The anti-oxidant reservatrol, found in fruits, nuts, and red wine, may also help people to avoid the condition. Reservatrol has a variety of health benefits in lab tests.
In addition, several medical and dietary treatments have been noted, particularly in male patients. Men with metabolic syndrome who eat grapes can improve their odds against heart disease resulting from the condition. Grape consumption lowered blood pressure in one study, and the fruit also helped improve blood flow and reduce signs of inflammation.
Testosterone replacement therapy has proven helpful in a lot of cases. Indeed, testosterone deficiency has been demonstrated to be a risk factor for metabolic syndrome.
Another cause is gut bacteria. Though these bacteria do not cause the condition, they do make their host more prone to both insulin resistance and obesity, as well as other metabolic syndrome precursors such as high blood sugar levels, increased blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
If you think you might have metabolic syndrome, or be at risk, talk to your doctor about a weight-loss strategy that meets your needs.