Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions that occur together, increasing your risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. These conditions include increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels.

Functional medicine and lifestyle programs are perfectly suited to prevent and improve metabolic syndrome



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How is metabolic syndrome diagnosed?

Most of the disorders associated with metabolic syndrome don’t have obvious signs or symptoms. It is not possible to diagnose it without lab testing. Working with a healthcare provider is necessary. However, there are some key indicators to look out for. These include:

  • increased blood pressuregreater than or equal to 130/85
  • high blood sugar – fasting glucose greater than or equal to 100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L)
  • excess body fat around the waist (measured by waist circumference) 
    • Men – greater than 40 inches
    • Women – greater than 35 inches
  • low HDL “good” cholesterol – less than 40 mg/dL(1.0 mmol/L)
  • high triglyceride levels – greater than or equal to 150 mg/dL (1.70 mmol/L)

Having just one of these conditions doesn’t mean you have metabolic syndrome. But it does mean you have a greater risk of serious disease. And if you develop more of these conditions, your risk of complications, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease, increases further.

If you have been diagnosed with one of the above conditions, you might want to speak with your doctor about getting tested for others.

What causes Metabolic Syndrome?

There is no single “cause”. There are however a few different factors that increase your chance of developing metabolic syndrome. These include:

  • lack of exercise (sedentary lifestyle)
  • poor diet – excess sugars, processed foods and bad fats
  • insulin resistance
  • previously diagnosed with diabetes or prediabetes
  • central obesity or carrying excess weight
  • age – our risk increases as we get older
  • genetics (ie. if other family members also have it)

People with metabolic syndrome have trouble regulating blood sugar and body fat

Prevention and treatment

Diet and lifestyle are front-line therapies to help prevent and treat metabolic syndrome. That said, if your condition/s are more advanced; you will likely benefit from targeted nutritional, lifestyle and supplemental intervention

Here are some foundational steps you can take right now:

  • Increase proteins, fats, vegetables and fiber in your diet
  • reduce carbohydrates – especially refined carbs like bread, baked goods, sweets, etc.
  • avoid alcohol, sugary drinks, pop and soda. Increase your water intake
  • get mild to moderate exercise – 30 mins, 3-4 times a week.
  • maintain a healthy weight
  • stop smoking

If you suspect you might have one or more risk factors for metabolic syndrome (or have been previously diagnosed!) and are looking for better solutions, schedule a FREE discovery appointment with us today!


You might find the following resources useful

The real cause of heart disease BLOG POST

This blog post ties together the connection between heart disease, dietary fats, insulin resistance and inflammation. These all play a key role in the development and progression of metabolic syndrome

Episode #65: The Paleo diabetes diet solution podcast

The Paleo Diet has garnered alot of attention with regards to blood sugar management. Author, nutritionists and diabetes expert, Jill Hillhouse joins me to deep-dive and share her clinical experience and research.

Episode #10: Banting, Fat and a Vigilante Scientist podcast

From carbo-loading and marathon running to a high fat, hunter-gatherer diet; Prof Tim Noakes gives simply brilliant testimony to our ancestry and evolution as it pertains to diet. His approach has helped millions of people reverse diabetes, heart disease and metabolic syndrome


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