In the past these problems have been diagnosed at the later
stage of the disease and patients were offered medications to slow down the
speed of decline. The current advances in medicine allow a revised approach
and through the concept of global health using proper sleep, diet and exercise health
professionals are trying to reduce drug dependence and increase the
population’s overall well being.
Why diabetes, sleep apnea and obesity cause mortality is
well explained by a comprehensive cardiovascular model. According to this
concept, multiple relatively independent factors – high blood sugar, lipids
disproportions, high blood pressure, age, sex, tobacco use – cause vascular
disorder, and also are causing insulin resistance. They also cause an increase
in stress hormones like norepinephrine and angiotensin II, and reduce HDL (good
cholesterol). The adrenal gland control in dysfunction is further causing
global cardiovascular disease.
There are a few steps in the development of Metabolic
Syndrome. The first step (precursor) is known as the Insulin Resistance
Syndrome. It is important to know the risk factors leading to the development
of Metabolic Syndrome:
1. Age: over 40 years old
2. Body Mass Index (BMI) more then 25 kg/m2
3. Waist is an important independent factor – over 40” in men
and over 35” in women.
4. Sedentary life style
5. Family history of cardiovascular disorders, glucose
problems age of diabetes onset, hypertension
The diagnosis is based on the above plus:
1. Triglyceride greater than 150
2. HDL less 40 in men and 50 in women
3. Blood pressure above 130/85 mmHg
4. Fasting plasma glucose more 110
When people overeat insulin gets weaker and blood pressure
climes up. Metabolism is then decreased and weight also climes up
progressively. After some point the process becomes difficult to reverse.
It was noted long ago that people live longer if the
population is a little underfed. Many physicians see the protein loss and decrease
in calories in the body as a compensatory loss of muscle mass. This loss of
muscle mass is good initially to decrease muscle work, but later it causes
cardiovascular fatigue. Therefore, it is important to not severely over or
under eat, because there are complications in both directions.
Taking all this information into account brings us to the
clear albeit unusual conclusion:
Human body and mind are the most efficient in the state
of slightly underfed.
When the body a little underfed, metabolism increases,
insulin and other hormones are activated, weight is proportionally decreased
and body gets leaner. The immune system improves and the whole body becomes
more alert and active.
There are many individual ways to healthily “underfeed”, from
limitation in meal portion to fasting (options you should discuss with your
doctor). Episodic and dramatic diets to drop weight are more dangerous that people
think and mostly unproductive. It should be the systematic changes of life
style that are made in effort to lose or keep weight off. This is possible even
in our “night business and pleasure dinners” culture.
I recommend that health professionals deliver a clear
message to their patients and clients. We could always get a pill, a device or
procedures that control illness, however, remission and cure rest in changes in
behavior “programs” that lead to the disorders.