Previously known as prediabetes, metabolic syndrome has been defined as a syndrome with three or more of the following findings: increased abdominal girth, elevated fasting glucose and elevated fasting triglycerides, low high-density lipoprotein (good cholesterol) and elevated blood pressure.
“Much of these issues comes down to insulin resistance,” says Dr. Scott Jamison, MD, IFMCP. “Checking for an elevated fasting insulin level can be one of the early warning signs for metabolic syndrome.”
These early signs can be easy to miss. “It is suspected that as many as 25 percent of the U.S. population meets the criteria for metabolic syndrome although only about 7 to 8 percent are actively diagnosed and treated,” Jamison continues. “It is important that both patients and doctors become more aware of the findings of metabolic syndrome, its prevalence, and the importance of early intervention.”
People with metabolic syndrome are at an increased risk for developing a number of other health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, certain cancers – especially breast and colon cancers – sleep apnea and more. However, the earlier a person can recognize the symptoms of metabolic syndrome, the sooner they can get on a path toward treating the condition.
“Once an individual is identified as having metabolic syndrome, lifestyle changes are the basis for treatment,” explains Jamison.
These lifestyle changes include a plant-based or Mediterranean-style diet and daily aerobic exercise. Jamison suggests managing stress and having a healthy sleep schedule, as well as cutting down on alcohol and tobacco.
“Many of our patients participate in our Life In Balance Program, which includes nutrition, exercise, and stress management support,” Jamison recommends, adding that time-restricted eating, having all calories within an 8- to 10-hour period per day, can also be very helpful in improving insulin resistance.
“If diet and lifestyle changes do not improve the parameters of metabolic syndrome, then use of certain herbs and vitamins, such as berberine and vitamin D can be helpful,” Jamison adds. “The American Diabetes Association also recommends the early use of the diabetic medication Metformin to reverse many of the metabolic issues of the metabolic syndrome.”
PALM Health, 9160 Clayton Road, St. Louis, 314-801-8898, palmhealth.com
Dr. Scott Jamison is an internal medicine specialist who joined PALM Health after practicing in Virginia for 29 years. He is board-certified in internal medicine and trained in functional medicine as an IFM Certified Practitioner with substantial experience ranging from routine primary care to complex medical care.
Whether an individual seeks preventive care or has a chronic illness, Dr. Jamison sees great potential to combine functional medicine with his extensive knowledge and skills in primary care and internal medicine, blending the best of both into one clinical model.
To learn more about PALM Health’s functional medicine approach to well-being from Dr. Jamison, please contact a PALM Navigator at 314-801-8898, and request a complimentary meet-and-greet introduction.