NOTE: Today's blog was written by my friend, mentor and nutritionist, Valerie Greguire. She is a Natural Health Consultant and owner of Herbal Answers for Health. She has given me permission to share this valuable report in it's entirety with you. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. --Rosa
The Dangers of Midsection Weight Gain
When we think in terms of being healthy, one of the areas we gauge ourselves on is whether or not we have any diagnosed medical conditions. High blood pressure, high cholesterol and arthritis are all indicators in our mind of our overall health.
Another factor in our minds are our overall symptoms; whether or not we have good energy, are able to sleep through the night or get frequent headaches all indicate to us a sense of how healthy we feel. Symptoms are a sign that something is wrong in the body, an indicator that the body is having trouble with a particular function they are not the underlying problem.
As a Natural Health Consultant, I work with my clients to discover the underlying causes for their symptoms and help to assist their body in correcting them. There is one area that is gaining a lot of attention in regard to health; it is the symptom of being overweight.
For years people have fought the scales, battled the bulge and gotten frustrated with extra pounds. All in all, it has only been recently that people have begun to truly recognize that these extra pounds are a symptom of much bigger health problems on the rise.
It is time to look at the fat building up on your waistline for what it is, dangerous unhealthy fat, and a precursor to disease.
An often overlooked culprit in heart disease and diabetes is the connection between the growing fat stores around your abdomen and these diseases.
When your waist circumference reaches over 35 inches for women and 40 inches for men, there is a very good likelihood that you are climbing the path towards diabetes. According to a national health and nutrition examination survey in 1999-2002, one-third of the adults with diabetes didn't know they had it. That's over 6 million people.
This increased fat in your midsection is tied to a condition that carries many names called: Insulin Resistance Syndrome, Syndrome X, Metabolic Syndrome, Impaired Glucose Tolerance, or Pre-Diabetes.
It is marked by:
Elevated levels of triglycerides
Low levels of HDL "good" cholesterol
High blood pressure
High blood sugar levels
Insulin resistance is the precursor to diabetes and heart disease. It puts you at a three-fold greater risk for heart attack, and a greater risk for stroke and diabetes. It can be the trigger that causes arterial plaque to build up on the arteries.
What surprises me is that so many of my clients have been diagnosed with HBP, high cholesterol and triglycerides but have never been told by their doctor any thing about insulin resistance and the importance of doing something about it immediately. I think this may be because so many doctors do not stay up with current scientific research and are not themselves that familiar with the connection or with the proper ways to test and diagnose the condition.
If you have insulin resistance, your muscle, fat, and liver cells do not use insulin properly. The pancreas tries to keep up with the demand for insulin by producing more. Eventually, the pancreas cannot keep up with the body's need for insulin, and excess glucose builds up in the bloodstream.
People with insulin resistance have high levels of blood glucose and high levels of insulin circulating in their blood at the same time. Too much insulin floating around in your bloodstream creates inflammation in the body.
Valerie Greguire is a Natural Health Consultant.