Metabolic Syndrome X is the name used for a cluster of factors that can increase risk of heart failure by 4 to 20 times. It is also known as , Myocardial Infarction (MI), Syndrome X, Reaven Syndrome and Insulin Resistance Syndrome.
Causes of Syndrome X
While Syndrome X has existed throughout human history, it has only recently begun to be recognized by physicians.As a result, most Doctors will suggest that Syndrome X is runs in families, particularly those with high incident of Diabetes Type II.Moreover, risk of Syndrome X is made higher by those who are obese or live sedentary lifestyles.
While this is somewhat correct, it is ignores the fact that the body undergoes major changes past 30 years of age.Science has shown a clear link between Syndrome X and adipose tissue.While the formation of adipose tissue results for a variety of reasons, in many adults this occurs due to changes in hormone balance.Specifically, there is a decrease in Androgen product (DHEA, Testosterone, etc.) and an increase in SHBG.While these types of hormones are primarily associated with sexuality, they act in concert with other hormones and control a wide array of metabolic functions.
Its import to understand that adipose formation is not bad only because it produces fat and obesity.Indeed, the real problem is that adipose tissue is actually a part of the endocrine system, creating a number of hormones. In a short term, it can help the body support endocrine deficiencies. However, it can also over form and cause a host of problems as highlighted in the chart below.
What is the role of the Androgens and Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG)?
There is a direct and important link between low Androgen levels, increased SHBG and Syndrome X, which science has only just recently begun to understand.Androgen levels begin during the mid 20s. Simultaneously, SHBG increases.This dynamic explains a lot of why your body "just isn't the same" after 30.Here are the functions of these hormones.
First, all sex hormones are derived from cholesterol. With a lower Androgen product, there is less cholesterol being used and more being built up in the body.
Second, when you eat, insulin will break down glucose and seek to react with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PDH) to store this into adipose tissue (fat) in an anabolic reaction (energy storing).The hormone responsible for stopping this action and creating a catabolic reaction (energy/fat burning) is an Androgen known as DHEA.
As DHEA redirects use of energy to the muscles, a later stage Androgen, Testosterone signals the muscles toward glycolic reaction and ATP production.This gives you energy.
SHBG, produced in the liver, is responsible for the binding of excess sex hormone.It has a higher affinity toward testosterone over estrogen. SHBG binds these hormones in adipose tissue and its increase is somewhat causal of an increase in adipose production.
Finally, if you you view from the chart above, adipose tissue creates a variety of hormones.However, many of the hormones, Estrogen, Lipase, and insulin are all going to further invigorate formation of adipose tissue. This is particularly true if Androgen levels are lower.
This is why metabolism slows as one increases weight.
Current Medical Treatments for Syndrome X
Currently, there is no drug treatment to reverse Syndrome X in the body.If you are diagnosed with Syndrome X your Doctor will primarily tell you to engage in diet and exercise to get your body weight within 20% of the "ideal" body weight.Exercise can have positive effects on increasing Androgen production.
However - here's the clincher - those with Metabolic Syndrome X are more than likely going to have problems with exercise and proper diet. Remember, this is a METABOLIC dysfunction.You have decreased energy and ATP available to your muscles because of existing adipose formation.The adipose tissue is increasing insulin which increases appetite.
Your body is working against you to get started on such a regiment let alone to keep it up.Moreover, this hardly addresses some of the major changes in the body frustrating the disorder.