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Syndrome X

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Syndrome X: A Combination of Four Risk Factors

The combination for syndrome "X" is four major cardiovascular risks: diabetes, obesity, hypertension and excess levels of blood fats. The exact cause is unknown and poorly understood, but the components appear to be related.

Letter X for Syndrome X

Many diabetics are insulin-resistant. This means they produce enough insulin but somehow, the insulin does not metabolize efficiently. Patients with high blood pressure are prone to insulin resistance. Insulin lowers blood fats. Obese people are more likely to suffer from moderate elevations of blood sugar and hypertension. Therefore, the four factors of the syndrome relate, probably because of genetic influences.

Medications are necessary to bring syndrome X patients into a better metabolic balance. Customarily, this approach involves oral anti-diabetes medication (rarely insulin injections).

The following treatments may be included:

A weight loss diet with the emphasis on omitting "empty" calories such as sugar, a regular exercise program, drugs for hypertension and medicine to lower the levels of cholesterol and triglycerides -- the major fats in the blood.

A new type of anti-diabetes medicine called thiazolidinediones, has a major influence on syndrome X, by reducing insulin-resistance, blood fats and blood pressure. This means patience may only need to take one medication in addition to diet and exercise, which will control the syndrome and reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Long term effects of this therapy are yet unknown but the concept is very exciting because it has the potential for revolutionizing the treatment not only for syndrome X, but for diabetes, hypertension and hyperlipidemia. Type 2 diabetes, the form that does not require insulin, is increasing in the United States, especially among children and young adults. Food is easy to obtain, humans are more sedentary today and young people often consume high-calorie, high-fat junk food diets.

Just about everyone benefits from more prudent consumption of low-calorie foods and exercise! Childhood obesity, for example, is rapidly becoming a national health issue. Children need to eat sensibly and exercise regularly.

Video games, computers and television have replace kick-ball, tag and other entertaining activities children once took part in on a regular basis. Of course, adults need to eat sensibly and exercise regularly as well for their health and the added bonus of setting an excellent, priceless example for their children.

Get More Vitamin X

A report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommends doubling your daily does of vitamin X - exercise. Okay, it is not really a vitamin, but it is just as essential. For the first time, the IOM included a recommended daily allowance of exercise.

One hour of moderately intense physical activity for adults and children.

Walking Shoes Past recommendations by other organizations have been 30 minutes. The increase is based on studies of how much energy people burn and how much they need to burn to maintain a healthy weight and minimize disease risk>.

Do not despair! You do not have to go to a gym or hop on a treadmill. Climbing stairs, gardening and brisk walking count, too. You do not have to exercise for a whole hour all in one shot. Break it up into 10 or 15 minute intervals, four to six times a day. If you do higher intensity activities such as jogging, you only need 20 to 30 minutes, four to seven days a week.

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