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Metabolic Syndrome

Chinese Herbs for Wellness

Metabolic Syndrome X includes the increased risk factor of heart attack, stroke, or diabetes due to specific risk factors:

  • High insulin levels, an elevated fasting blood glucose or an elevated post meal
    glucose alone with at least 2 of the following criteria: 
  • Abdominal obesity as defined by a waist to hip ratio of greater than 0.9, a body mass index of at least 30 kg/m2 or a waist measurement over 37 inches
  • Cholesterol panel showing a triglyceride level of at least 150 mg/dl or HDL cholesterol lower than 35 mg/dl
  • Blood pressure of 140/90 or above (or on treatment for high blood pressure)

Presently, 25% of adults in the US have symptoms of metabolic syndrome; by 2010, 50-75 million people in the US alone are expected to be afflicted by metabolic syndrome. Obesity, especially with a large percentage of belly fat, is common with metabolic syndrome.

Chinese medicine has always viewed the body as a single organism rather than separate pieces and parts; each organ system has a specific affect on other organ systems, and each organ system supports each of the other organ systems according to Chinese medical theory. True health and wellness is maintained by keeping all of the organ systems healthy and in communication with one another allowing for the free flow of Qi throughout the body. It is no surprise to TCM doctors to see the progression of one chronic disease leading to more diseases in other organ systems.

Certainly, anyone whose health has deteriorated to this level has been experiencing poor health for some number of years; while Chinese tonic herbs can effectively address health issues surrounding metabolic syndrome, it will take a minimum of 1-2 years of herbal therapy to bring the body back in to balance. While this may seem extreme, modern western medicine does not offer any true opportunity to return to good health when dealing with chronic health conditions. Yes, there is insulin for diabetes; there are blood pressure medicines; there are cholesterol medicines; but these pharmaceuticals are all designed to stave off further deterioration rather than to heal and restore.

Here are some types of the Chinese Herbs formulas that can address metabolic syndrome:

Spleen Qi Tonics
It is not necessary to take both of these tonics at the same time, rather cycle them out every 4-6 weeks using only one at a time if both conditions exist.

Heart Health Formulas

General Health Tonic
Tonic herb can addresses all organ systems and helps to bring balance to the whole body. There are many herbs included in this formula to normalize body functions related to metabolic syndrome.

Lifestyle Habits to Prevent Metabolic Syndrome
Exercise
Regular exercise and movement are often lacking with those suffering with metabolic syndrome. A brisk walk for 30 minutes per day is especially helpful in keeping the Qi and Blood moving throughout the body. Qi gong, tai qi and yoga helps to strengthen Qi energy available for the organ systems and to increase circulation of Qi and Blood, and regardless of your present health condition, you can benefit from these types of exercises. Exercise also contributes to stress reduction, and stress has been closely related to belly fat and other metabolic diseases.
Diet
Many TCM doctors believe that a chronic over consumption of inappropriate foods leads to metabolic syndrome and guide patients in Chinese food therapy for better health. A diet rich with whole organic foods is most beneficial with metabolic disorders. Refined carbohydrates and any whites including sugar, white rice, white flour, potatoes, and white pasta should be avoided. Rather, look to whole grains when choosing carbohydrates. Raw foods, fruits, juices, iced drinks, and frozen foods should be moderated to avoid injuring the Spleen function. Good oils such as virgin olive oil and cold pressed vegetable oils should be used rather than processed oils. Vegetables, beans (legumes), nuts, and seeds should be consumed in abundance. Meat consumption should be moderated. So called 'diets' should be traded in for new healthy eating habits when dealing with metabolic syndrome.

References