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Are You Part of This Silent Unrecognized Epidemic?


It turns out there is a silent unrecognized epidemic in folks without diabetes who have high insulin levels and corresponding early heart attacks. It is called Syndrome X: Insulin Resistance

It is estimated that a huge part of the population has Syndrome X. Not only does it trigger weight gain, fatigue and other symptoms like high blood pressure, but most folks do not know they have it and have never been tested.

This form of insulin resistance in non-diabetics often underlies not only weight gain (especially around the middle as in the apple types as opposed to the pear types), episodic or chronic tiredness, and high blood pressure, but high cholesterol, poor thought process, mood swings, constant hunger, high triglycerides, and elevated uric acid.

The mechanism that leads to syndrome X happens when the membrane of the cell where the insulin receptor lies is damaged. Insulin cannot work properly, so the body sends out even more insulin. The insulin, in turn triggers hunger, so the person eats more.

Since the insulin does not work on the cell receptor to convert sugar to energy, the sugar becomes stored as fat. The innocent victims are always hungry, craving carbohydrates, and gaining weight.

A short-term solution is a carnivore diet of high quality protein at every meal. This explains why people with syndrome X feel well on the Atkins-type diet and do not have arteriosclerotic complications. Put them on fruits and whole grains, pastas and breads and they feel awful and actually increase their risk of early heart attack through insulin-triggering with a high glycemic diet.

Even though fruits and salads are healthful, until their membrane receptors are corrected, they do best on much meat, because it triggers the least insulin. Even healthful foods like cooked carrots, cereals, potatoes, bread, and rice can have a higher glycemic index (rate at which foods are converted to sugar and trigger a rise in insulin) than table sugar.

In the meantime, a simple test would be to have a breakfast of fruits and cereal one morning and see how it lasts by observing your energy and mood. Then have eggs, Canadian bacon, fried potatoes and grilled tomatoes with cheese the next morning. Again monitor your feelings and energy every half hour for 4 hours. That is a start in getting to know if you are a fast or slow metabolizer. The fast ones feel dreadful on healthful fruits and need longer lasting fats and proteins to sustain them.

No, you don’t have to be among the 135 million diabetics to benefit from these remedies, for you may unknowingly be among the millions who are robbed of their vitality by Syndrome X.

Advanced Functional Medicine Clinical Tip

Thyroid dysfunction, either hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, can result in insulin resistance. The explanation to this apparent paradox may lie in the differential effects of thyroid hormones at the liver and peripheral tissues level. As functional medicine practitioners, we must take this paradox into account when assessing an individual with known thyroid dysfunction.

Functional Medicine Approach

Do not treat disease. Treat entire person. Find the root cause of the problem and engage in the healing process. Have any questions, please contact our office for help.


DeFronzo R, Ferrannini E, Insulin resistance – a multifaceted syndrome responsible for NIDDM, obesity, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, Diabetes Care 1991;4(3):173-94

Zavaroni I, et al, Risk factors for coronary artery disease in healthy persons with hyperinsulinemia and normal glucose tolerance, New Engl J Med 1989;320:702-6

Original source of the article:

Article by Aleksander Kanevsky, DC, CFMP

At New York City Chiropractic and Functional Medicine Center, Dr. Aleksander Kanevsky provides Chiropractic Care, Bioenergetic Medicine, Functional Medicine and Nutrition. Dr. Kanevsky demonstrates why this type of integrative care is an essential addition to a health care practice. He helps people to achieve quality of life and highest expression of health.

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