Restoring Lifelong Metabolic Health with Evidence-Based Solutions

What is the metabolic syndrome?

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The metabolic syndrome refers to a group of factors, which combined together, increases the risks of stroke, heart failure, kidney failure, liver failure, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, types of cancer, blindness, leg amputation, malaise, depression, arthritis, reduced quality-of-life and premature death.

These factors include:

  • Inflammation, glycation and oxidative stress
  • Insulin resistance / impaired glucose tolerance
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Abnormal lipid profile (low HDL-cholesterol, high LDL-cholesterol, high total cholesterol, high total triglycerides)
  • Normal body weight, but, with adiposity (high body fat)
  • Obesity (overweight / obese / morbidly obese)
  • Skewed Waist-Hip Ratio (Apple-shaped)
  • Muscle and bone loss
  • Creeping fat phenomenon*

A person with normal weight (BMI) may still suffer from the metabolic syndrome (such as high blood pressure, high blood sugar and high cholesterols). Therefore, there is an urgent need for the existing global medical care and preventive health care systems to include structured metabolic healthcare programs, rather than rely on weight loss alone, to address the metabolic syndrome pandemic.

*Creeping fat phenomenon refers to a collection of phenotypes. These include gradual muscle and bone loss, compensated by an increase in body fat with age, BUT, no change in overall body weight or even a modest weight loss! Another example is slowly increasing BMI, together with increasing % body fat - over the course of months and years - particularly, as visceral fat deposits (associated with Crohn's disease/IBS).

FACT BOX A

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Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness, kidney failure and non-trauma leg amputation in the world! Colorectal cancer and heart disease are top killers in Singapore and Australia.

Globally, prostate, ovarian and breast cancer cases are elevated in people with poor metabolic health. Strikingly, aerodigestive cancers are elevated in people with low-normal weight.

People with normal weight can still suffer from type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol disorders, adiposity, inflammation, oxidative stress and be in a chronic state of poor metabolic health.

FACT BOX C


Too many lives and limbs are being lost to the complications of type 2 diabetes and the metabolic syndrome, when scientific / clinical / epidemiological evidences are already present, showing that these


metabolic diseases can be stabilised or even reversed in some cases, through polyvalent endocrine-metabolic pharmacotherapies, combined with high quality medical care and appropriate lifestyle changes.

(WHO Bulletin 2011) converges with the book War on Weight, 2007, pages 17-18. (authored by Dr Ong YC)

FACT BOX B

Worldwide, millions of people with type 2 diabetes are ineffectively treated for diabetes and related cardiovascular risk factors and may be at risk of early death. This is the conclusion from a study by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington. The researchers studied diabetes diagnosis, treatment, and management in 7 countries. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, March 2011.