Due to the millions of dollars in advertising and marketing spent by the pharmaceutical industry, people are most likely to associate heart attack and stroke risk with high levels of cholesterol. Statins (drugs that lower cholesterol), have created millions in profit for these corporations. One popular corporation’s statin drug exceeds several billion dollars in sales yearly. Cardiovascular risk however, entails far more than just high cholesterol.
Studies show that insulin resistance in fact, offers a direct link between metabolic disease and cardiovascular risk. Insulin resistance it turns out, is an often overlooked culprit underlying both diabetes and heart disease. How are these diseases linked and how can you reduce the risk of both?
Diabetes and Heart Disease
Diabetes and heart disease are closely intertwined. Both share a series of hidden links that serve as root causes for both conditions. If you have diabetes, you are much more likely to have heart disease. The same is true in reverse, if you have heart disease, diabetes is more likely to occur. Here are a few interesting facts:
Diabetes and heart disease are closely linked. Diabetics that do not have heart disease have exactly the same risk for heart attack as non-diabetics who have heart disease.
The first step in guarding against metabolic syndrome is to gauge the risk of insulin resistance through simple blood tests such as triglycerides, insulin, HDL, CRP, and DHEA.
Insulin resistance and inflammation can often be reduced without the use of prescription drugs.
Nutritional supplements that help in reducing insulin resistance include chromium, white bean extract, fish oil, DHEA, vitamin D, lipoic acid, beta glucans, resveratrol, magnesium, cinnamon, and polyphenols found in cocoa, green tea, and apples.
The majority of people that have heart disease and diabetes are insulin-resistant -this leads to raised blood sugar, increased triglycerides, reduced HDL, heightened inflammation, and an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and diabetes.
Metabolic Syndrome – AKA Insulin Resistance
Metabolic syndrome is known by many names — insulin resistance syndrome, syndrome X, borderline diabetes, among others and is typically associated with heightened inflammation and a three-fold or greater risk of heart attack, stroke, and diabetes.
Metabolic syndrome has been shown to increase atherosclerotic plaque even when everything else, like your LDL cholesterol, is at perfect levels. Even with perfect LDL , hidden atherosclerotic heart disease can continue to rage inside your system.
The first thing you can do to prevent the risks associated with metabolic syndrome is to get tested. Ask your doctor or other health care professional what tests are appropriate for you.
The probability that you will have metabolic syndrome goes up as you gain body weight. So even if you suspect you may be approaching insulin resistant, loosing weight would be a smart way to start helping yourself.