Metabolic Syndrome, also known as Syndrome X is sometimes the cause of neuropathy symptoms. Often the medical doctors have not diagnosed this syndrome for the patient and the cause of their neuropathy is unknown to the patient and their doctors.
What is Metabolic Syndrome? It is a pre-diabetic state with insulin resistance. A combination of high cholesterol, high blood pressure and abdominal circumference greater than hip measurement are signs of Metabolic Syndrome. Neuropathy symptoms can be caused by Metabolic Syndrome.
Common Tests for Metabolic Syndrome:
-Total cholesterol levels
-Fasting blood sugar levels
– Glucose tolerance tests measuring both glucose and insulin
– Increased triglycerides greater than 150 mg/dl or greater than 1.7 mm/liter can indicate Metabolic Syndrome
-HDLC = should be less than 40 mg for males and less than 50 mg for females
– Blood Pressure greater than 130/85 mmHg can be an indicator of Metabolic Syndrome
– Fasting plasma glucose level or fasting blood glucose level often is over 110 in Metabolic Syndrome. It should not be over 100.
– Male waist circumference greater than 40 inches or Female waist circumference greater than 35 inches are indicators of potential Metabolic Syndrome
– Check CRP levels: C-reactive protein, a systemic inflammation marker, may be high. High CRP levels with high blood pressure is a predictor of future heart attack
– Sometimes the burning pain or numbness or tingling of neuropathy is the first symptom a patient feels with Metabolic Syndrome.
HOW IS METABOLIC SYNDROME TREATED?
Improve your nutrition and exercise.
If you need help from a nutritionist: get it.
Eat a low glycemic index diet ( I have an extensive glycemic index list at the office. You can pick one up the next time you are in, or simply call me and I will mail or e-mail it to you).
Avoid dairy, things made from white flour and white sugar.
A suggested book for patients is ‘A Week In The Zone” by Barry Sears
Increase exercise and activity levels. Regular exercise has been shown to decrease insulin resistance.