The X Factor: How Fast Can It Ruin Your Life?

It was absolutely embarrassing! I couldn’t stay awake. After eating a normal breakfast lunch or dinner I was out like a light. No I am not talking about the Thanksgiving turkey tryptophan thing that is the brunt of so many jokes-this was not funny at all.

I tried to cope with this for over a year until one day driving in town on a busy street in broad daylight- I fell asleep at the wheel. That was bad enough but as it happened my fiance was with me to witness the event. Fortunately the worst that happened was I scared the hell out of both of us. That did it- I had to get some help.

I went to see a health practitioner who knew immediately what I had-Syndrome X.

I still remember going home to see what else I could find out about Syndrome X besides the take home literature which was very scant. It was not a common term for sure. There just wasn’t much information out there in 1995.

In a nutshell this ominous sounding term refers to a group of symptoms centered on insulin resistance. Without making it too confusing I’ll try to explain.

After a meal someone with Syndrome X will have elevated glucose in the blood which signals the pancreas to make more insulin. This forces the blood sugar down, which can lead to food cravings, which can lead to – you guessed it- OBESITY and a host of other serious problems like hypertension, high triglycerides, diabetes, and coronary heart disease.

Syndrome X interferes with the body’s ability to burn food. Muscle cells become more resistant to insulin thus reducing the ability to absorb nutrients which in turn causes the pancreas to produce more insulin. Got it? Let me try again.

If you have Syndrome X your body’s metabolism is screwed up (not a medical term). It causes you to have food cravings notably for sweets (sugar) and bread and pasta (white flour) to a point of almost being addictive. Can you see where this is headed?

Some think that Syndrome X is actually caused by eating too many high carb foods like bread, pasta and sweets. As many as 75 million Americans have Syndrome X in one degree or another. Sure is a good thing I wasn’t a snackaholic, chocaholic, or addicted to pasta and bread.

Is it any coincidence at all that the prevalence of Syndrome X, pre-diabetes, and obesity in all age groups-especially children-has something to do with the much more serious problems of diabetes, hypertension, higher triglycerides, and CHD?

That’s the bad news! The good news is that the more serious problems can all be prevented. Weight loss of up to 15 % of your current weight will have an impact on lowering your blood pressure and raising your HDL or good cholesterol. A diet low in refined carbs such as soda, high fructose corn syrup, sugar and white flour bread and pasta will help with weight loss and getting your triglycerides down. And of course exercise-even a 30 minute walk a day can do wonders.

So be good to yourself, your spouse and children; lose the weight, exercise, and change your diet. If you don’t the evil downward spiral of Syndrome X will ruin your life for

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