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Is the IRS Visiting you?

By Lucy Rojo, ND

Are you tired of getting reports saying that you have cholesterol and blood pressure issues? Do you feel especially tired after meals, or have you been trying to get a handle on your weight with little success? You may have Syndrome X.

Syndrome X is a common nutritional disease caused by eating foods high in refined carbohydrates. It is often referred to as Insulin Resistance Syndrome (IRS) and includes having one or more of the following: high cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure and/or carrying excessive weight. You may think these are signs of getting older, but they could be Syndrome X. If so, you are at increased risk of having numerous age-related disorders from diabetes to Alzheimer’s disease to cancer.

Insulin, a chemical made by the pancreas and released in response to dietary sugars or glucose, plays a pivotal role in Syndrome X. Once glucose is taken up by the digestive system, it goes into the blood and eventually to the body where it gets used for fuel or repair. Insulin is needed in the crucial step of getting sugar out of the blood and into the cells of your body. It acts much like a key that is used to unlock a door. Insulin receptors on most cells act as the lock. If insulin (the key) cannot be put into the insulin receptor (the lock), glucose can’t be delivered to the cell properly which results in insulin resistance. The body releases more and more insulin which goes unnoticed by the cells. As Syndrome X progresses, both glucose and insulin get log jammed in the blood, while the cell starves in a relative abundance of glucose. The end result is that glucose and insulin remain in the blood where they cause other devastating problems.

If you consume the standard American diet of boxed and processed foods such as muffins, cereals, breads, cookies and soft drinks, your diet is leading you to disaster. These foods deliver an excess of sugars and bad fats with few vital nutrients.

The following is just a partial list of health compromises resulting from IRS: Obesity (body mass index of over 30 in adults), darkening of the skin around the neck, skin tags, allergies, bad changes in the blood fats (triglycerides > 140 mg/dl and HDL < 40), and hormonal changes – especially in women. Gout, fatty liver, and kidney problems are also common conditions associated with IRS.

The treatment for IRS is in healthy diet and exercise choices. In addition to lifestyles modification, medication and nutritional or herbal supplementation can prevent the progression this syndrome. However, once IRS has developed, it is a lifetime management project. Stop it in its tracks now, so you don’t pay the price later.

Dr. Lucy Rojo is a licensed, natural medicine doctor working with Robert Steinberg, M.D. in Palm Desert. She focuses on digestive challenges, intravenous nutritional therapies for a variety of conditions, and nutritional genetic testing. She is also fluent in Spanish and offers home/office visits. Contact her at the Desert Integrative Medical Center: 760.340.2260. 

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