Syndrome X - Yikes!!!

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Mikie, Sep 19, 2002.

  1. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Thanks to Klutzo, I bought the book on nutrition for Metabolism Syndrome, also called Syndrome X. While I was at it, I picked up the book, "The Cortisol Connection." It's basically about the "fight or flight" condition which arises when people are under chronic stress. Our FMS/CFS sets us up for this and we are at high risk for this condition. Chronic stress causes the body to produce too much cortisol and causes damage to all the body's systems. This is what can lead to Snydrome X.

    I've been concerned and asking my doc about my elevated blood pressure, weight gain (especially around the middle), and my elevated cholesterol. He just brushes it off and tells me to change my diet. He, and most other docs, are clueless that Syndrom X even exists. From the epidemic proportions of the population suffering from CFS/FMS and from obesity, one would think they would finally learn about these dangerous conditions.

    From having a lot of older clients, I have seen the results of Syndrome X out of control and it can happen very fast. People's blood sugar continues to climb as they age, and they have been told for years by the health industry that low protein/high complex carb diets are healthy. Their blood pressure climbs and puts them at risk of heart attacks and strokes. They develop diabetes. They become morbidly obese. Their joints start to fail. They have so many health problems that each problem is affecting all the others and they are in a very dangerous situation.

    The Syndrome X book gives diets, recipes, and suggestions for supplements. I believe that unless we can control the chronic stress we have in our lives every day, we will not be able to overcome Syndrome X. We absolutely must find a way to severly reduce or eliminate chronic stress. I am in therapy to try to get rid of my stress and anger. I will go on the more restricted diet until I see some changes in my health, and I will add some supplements I haven't been taking. Of course, exercise is part of the deal too. I suspect I am already insulin resistant and will do everything within my power to reverse this situation.

    Once again, I have received no help from the medical field for my problems. Like every other treatment, I heard about it here. Thanks Klutzo! I am going to have to educate my doc to this situation. I like my doc and he is very open to learning, but I don't understand why doctors are so totally clueless of conditions which affect so many.

    I hope this is helpful because it is an area of our treatment which is often overlooked. It is reversable when treated before it's too late.

    Love, Mikie
  2. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Thanks to Klutzo, I bought the book on nutrition for Metabolism Syndrome, also called Syndrome X. While I was at it, I picked up the book, "The Cortisol Connection." It's basically about the "fight or flight" condition which arises when people are under chronic stress. Our FMS/CFS sets us up for this and we are at high risk for this condition. Chronic stress causes the body to produce too much cortisol and causes damage to all the body's systems. This is what can lead to Snydrome X.

    I've been concerned and asking my doc about my elevated blood pressure, weight gain (especially around the middle), and my elevated cholesterol. He just brushes it off and tells me to change my diet. He, and most other docs, are clueless that Syndrom X even exists. From the epidemic proportions of the population suffering from CFS/FMS and from obesity, one would think they would finally learn about these dangerous conditions.

    From having a lot of older clients, I have seen the results of Syndrome X out of control and it can happen very fast. People's blood sugar continues to climb as they age, and they have been told for years by the health industry that low protein/high complex carb diets are healthy. Their blood pressure climbs and puts them at risk of heart attacks and strokes. They develop diabetes. They become morbidly obese. Their joints start to fail. They have so many health problems that each problem is affecting all the others and they are in a very dangerous situation.

    The Syndrome X book gives diets, recipes, and suggestions for supplements. I believe that unless we can control the chronic stress we have in our lives every day, we will not be able to overcome Syndrome X. We absolutely must find a way to severly reduce or eliminate chronic stress. I am in therapy to try to get rid of my stress and anger. I will go on the more restricted diet until I see some changes in my health, and I will add some supplements I haven't been taking. Of course, exercise is part of the deal too. I suspect I am already insulin resistant and will do everything within my power to reverse this situation.

    Once again, I have received no help from the medical field for my problems. Like every other treatment, I heard about it here. Thanks Klutzo! I am going to have to educate my doc to this situation. I like my doc and he is very open to learning, but I don't understand why doctors are so totally clueless of conditions which affect so many.

    I hope this is helpful because it is an area of our treatment which is often overlooked. It is reversable when treated before it's too late.

    Love, Mikie
  3. Suze

    Suze New Member

    If the list isn't too long, can you give us an idea of what supplements the book recommends?

    Thank you!

    Suze
  4. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Actually the supplements aren't in a concise list. They span several chapters and the authors go into each and every nutritional supplement, vitamin, and mineral and how each helps. Much of what is suggested is what we already are taking. I've just gotten a little sloppy in taking my supplements lately.

    The book states that anyone who is even 10 pounds overweight is in an insulin resistant state. Gaining the weight around the middle is critical. This is just one of the symptoms of Syndrome X, but I am already approaching the high blood pressure, high cholesterol symptoms. In addition, my good cholesterol/bad cholesterol ratio is not in balance.

    I hope a lot of people decide to read the book because this is a very common ailment amongst us. I'm sorry I can't be more helpful here, but just taking the suggested supplements would not be the answer anyway. Diet is what is stressed as the way to reverse the insulin resistance. It is my opinion, though, that unless a person reduces her chronic stress, very little else that she does will help.

    If you go to the website, you can read part of the book (use the name of the syndrome and add the requisite www. and .com in their proper places and it will take you there.

    Love, Mikie
  5. klutzo

    klutzo New Member

    Mikie - Maybe I should re-read this book! I was taught that Syndrome X is caused by a long term overindulgence in a sweet tooth, and since that has always been my one and only vice, I believed it. Conventional docs (at least two of mine anyway) will tell you that "X" is mostly genetic. They point out that many people eat lots of sweets and never get it. That's also true, my FIL is a good example. I don't think you are insulin resistant yet, Mikie, because you found the colon prep so easy to do. It is insulin resistance that made me so sick. If you had it, even a simple GTT test would make you very ill....I found this out the hard way also. I sure hope you don't have it. I can't go more than 4 1/2 hrs. without food or I start to stagger and slur my speech and get cold. No fun.
    Suze - I know you well enough to know that you are already eating the correct diet and then some, so don't worry!
    Klutzo
  6. Suze

    Suze New Member

    The stress connection got my attention, though. I'm up to my ears in stress, and see no way out in the near future. Just trying to deal with it.

    For the record, I was also a rabid sweets eater throughout childhood and into my 30s. Went through school with Milk Duds in my desk at all times!

    Suze
  7. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I'm not sure I posted very clearly here. I'm very tired today.

    It was the book on the cortisol connection which stated that stress can lead to Syndrome X.

    I am hypoglycemic and cannot go for long without eating. I used to eat a lot of sugary sweets and craved them. Shortly after eating sweets, I would almost go into a coma from being so tired.

    I was sick as a dog before I got to the room where they performed the colonoscopy. I didn't even think about the effect of going so long without anything to eat. On top of that, they were running over two hours late. Afterward, I was in the parking lot dry heaving. However, neither the prep nor the procedure bothered me. I was out cold for the procedure.

    It's possible to have insulin resistance without having full-blown Syndrome X. IR is just one of the symptoms of it. However, my cholesterol and blood pressure are very rapidly approaching the point that they would qualify for symptoms of Syndrome X. I put on 40 pounds when I was put on Elavil and Flexeril, most of it around the middle. I've been after my doc to try to see the connection before I ever heard of Syndrome X. I'm not trying to be an alarmist, but I believe it's a good idea to be knowledgeable and try to prevent illnesses. These docs are clueless about how serious this is.

    The second-to-last paragraph on page 28 states, "A person does not have to be grossly obese to suffer from Syndrome X. As few as 10 poounds of excessive weight can indicate problems, particularly when the extra pounds are also associated with elevated blood fats and high blood pressure. Of course, the more extra weight a person has, the more serious the problem."

    The second paragraph on page 20 states, "...everyone who is overweight has insulin resistance."

    What astounded me were the statistics cited. "...glucose intolerance and insulin resistance affect more than half of the population; and that 55 percent of North Americans are overweight, 50 million have elevated cholesterol levels, and 50 million suffer from hypertension" (page 25).

    There is no doubt that genetics plays a part; I think they do in everything. The book does mention that thin people can suffer from Syndrome X. I believe that most people, if they continue to eat a lot of refined carbs, will eventually suffer from at least some of the symptoms of Syndrome X. The book also states that some docs now believe that if a patient has only two of the risk factors, s/he is suffering from Syndrome X.

    I have not finished the book, so there is much more for me to learn, but I am amazed at what I have found. I am also very grateful to you for bringing this to our attention.

    Just one more quote from page 19: "When people keep consuming large quantities of refined carbohydrates and sugars year after year, skeletal muscle cells (that is, the muscles that wrap around your bones and where most glucose/insulin activity occurs) start to become overwhelmed by all of the insulin and they start to respond to the insulin much more sluggishly." To me, this means that this conditon could certainly complicate and exacerbate our muscular pain which often feels as though it hurts right down to our bones.

    Our illnesses are so strange and misunderstood. Each of us has symptoms in common and each of us has our own unique symptoms. In addition, it appears that many syndromes, not just Syndrome X, seem to play a big part for many of us. I think this is another example of an associated syndrome. You don't have to have CFS or FMS to have Syndrome X, but I do believe that having our illnesses puts us at more risk of developing Syndrome X because so many of us are hypoglycemic.

    Again, Klutzo, thanks. You have done many a great service.

    Love, Mikie
  8. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I just had my first SX breakfast: Omelet with cheese and red onion. I'm sitting here with breath from hell :) Last night, I threw out all my bread. I am giving my snacks and cereal to the neighbors. I always cut back on refined carbs, but now, I'm cutting out til I get things under better control. This is just like the Atkins diet. Later, when I can add some natural carbs, it will be like the Suzanne Somers diet.

    BTW, the doc who wrote the foreward to one of the Somersize books basically said the same thing as the SX book has to say. Eating good fat does not make us fat, raise our cholesterol, raise our blood pressure, or bring on diabetes. Eating refined carbs does.

    Love, Mikie
  9. klutzo

    klutzo New Member

    I think it is wonderful that you can get rid of all that tempting stuff! Unfortunately, I have to keep it around for my super healthy, very skinny husband, whose favorite food is potatoes. He eats 4 sandwiches every lunchtime, so bread must be around, but at least it's whole grain. He drinks at least a quart of apple juice daily, so I have to have that too. Luckily, I am not fond of apple juice and he doesn't demand deserts. He loves peanut M & M's, but I have always made him keep those in his work truck so I'm not tempted, which means he can only have them four months of the year here in Fla. or they would melt, but he's been a good sport about it. My husband eats so much junk from fast food places and his cardiac risk ratio is only 1.8, while mine is 8.8. It's unfair and very frustrating. I am slowly easing into this diet, as the last time I tried it, I went cold turkey and ended up sitting up night after night, so hungry for carbs that I could not sleep. I smelled sweet things in the air, I saw a yellow house and right away thought of lemon meringue, I saw a green one and thought of mint chocolate chip, etc. It was torture, so I am slowly using up what's left of the whole grain stuff and spreading it out further and further between meals where I use it. I just went to the fish market and bought extra salmon. We were eating it only once a week due to expense. The "X" diet is expensive, and as you can see above, my husband eats like a family of four all by himelf. One of our dogs is the size of a person, and eats like one, and both dogs have expensive prescriptions they have to take forever, and on and on. So, I can't afford to give away food I've already paid for. There are no sweet treats left in the house except my husband's fig newtons and I can resist those. I wish you luck and hope we can support each other in this. The last time I went on a similar diet, I lost 46 lbs., but I blew it after 1 yr. and 8 mos. I just could not stand watching everyone else at Thanksgiving dinner eat three different kinds of pie, when I could not have any. So, I ate just the point off a piece of pumpkin pie, telling myself that pumpkin is a vegetable so it wasn't so bad. Ha! That just opened the floodgates and within a year I had regained 54 lbs. It's like being an alcholic, except you have to eat, so it's even harder. This time I need to lose 68 lbs. One day at a time!
    Klutzo
    Klutzo
  10. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Klutzo, It really is hard to stick to a restricted diet with yummy stuff all around. My Mom had to have her sugary rolls, ice cream, and candy all around her. I admire you for even trying to stay away from carbs with all that. I kept trying to explain to my Mom what happens when you dump that crap into your system, but I guess at 92, she figured she would rather indulge. Can't say as I blame her, but she did die of a heart attack.

    Sofy, Dr. St. Amand says that anything which measures glucose in the blood is next to useless because glucose levels can vary widely in a short period of time. I assume that insulin is similar. The book states that anyone who is overweight has insulin resistance. That doesn't mean they necessarily have full-blown SX, but the whole idea is to prevent SX, not try to reverse it when there are all kinds of health problems.

    I am overweight, have high cholesterol and high bad-to- good cholesterol ratio and high triglicerides. In addition, my blood pressure is in the high normal range. Almost everyone on my Mom's side of the family has died of heart disease. I have no plans on letting this get any worse. The high protein/low carb diet is healthy for us and often lessens symptoms. It's what I've been doing for a while. I'm just refining it to exclude any refined carbs until I lose some weight and my tests improve.

    Klutzo, I'll be more than grateful for the support and will try to be here for you too. I keep imagining myself as slimmer and healthier. That's what keeps me going.

    Love, Mikie
  11. norris2

    norris2 New Member

    Could someone please give the name and author of this book. I have syndrome X but with high glucose on the GTT, I am not overweight but insulin resistance is a part of these chronic illnesses. I have no problem eating the low carb diet because of the consequences...haven't eaten a slice of bread or speck of processed sugar in 8 months---either that or get full blown diabetes on top of my condition !! This is serious stuff and I suffer enough. No thanks. I'd like to read more......
  12. roro

    roro New Member

    Dr. Atkins is a cardiologist. he has been treating patients with syndrom X for 30 years SUCCESSFULLY. He designed the atkins diet to reverse this disease process, not to lose weight. Weight loss was just a benefit. i have been on atkins for almost two years now, and my health is improvign a lot. i also go to a doctor who tells me what supplements to take for my conditions. Low-carb diet and supplements can work wonders.

    There is a great support board for low carb dieting I belong to:

    (Edited by Moderator)
  13. garlinbarb

    garlinbarb New Member

    This is very interesting! I haven't read everything but it sorta sounds like the caveman diet......is that close? I ask because the idea of our eating what our ancestors ate is very appealing to me. It's simple and right to the point. Just eat whatever can be eaten in it's natural state, without cooking.I can't remember all of the excluded things but potatoes is one.

    Like you said it's similar to Adkins or Sommers. It's certainly worth looking into!

    I haven't been able to come here before now today. For some reason AOL is spassing out. I snuck in on google.

    Barb
  14. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    One can be thin and still have this too. It's epidemic in the population. The name of the book is "The Complete Nutritional Program to Prevent and Reverse Insulin Resistance: Syndrome X," by Challem, Berkson, and Smith.

    For the rest who responded, I realize this is nothing new and that Dr. Atkins has been vindicated for what he has been trying to tell us for years. Suzanne Somers has taken the Atkins diet a little further with her food balancing and cookbooks. I don't know whether it resembles the Cave Man Diet, but the authors of the SX book do say that we should eat as closely as possible to what our hunter/gatherer ancestors did. Not easy to do today.

    What has amazed and frustrated me is that our docs tend to treat each symptom without realizing that it's our low-fat/high-carb diets which have brought this epidemic of obesity and illness. And, even worse, they tend to prescribe these diets to help us. When we just get worse eating that way, they give us drugs which have side effects similar to the very diseases the drugs are given to prevent. I can understand why a family doc wouldn't know how to treat CFS/FMS, but there is no excuse for ignorance of how our diets are making us sick.

    Love, Mikie