Hidden consequences of Syndrome X
Q: I know insulin resistance is related to type 2 diabetes, but is there anything else it can lead to?
When most people hear the words insulin resistance, they think of type 2 diabetes. But a lesser-known, though just as common, consequence is high blood pressure. Professor Gerald Reaven of Stanford University is generally given the credit for coming up with the first comprehensive description of insulin resistance (also called metabolic syndrome and Syndrome X) and its consequences. In 2000, he wrote the following: “Essential hypertension is prevalent among older individuals, and approximately 50 percent of persons with hypertension can be considered to have insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia.”
But even though Professor Reaven and others, including yours truly, have written extensively in medical journals about insulin resistance and its tie to hypertension, it still isn’t a routine test in every case of hypertension. I’m not surprised, though. If insulin resistance is the cause of your high blood pressure, the “cure” consists of a proper diet, vitamins, minerals, natural metabolites, and botanicals. Of course, there’s no money to be made with these natural solutions.
To compound the problem, the most precise test for insulin resistance, the glucose tolerance/insulin resistance test (GT-IRT), isn’t taught in medical schools, even though it’s been around since 1976. (Subscribers, for a more extensive discussion on treating insulin resistance, see the July and August 2001 issues of Nutrition & Healing.)
If you have hypertension and your physician hasn’t had you take the glucose tolerance/insulin resistance test, ask for it. If your physician is not familiar with the test, find one who is.
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