Multiple health issues avoidable

We have all heard about the results of an unhealthy diet. But some people may be unaware that it can cause multiple problems. One disease can lead to another. Metabolic syndrome is a problem that can lead to diabetes.

Metabolic syndrome, also known as Syndrome X, is a collection of heart disease risk factors that increase the chance of developing a stroke and diabetes. Syndrome X is an insulin resistance syndrome and dysmetabolic syndrome.

Type 2 diabetes is an agent of metabolic syndrome.

“Type 2 diabetes is a result of metabolic syndrome,” said Tiffany Tobin, 20, a junior pharmacy student from Fairfield, Calif. “The body needs the hormone insulin to transfer sugar from the blood stream to blood cells. When the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin, the blood stream can become clogged with excess sugar resulting in high blood sugar levels.”

The disease is more common in minorities and people with excess weight. A change in lifestyle will help diminish the disease.

“Type 2 diabetes usually affects those young and overweight,” said Teaondra Ford, a registered nurse at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare. “The disease is genetically based the highest in Native Americans, Hispanics and then blacks.”

Ford also noted that pregnant women who suffer from gestational diabetes are more prone to Type 2 diabetes. Studies show there is a four percent risk in women, Ford said.

Lessening the intake of fatty, sugary and salty substances, such as red meat, will minimize the chances of suffering from this disease.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, the chief medical correspondent for CNN, reported that, “Eating two servings of red meat a day puts a person at a 25 to 26 percent greater risk of developing metabolic syndrome.”

Britney Wyche, 20, a junior, elementary education student from Fort Lauderdale, explained her reasons for abstaining from red meat.

“I don’t eat red meat because it doesn’t digest well and it makes me feel sick,” she said. “I feel like I’m treating my body better by substituting turkey for red meat.”

On the other hand, eating red meat does have its benefits. It is a great source of iron, protein and vitamin B-12. The key to consuming red meat is doing so in moderation. Reducing red meat consumption is not the only factor in staying healthy.

Gupta reported that contracting the disease all depends on the person’s lifestyle, especially if the body does not produce enough insulin. The chance of getting this disease increases with age. Genetics, diet and exercise are also important determining factors.

According to, a healthy lifestyle encourages people to limit saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol and sodium in their diet. Cut down on sugars. Eat plenty of vegetables, fruits and whole-grain foods. Choose fat-free and low-fat products and eat fish twice per week.

Physical activity and weight control are also important. Exposure to tobacco products should be avoided in order to achieve and maintain healthy cholesterol, blood pressure and blood glucose levels.