The discussion of weight and weight loss has evolved dramatically over the past 10-15 years. In some ways this has been for the better, but in other ways for the worse. I am incredibly grateful that the discussion has moved beyond just the calories in, calories out model (because we all know at this point that that is crap!). This notion though, that calories are not the key point of the equation has spurred a $66.3 BILLION dollar diet industry. Whether this is diet pills, the gym, or other contraptions that promise to shake your last 10lbs off the general understanding is that people are being taken for a very expensive ride. At the same time though, more North American’s are in the over weight and obese category than ever. So what digs?
Normally, blood glucose levels are tightly controlled by insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas. Insulin lowers the blood glucose level. When the blood glucose elevates (for example, after eating food), insulin is released from the pancreas to normalize the glucose level by promoting the uptake of glucose into body cells. In patients with diabetes, the absence of insufficient production of or lack of response to insulin causes hyperglycemia. Diabetes is a chronic medical condition, meaning that although it can be controlled, it lasts a lifetime.

A joint interim statement of the International Diabetes Federation Task Force on Epidemiology and Prevention; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; American Heart Association; World Heart Federation; International Atherosclerosis Society; and International Association for the Study of Obesity published a guideline to harmonize the definition of the metabolic syndrome.[39] This definition recognizes that the risk associated with a particular waist measurement will differ in different populations. Whether it is better at this time to set the level at which risk starts to increase or at which there is already substantially increased risk will be up to local decision-making groups. However, for international comparisons and to facilitate the etiology, it is critical that a commonly agreed-upon set of criteria be used worldwide, with agreed-upon cut points for different ethnic groups and sexes. There are many people in the world of mixed ethnicity, and in those cases, pragmatic decisions will have to be made. Therefore, an international criterion of overweight (BMI≥25) may be more appropriate than ethnic specific criteria of abdominal obesity for an anthropometric component of this syndrome which results from an excess lipid storage in adipose tissue, skeletal muscle and liver.


Metabolic syndrome is believed to develop due to insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone that is produced by the pancreas (an organ located near stomach). It helps blood sugar enter cells, where it is used for energy. With insulin resistance, the body fails to recognize the insulin that is produced, causing the sugar to accumulate in the blood instead of being absorbed into other cells. Because blood sugar levels remain high, the pancreas keeps producing more and more insulin, leading to high insulin levels. While blood sugar levels are not high enough to be classified as diabetes, they do increase the risk of developing serious health problems.
The fact that the diagnostic criteria for metabolic syndrome vary between ethnic populations is testimony to significant nuances in the manifestation of metabolic syndrome in these groups. The original metabolic syndrome criteria were derived in mostly Caucasian populations, and some have argued for modification of individual criteria for specific ethnic subgroups, as has been done with waist circumference for patients of Asian origin. [39]
Insulin is vital to patients with type 1 diabetes - they cannot live without a source of exogenous insulin. Without insulin, patients with type 1 diabetes develop severely elevated blood sugar levels. This leads to increased urine glucose, which in turn leads to excessive loss of fluid and electrolytes in the urine. Lack of insulin also causes the inability to store fat and protein along with breakdown of existing fat and protein stores. This dysregulation, results in the process of ketosis and the release of ketones into the blood. Ketones turn the blood acidic, a condition called diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). Symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis include nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Without prompt medical treatment, patients with diabetic ketoacidosis can rapidly go into shock, coma, and even death may result.
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