These are the factors that are important for metabolic health – Diabetes Diet

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I was asked recently what I thought the definitions of good metabolic health and bad metabolic health should be. These were my criteria.

Metabolic health consists of two groups of factors: what you have and what you don’t have.

Metabolic health exists on a spectrum and your place on this spectrum may change over time. Perfection in anything is rarely obtainable and if obtained may not be sustainable. In general as we age we lose metabolic health for instance. Conversely exercise improves metabolic health at almost any age.

If you have good metabolic health you have:

Adequate or good muscle mass.

Normal to low fat mass for your life stage and gender.

A blood pressure of less than 140/90 and ideally lower than 130/80.

Fasting blood sugar less than 6.0 mmol/l.

HbA1c of 5.6 or lower.

Normal kidney function, liver function, haematology, low inflammation markers,  and low insulin.

Low triglycerides and high /normal HDL.

Be able to move quickly and without undue effort while walking and running appropriate to your life stage.

Be able to get up from a chair or the ground without using your arms depending on your life stage.

Have good grip strength.

Have good coordination, balance, memory, problem solving abilities, and sensory function.

You sleep well.

You are in a good mood most of the time.

If you don’t have metabolic health, remember the spectrum issue. You can always aim to improve some of these parameters.

Signs that your metabolic health needs some work are:

You have low muscle mass.

You have excess fat mass.

Your blood pressure is consistently over 140/90.

You require medication for blood pressure.

Fasting blood sugar over 6.1 mmol/l

HbA1c over 5.6.

Less than normal kidney function, liver function, haematology, raised inflammation markers other than transiently due to acute illness, and raised insulin.

High triglycerides. Low HDL.

Can’t move at a reasonable pace for the circumstances eg you can’t keep up with your classmates or friends during walks, dancing,  games or exercise classes.

You can’t get up from the floor without using your arms if you are under the age of 40 (and have no disabilities) or from seated in a chair otherwise.

Your grip strength is poor.

You have poor coordination, balance, memory, problem solving abilities, and sensory function that is not correctable with aids.

Yours sleep is habitually poor and you are tired most days.

Your mood is low most days.

Published by kaitiscotland

I am a Scottish doctor who is working to improve the outcomes for people who have diabetes using a low carb diet, and advanced insulin techniques when necessary. Professionally I provide expert witness reports in the clinical forensic and family medicine areas and I also provide complementary therapies. I enjoy cooking, cinema, reading, travel and cats.
View all posts by kaitiscotland


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