Diabetes type II and the syndrome X connection
Dr. Gerald Reaven, M.D., an authority on insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia, coined the term Syndrome X (in 1988) to identify clusters of symptoms that often accompany abnormal blood glucose levels: hyperlipidemia (too much cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood), hyperinsulinemia (too much insulin in the bloodstream), obesity, and hypertension. Syndrome X, like Type II diabetes, is a condition of insulin resistance, a disorder in which insulin does not produce the same glucose-lowering effects seen in otherwise normal, insulin-sensitive individuals. The failure occurs at the cellular level, robbing insulin of its primary role of glucose delivery.
Syndrome X and many cases of early stage Type II diabetes are conditions of insulin resistance and excesses of compensatory insulin. Hyperinsulinemia, in most cases is only a temporary reprieve in delaying the onset of full-blown diabetes. The pancreas will eventually become weary in its effort to supply the extra insulin needed to forestall the disease.
It is important to note that while almost all Type II diabetic patients are insulin resistant, not all individuals with hyperinsulinemia become diabetics. Although opinions are varied as to the numbers, some speculate that one in four hyperinsulinemic individuals will become diabetics (Lukaczer 1999). Should the individual escape diabetes, hyperinsulinemia is still a significant risk to long-term survival. Note: Several decades ago, investigators at the Bronx Veterans Administration Hospital showed that patients with Type II diabetes could have elevated blood glucose levels despite having higher insulin levels, a revelation that stunned the medical community.
Lipoic acid protects LDL against oxidation and is beneficial in preventing and treating Syndrome X and diabetic complications such as neuropathy. As little as 150-300 mg daily of lipoic acid may be sufficient in healthy individuals. Diabetics usually take 150-300 mg of alpha-lipoic acid 3 times daily. For the last 30 years, German practitioners have used high doses of lipoic acid to improve insulin sensitivity and diabetic conditions.