Learn how chiropractic care can boost your metabolic health.
As we move forward into the new year, this is the time we all commit to taking our health more seriously. Whether we aim to lose weight, eat healthier, exercise more, reduce stress and toxicity, or address other lifestyle factors, let’s remember that improved Metabolic Health (think metabolism) is essential in achieving our goals. Let’s inspire one another to make positive changes and lead healthier lives.
Metabolic health is a measure of how well your body can metabolize protein, glucose, fat, and other nutrients. Poor metabolic health leads to weight gain and increased risk of diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and dementia. According to a 2019 publication, only 12% of Americans were metabolically healthy. This was defined as having no criteria for metabolic syndrome without the help of medications. Traditionally, metabolic health is defined as a lack of metabolic syndrome, which is identified if you have more than TWO of the following criteria:
- Waist size greater than or equal to
- 40 inches (102 cm) in men
- 35 inches (88 cm) in women
- Fasting glucose levels above 100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L) or HbA1c above 5.6% (38 mmol/mol)
- Blood pressure above 120/80 mmHg
- Triglycerides above 150 mg/dL (1.7 mmol/L)
- High-density lipoprotein (HDL) below
- 40mg/dL (1.04 mmol/L) for men
- 50 mg/dL (1.3 mmol/L) for women
However, metabolic health is not just about the absence of disease. It is also about having healthy
- body fat levels,
- blood sugar,
- blood pressure,
- muscle mass,
- body composition, and
- resting metabolic rate.
You can improve your metabolic health with lifestyle interventions such as nutrition and exercise. Low-carb, high-protein, and intermittent fasting diets are some of the ways to achieve good metabolic health. Click here for more about nutrition support.
Our overall metabolic health heavily depends on the efficient functioning of our digestive system, which is responsible for breaking down food and absorbing nutrients that are used to provide energy and build new cells throughout our body. It is important to note that, just like any other part of our body, our digestive system requires a good nerve supply free from any obstructions that may result from Neuro-Structural shifts.
This nerve supply is regulated by a division of the nervous system known as the Enteric Nervous System (ENS). ENS is a mesh-like system of neurons. It is responsible for the function of the gastrointestinal tract and is one of the main divisions of the peripheral nervous system. Interestingly enough, the ENS is capable of acting independently of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, although they may influence it. It is also capable of operating independently of the brain and spinal cord. Still, it does rely on innervation from the vagus nerve and prevertebral ganglia, which are found in the Cervical Spine (Neck). The neurons of the ENS control
- the motor functions (movement and squeezing of the intestinal tract) of the digestive system, in addition to
- the secretion of gastrointestinal enzymes that are needed for proper digestion.
Metabolic health is crucial to the function of our body. Like having a healthy nerve supply, good metabolic health is not an option. It is essential for good digestion, hormone regulation, nutrient absorption, and growth of new cells. Now that we understand that the ENS is a part of our nervous system and essential to our overall health, the big takeaway is that if your ENS is not properly functioning, your metabolic health will suffer. That is where chiropractic comes in. Because the ENS is a branch of the nervous system, it requires an unobstructed flow of energy and information to and from the brain.
At Platinum Chiropractic, our focus is on Neuro-Structural Correction. Our goal is to reduce and correct obstructions to the nervous system so that every part of your body can have a proper nerve supply and function normally. This is how Chiropractic care can help improve the digestive system and metabolic health so that you can have the best chance to reach your health goals, whatever they may be.