Avera Medical Minute AHH: Partnering to Correct Metabolic Syndro - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Avera Medical Minute AHH: Partnering to Correct Metabolic Syndrome

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There's a good chance you've never heard of metabolic syndrome but you probably know the symptoms: high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol, and a flabby stomach. They are all serious side effects of unhealthy living but they've been targeted by the Avera Heart Hospital and South Dakota State University.  

Ruth Struyk is looking for her chance at a healthier life.

"I've been heavy for the last 20 years and I can see it's, I know it's taking a toll I've had both knees replaced and I don't have the energy that used to have and I'm really looking for something that maybe will help me get some weight down." Said Struyk.

What Ruth is talking about is a new research study being done at the Avera Heart Hospital.
The study aims to determine the effects of diet on metabolic syndrome, the group of risk factors that can lead to heart disease and diabetes.  

"We see many many people that have metabolic syndrome and we realize that if we can change this and improve people's health that we will affect a significant amount of the population." Said Nikki Ver Steeg, a registered dietitian at the Avera Heart Hospital.

Ruth has pre-diabetes and high blood pressure. Two big symptoms of metabolic syndrome and two big reasons for her joining the study.  

"I think that I just need something that's going to be much more realistic for me at this age that I can continue so I don't have major health problems in the future which I think is where I'm heading right now the way that I eat." Said Struyk.

It has been shown that if people make better choices in the foods they eat, the risk factors of metabolic syndrome are lowered. During the study participants will break into two groups, each with their own specific diet.

"During this time they will be given a diet plan that they will be looking at specifically and following to maintain inside a certain calorie range and also a certain percentage range based on calorie, protein, and fat." said Ver Steeg.

One group will have a higher percentage of lean red meats to determine if red meats do in fact hinder a diet.  

"We are just going on the basis of a high-protein diet versus the regular healthy diet so just to see the correlation between the two and whether or not the symptoms decrease in one or the other." Said Claire Jucht, a graduate assistant at South Dakota State and project lead. 

Over the course of the 10 week study participants will meet with Avera Dietitians to monitor their progress. The goal is to find which diet spawns greater weight loss and improvement of metabolic syndrome risk factors. But more importantly, which one helps prevent people like Ruth from becoming patients down the road.

"I'm hoping that with this I will be able to come up with the eating pattern that will just help me to gradually lose some weight. I'm not expecting extreme results but to lose the weight and gradually overtime be able to get back to a more active weight." Said Struyk.

With her attitude there's no reason to believe she won't meet her goals. The metabolic syndrome study is a joint effort between SDSU and the Avera Heart Hospital. Funding for the study is provided by a grant through the South Dakota Beef Council. For more information about the metabolic syndrome study just call 877-AT-AVERA.


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