According to Mayo Clinic, most doctors believe that the underlying cause of metabolic syndrome is resistance to insulin — a hormone made by the pancreas that helps control the amount of sugar in your bloodstream. Normally, your digestive system breaks down some of the food you eat into sugar (glucose). Your blood carries the glucose to your body’s tissues, where the cells use it as fuel. Glucose enters the fat and muscle cells through receptors with the help of insulin. Receptors are like a lock on a door. When glucose knocks, insulin acts like the key to open the lock and let glucose into the cells.
Chronic consumption of high simple carbohydrate foods results in chronically elevated blood sugar and overproduction of insulin by the pancreas. Eventually overproduced insulin levels ‘desensitize’ cell receptors and the cell door stops opening when glucose knocks. This means elevated insulin and elevated blood sugar. Increased insulin raises your triglyceride level and those of other blood fats. This also interferes with how your kidneys work, leading to increased blood pressure. High levels of sugar in blood scratch the lining of the blood vessels and result in Systemic inflammation . A number of inflammatory markers (including C-reactive protein ) are often increased, as are fibrinogen , InterLeukin-6 (IL-6), Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha (TNFa) and others. Chronic inflammation causes many disease, pain, and fatigue.
Why do we crave the types of foods that result in this condition? Stress is often the answer. When we are in sympathetic nervous system mode (“fight or flight”) our bodies produce stress chemicals that make us crave the food that will turn to easy fuel (high sugar foods) because the body mistakenly believes we are in a crisis situation. This would not be a problem if only occurring infrequently, but the problem is that we are often chronically stressed (from work, family, traffic, finances etc) our bodies are constantly calling for these sugary foods!