Health columnist Challem (Natural Health, Lifestyle, and Modern Maturity magazines) and physician Berkson (President of the Integrative Medical Centers of New Mexico) define Syndrome X as two or more of the following occurring together: insulin resistance and glucose intolerance; high cholesterol; obesity; high triglycerides; and/or high blood pressure—and warn that this is "a disorder most people seriously risk developing by the time they reach middle age." In practical terms, they warn, the syndrome leaves sufferers feeling tired and fuzzy-minded, causes premature aging, and sets the stage for more serious diseases to develop. The authors therefore lay out a program involving diet, light physical activity, and nutritional supplements. After explaining the basic physiology of the disorder (insulin resistance is the starting block), they explain how we might get in trouble (poor diet, sedentary lifestyle) and how we might get out. While their diet is higher in protein and lower in carbohydrates than usually recommended by experts for general good health, the differences are not drastic. The authors do fall easily into diet-book hyperbole: "You are about to be engulfed in one of the largest disease epidemics ever to strike North America.— Recipes, advice on ordering in restaurants, and information on supplements and on customizing the diet for more complicated situations (if one also has cancer, for instance) complete their guide. The reasonable first of what will no doubt be many self-treatment guides on the constellation of symptoms that have coalesced into this newly-christened disorder.
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