Pandaemonium and The Glucose and Gonadotropin Mystery
By: Matt Smith, MD with Alabama Pain Physicians, Comprehensive Pain Care
Several years ago, some of my colleagues and I were the attending physicians of an inpatient rehabilitation unit. It was a great experience. We had all become good friends and we had many similar interests. Among these common interests was that well before becoming attendings we had each become fascinated by the exercise and nutrition world. I was the beneficiary of a hand-me-down squat rack and for the year or so that we worked together, we would literally exercise this interest by meeting after work in my garage four times a week and practice the “slow lifts”.
The “slow lifts” are some of the typical exercises done with a barbell. These include such basic movements as squatting and standing back up (the “squat”), picking something off the floor (the “deadlift”), and lifting something overhead (the “press”). For as simple and for as fundamental as these lifts were, we had never done them in earnest before and we were amazed at how the systematic practice of such basic movements yielded relatively profound results.
Our enthusiasm for our personal gains had the happy double benefit of not only helping us reap the rewards of stronger and leaner physiognomies, but it also coincided with our professional responsibilities. We were, after all, the medical doctors in charge of helping some very sick and debilitated people also get stronger, better physiognomies.
It was around this same time that a tremendous paradigm shift was just starting to break through the medical literature in regard to the medical scourge of our generation: the metabolic syndrome. And the relationships between obesity, visceral adipose tissue, systemic inflammation, sex hormones, muscle mass, and pain, and what this had to do with the metabolic syndrome, were just graduating from the nascent phase in becoming well understood. And all of these aspects of the metabolic syndrome were problems that nearly every one of our patients faced. Even before one of our patients had their incident that brought them into inpatient rehab – stroke, massive myocardial infarction, above the knee amputation, or some other horrid problem, our patients typically had nearly every manifestation of this syndrome. In fact, the reason that our patients experienced their MIs, AKAs, and whatnot in the first place were usually a direct result of this selfsame syndrome.