What is metabolic syndrome?4 years ago | Diabetes
By pH health care professionals
Metabolic syndrome, also called syndrome X, insulin resistance syndrome or dysmetabolic syndrome, is a “cluster of conditions” that increase your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes (Mayo Clinic). Having just one of the conditions does not mean you have metabolic syndrome; typically, it is defined as having three or more of the five common traits: large waist circumference, high blood pressure, elevated triglycerides, low HDL (“good”) cholesterol and elevated fasting blood sugar.
Why should this matter to you?
The growing prevalence of metabolic syndrome in the United States, and globally, is alarming. Analysis suggests that almost one third of U.S. adults, or approximately 80 million people, meet the criteria for metabolic syndrome, with prevalence increasing significantly with age and body weight. An additional 45 percent, or approximately 104 million people, have one or two risk factors for developing metabolic syndrome.
People with metabolic syndrome are at higher risk of diseases related to fatty buildups in artery walls. Coronary heart disease, stroke and peripheral vascular disease are a few examples. People with this syndrome are also more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes.
What are some of the underlying causes?
- Being overweight or obese
- Having insulin resistance
- Being physically inactive
- Genetic factors
What can be done?
Lifestyle changes including physical activity and weight loss are considered the most important initial steps in treating metabolic syndrome. Western diets are strongly associated with a higher risk of developing metabolic syndrome. So talk to a doctor or dietitian about making a nutritional game plan to get you on track.
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