By Joy Stephenson-Laws, J.D., Founder

One Good Reason To Address Metabolic Syndrome - COVID-19!


Many of us are now aware that metabolic syndrome puts us at greater risk of developing complications from COVID-19. But many people still don’t really understand what metabolic syndrome is. 

So let's review.

Metabolic syndrome is not a disease in itself. In a nutshell, individuals with metabolic syndrome have certain conditions that puts them at risk for health problems such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Having these conditions may also increase the risk of developing dementia and other cognitive issues. One source refers to individuals with metabolic syndrome as having the “perfect storm” for some serious health issues.

So as you can probably imagine, adding COVID-19 to this “perfect storm” can be extremely devastating.

These five conditions are considered metabolic risk factors:

  • Having a large waistline, also called abdominal obesity. Fat in the stomach area (visceral fat) may be more dangerous than fat located on other parts of the body and can put you at a greater risk for heart disease.
  • Having a high triglyceride (type of fat found in the blood) level or you are on medication to treat high triglycerides.
  • Having low HDL cholesterol or being on medication to treat low HDL. HDL, also called “good” cholesterol, helps remove bad cholesterol from your arteries. A low HDL cholesterol puts you at a greater risk for heart disease.
  • Having high blood pressure (hypertension) or being on medication to treat high blood pressure. Chronic high blood pressure may damage the heart and lead to plaque buildup.
  • Having a high fasting blood sugar or being on medication to treat high blood sugar. Just having a mildly high fasting blood sugar may be an early sign of diabetes.

You must have at least three of the above risk factors in order to have metabolic syndrome. Very often, these conditions are interrelated. So if you have one of them, you likely have others.

More than 45 million Americans reportedly have metabolic syndrome.

According to MedScape, 47 million Americans have metabolic syndrome. One recent report states that only 12 percent of Americans are metabolically healthy.

“The high prevalence of metabolic syndrome in the United States is the story of a population ‘squeezed from both ends’ of the age spectrum: on the one hand, through increasing obesity among young adults and on the other through reduced muscle mass and elevated fat mass (ie, sarcopenic obesity) in elderly persons (a growing population segment).”

So this is not an “old person’s thing,” and may explain why we have seen so many young people in serious condition in the hospital from having COVID-19. Metabolic syndrome is particularly prevalent in the African-American community. You can read about and listen to a panel discussion regarding stories of young African-Americans struggling to overcome coronavirus due to having metabolic syndrome, here.

We must be proactive now.

Coronavirus or not, we can no longer afford to have so many Americans with metabolic syndrome. The good news is that we can reverse this trend. Here are some examples of how to reverse the trend:

For more tips on how you can overcome metabolic syndrome, read here.


Enjoy your healthy life!

The pH professional health care team includes recognized experts from a variety of health care and related disciplines, including physicians, attorneys, nutritionists, nurses and certified fitness instructors. This team also includes the members of the pH Medical Advisory Board, which constantly monitors all pH programs, products and services. To learn more about the pH Medical Advisory Board, click here.


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