Metabolic Syndrome is on the Rise. Know the Risk Factors

Metabolic Syndrome is on the rise in the United States.  It describes a cluster of conditions- increased blood pressure, a high blood sugar level, excess body fat around the waist or abnormal cholesterol levels- that occur together, increasing your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.  Having just one of the conditions described doesn’t mean you have Metabolic Syndrome, but any one of these conditions can lead to serious health risks.

The two most important risk factors are:

1.       Extra weight around the middle and upper parts of the body (apple shaped)

2.       Insulin resistance.  The body uses insulin less effectively than normal.  Insulin is needed to help control the amount of sugar in the body.

Other risk factors include:

1.       Aging

2.       Genes that make you more likely to develop this condition.

3.       Hormone changes

4.       Lack of Exercise.

5.       Race- Hispanics and Asians seem to be at greater risk of Metabolic Syndrome than other races.

The criteria that must be present are:

1.       Blood pressure equal to or higher than 130/85mmHg

2.       Fasting blood sugar (glucose) equal to or higher than 100mg/dL

3.       Large waist circumference (length around the waist)

-Men- 40 inches or more

-Women- 35 inches or more

4.  Low HDL cholesterol:

                -Men-under 40mg/dL

                -Women- under 50 m

5.  Triglycerides equal to or higher than 150 mg/dL

If you have been given a confirmed diagnosis by a doctor, there are treatment plans you need to work on.  The goal will be to reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes.

You will need to make some lifestyle changes in combination with medications to help reduce your blood pressure, LDL cholesterol and blood sugar.  Losing weight, regular exercise and improving the quality of your food.


-PubMed Health

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