What Is Metabolic Syndrome?

Metabolic syndrome is defined as a collection of metabolic risk factors. Basically in order to determine what your problem is symptoms and risk factors are blended together to if you have metabolic syndrome. As a definition, metabolic syndrome is connected to cardiovascular problems. High blood pressure alone is a serious condition, but when combined with high glucose levels and abdominal obesity cardiovascular disease is a high possibility and you definitely have metabolic syndrome.

About 35 percent of all adults have metabolic syndrome and this puts you at a great risk of a heart attacks, diabetes, strokes and diseases that are compounded by the fats that buildup in artery walls. Physical conditions that underline metabolic syndrome include obesity or being overweight, genetic factors, and lack of physical activity.

What Factors Contribute to Metabolic Syndrome

If you have three or more problems you will find that you are greatly at risk of metabolic syndrome that leads to life threatening diseases. Look at these symptoms and determine if you are at risk.

  • Insulin challenges or glucose intolerance. This means that your body cannot properly use blood sugars or insulin produced in the pancreas.
  • Diastolic blood pressures or the bottom number at 85 mm Hg or more
  • Triglyceride level of 150 milligrams per deciliter of blood or higher
  • HDL cholesterol that is lower than 40 mg/dL in men or women should be at 50 mg/dL or lower.
  • Systolic blood pressure or the top umber of 130 millimeters of mercury or mmHg or higher
  • A not-eating glucose of 100 mg/dL or higher, and
  • Insulin resistance or intolerance. Your body  doesn’t  seem to produce insulin or use blood sugar efficiently.

If you want to live longer and avoid cardiovascular diseases you can decrease metabolic syndrome by increasing your exercise and physical activity, eating a healthy diet rich in whole grains, fruits and vegetables as well as fish, and working with your doctor to monitor blood glucose,  cholesterol’s, and blood pressures.

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Importance of Metabolic Syndrome Symptoms

Individuals with metabolic syndrome have an  increased risk for heart attacks and strokes. You will also develop diabetes and high blood pressure. If you have metabolic syndrome you are at risk to contract:

  • Atherosclerosis, peripheral vascular disease. These diseases are related to fatty buildup in artery walls. Blockages will narrow the arteries and restrict blood flow through your entire body. The blood flow restrictions are very dangerous when they cause the arteries leading to your brain, legs, heart and kidneys.
  • Coronary heart disease and heart attacks When arteries become narrowed or blocked with fats or plaques, the amount of blood and oxygen is slowed down. This will cause chest pains and possibly heart attacks.
  • Strokes occur when the blood supply is interrupted by a blocked or broken blood vessel. This will deprive the brain of needed oxygen and nutrients. Brain cells will die and this can result in brain damage and death.
  • Type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is at an epidemic and happens when the blood no longer makes enough insulin. Sugars build up in the blood and increase risks for kidney failure, heart attacks, strokes, and cardiovascular disease.

Studies show that more than three fourths of U.S. adults suffer with metabolic syndrome. These risks are significant, but you can treat metabolic syndrome by maintaining a healthy weight, acting a heart-healthy diet, and getting adequate physical activity. Do some type of aerobic exercise at least thirty minutes a day to reduce your risks of metabolic syndrome.

Man measuring waist

Medical Indications of Metabolic Syndrome

Medical criteria for diagnosing metabolic syndrome were created by the National Cholesterol Education Program and the American Heart Association has made modifications. Both organizations state that if you have three or more of these traits you are definitely a candidate for metabolic syndrome.

  • Large waist circumference or a waist size greater than 35 inches or 89 cm for women and 40 inches or 102 cm for men. There are genetic risk factors that include a family history of diabetes or being Asian. As soon as you can, lower your waist circumference.
  • Triglyceride levels that are higher than 150 mg/dL or if you are receiving treatment for high triglycerides.
  • Reduced HDL or the good cholesterol or levels that are less than 40 mg/dL in men or less than 50 mg/dL in women.
  • Increased blood pressure that is a systolic blood pressure of 130 millileters of mercury and a diastolic blood pressure measurement of 85 mm Hg or more.
  • Elevated fasting blood sugars that are 100 mg/dL or higher or if you are receiving treatment for high blood sugar.

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Treatment of Metabolic Syndrome

Treating metabolic syndrome is very easy. There are key heart-healthy targets that will definitely improve the quality and length of your life. Seven very simple and everyday tasks will save your life.

  • Eat a diet rich in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, lean meats and fish. Use low-fat dairy products and avoid processed foods.
  • Stay active and incorporate moderately vigorous physical activity into your weekly routines. Walking is perfect and you may want to go to a gym and workout with other like-minded individuals.
  • Follow all the instructions on prescribed medications that are given to you to control blood pressure, cholesterol and insulin symptoms. Follow your doctor”s advice if you want to live a long and healthy life.

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Reducing Risk of Metabolic Syndrome

These cannot be emphasized enough:

  • Lose weight. If you only lose five to ten percent of your body weight you will reduce insulin levels, high blood pressure and reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome.
  • Exercise must be scheduled for at least 30 to 60 minutes of moderate exercise. Just go walking!
  • Stop smoking. If you smoke you are killing yourself by increasing insulin resistance.
  • Eat fiber rich foods. Use whole grains, beans, vegetables and fruits in your daily diet. These foods have dietary fiber which will lower insulin levels.

If you have any of the symptoms listed you need to change your lifestyle to a more healthy one. Commit that you will eat healthy. Fruits and vegetables, lean cuts of white meat or fish are recommended. Stop eating processed and deep fried foods and eliminate table salt.

Just get moving. Stop sitting and watching television or playing computer games. Move and find a way to utilize regular and moderate physical activities in your life.

Schedule and keep regular yearly checkups. Keep a log on your blood pressure, blood sugar levels and cholesterol. If numbers are going in a wrong direction, change your lifestyle immediately. You can do it!

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HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our blood alcohol, body fat and calories burned calculators.

The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.

Our team of health professionals, and researchers use peer reviewed studies as source elements in our articles.

Our high quality content has been featured in a number of leading websites, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, Live Strong, GQ, and many more.
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HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our blood alcohol, body fat and calories burned calculators. The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years. Our team of health professionals, and researchers use peer reviewed studies as source elements in our articles. Our high quality content has been featured in a number of leading websites, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, Live Strong, GQ, and many more.