This term may not be too familiar to you, but by no means a rare condition. An estimated 1 in 4 adults aged 40 years or older have it. What is metabolic syndrome? Metabolic syndrome is a group of conditions that are often present together which increases your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
Metabolic syndrome usually have no immediate symptoms. Most of the risk factors associated with metabolic syndrome have no signs or symptoms, except for a large waist is easily visible. Doctors can diagnose metabolic syndrome by measuring blood pressure and waist circumference and ask you a simple blood test to determine levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood sugar.
Medical problems related to the metabolic syndrome develops gradually over time. Some people may have symptoms of high blood sugar (if you have diabetes) or symptoms of high blood pressure (if you have hypertension). Symptoms of high blood sugar that may be present are increased thirst, frequent urination, especially at night, fatigue and blurred vision. High blood pressure usually has no signs or symptoms. However, some people in the early stages of hypertension may experience headache, dizziness, or nosebleeds more often than usual.
The underlying cause of metabolic syndrome is still not known for sure, but insulin resistance and central obesity is considered a significant factor. Genetics, physical inactivity, aging, hormonal changes and proinflammatory conditions also may play a role.
Insulin resistance means your body does not use insulin effectively as it should. Your digestive system breaks down carbohydrates into glucose, which then move from your intestine into the bloodstream.
Central obesity is when a major accumulation of body fat around the abdomen and upper body. It is characterized by a waist circumference greater than normal and the body being “apple-shaped”. As a general rule, if your waist circumference above 90 cm or more (men) or 80 cm or more (women), you may need to lose weight.
Metabolic syndrome has several causes that can be controlled and can not be controlled. You can not hold back the aging process and the vulnerability that is inherent (genetic). However, you can eliminate insulin resistance and excess fat on your stomach.
First-line therapy for the metabolic syndrome is lifestyle changes, including weight loss, increased physical activity, a healthy diet and quit smoking. Lifestyle changes can also help reverse or reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes and the complications of the condition.