Metabolic syndrome is not itself a disease but is the collection of conditions such as increased blood sugar level, increased blood pressure, increased cholesterol level and excess of body fat on the waist portion. All the above conditions put together is likely to cause heart disease and stroke. Many people have these conditions for long time, but it is not necessary that you have developed metabolic syndrome.
These conditions will increase the risk of many serious diseases. It is necessary for you to take regular medications and modify your lifestyle to prevent any serious complications. Certain metabolic risk factors like high blood pressure, insulin resistance and cholesterol abnormalities can come together in the same individual, constituting metabolic syndrome. This syndrome is also called as syndrome X or dysmetabolic syndrome.
American Heart Association has considered some of the following features to be present on the individual to develop metabolic syndrome.
• The waistline of the individual should be measuring 102 cm or above in men and 85 cm or above in women
• His/her serum triglyceride score should be 150mg/dl or even more
• HDL cholesterol rating should be 40mg/dl or even below in men and 50mg/dl or below in women
• The individual should have high blood pressure measuring 130/85 or even more
• He/she should have blood sugar reading (fasting) of 100mg/dl or more
For a person to have metabolic syndrome he/she should have at least 3 of the above traits.
The person affected with metabolic syndrome will be obese; will have increased blood pressure, high blood sugar level and high cholesterol level.
Having more number of symptoms poses greater risk to your health than having one or two metabolic conditions. On an average, 30-35% of the total population in the America have metabolic syndrome. The figure is almost the same in European countries also. Metabolic syndrome increases with age and aged people with one symptom is likely to develop more symptoms of this disorder.
Three major factors namely medical conditions, environmental conditions and genetics play a vital role in metabolic syndrome. Individuals with family history of high blood pressure and diabetes have increased chance for developing the same conditions in their life. Hence genetics influence the component of metabolic syndrome.
People are likely to gain weight due to eating fast foods, sedentary lifestyle and stressful working hours. All these factors together contribute to the development of metabolic syndrome. Obesity is one of the highest risk factor for causing this disorder. Around 60-65% of the obese people will have metabolic syndrome. Adults who are gaining pounds each year are likely to develop this syndrome. Smoking, drinking, hormonal changes and unhealthy eating habits are some other factors that cause metabolic syndrome.
Who are at risk?
You are at risk to develop metabolic syndrome, if you are
Obese: BMI index of above 25 increases the risk very much.
Aged: If you are above 60 years with blood sugar and hypertension then you are likely to develop metabolic syndrome.
Medical Conditions: People with history of medical conditions like diabetes, heart problems, hypertension and fatty liver disease have increased risk for developing it.
Race: Asians and Hispanics have great risk of getting this syndrome.
Tests and Diagnoses :
Your doctor will check your health condition and look for the above medical conditions like obesity, cardiovascular disease, blood sugar and blood cholesterol. He may order for blood culture, blood glucose test and measure your blood pressure for confirming the disorder.
There is no cure for metabolic syndrome, but you can manage to stay in control by taking regular medications and by changing your lifestyle. To begin with, if you are obese, you need to do workouts for reducing pounds. Do exercises daily for minimum 30 minutes. Stick on to healthy diet and avoid fatty foods and fast foods. It is the major cause for increased weight. You can consult your doctor to take DASH diet and limit unhealthy fats in your diet.
Smoking and drinking can cause adverse effect on your metabolism and increase the risk of developing several complications. Now many programs are available to quit smoking and drinking. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables that contain fiber which helps to lower the insulin levels. It is wise to lose weight through sustained healthy diet and exercises rather than resorting to weight loss pills that cause side effects.
Maintain your weight and indulge in plenty of physical activity. This will prevent you from developing more symptoms of metabolic syndrome. It will reduce the risk of getting heart disease and diabetes.