Metabolic Syndrome: All You Need to Know
Metabolic Health

What is Metabolic Syndrome?

Metabolic Syndrome is not a condition in itself but is actually a group of 5 risk factors which increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.  

The different types of Metabolic Syndrome or the five factors that make this up has been mentioned below for your understanding: 

  • An increased blood pressure 
  • A high blood sugar level (insulin resistance)
  • Having excess amount of fat around the waist 
  • High triglyceride levels 
  • HDL or low levels of good cholesterol 

Having three or more factors results in metabolic syndrome. 

Factors Resulting in Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic Syndrome Symptoms

The thing with Metabolic Syndrome symptoms and signs is the disorders associated with this are not obvious most of the time. However apart from the risk factors mentioned above, there are some common symptoms which experts have identified. These common symptoms have been listed below for your reference and knowledge:

  • When an individual has a visibly large waist circumference and it is not reducing despite all efforts. 
  • A high blood sugar level which then results in other symptoms like an increase in fatigue, an increase in the number of times you urinate, an increase in thirst and developing a blurry vision. 

Who is at Risk of Getting Metabolic Syndrome

There are quite a few Metabolic Syndrome risk factors that all individuals should be aware about. We have mentioned them below for your reference and understanding of the same:  

  • An increase in age increases the chances of developing this 
  • The ethnicity of the individual also increases the risk. It is said that Hispanics and especially women are more prone to this
  • Being obese or obesity increases chances 
  • A family history of type 2 diabetes or getting diabetes during pregnancy like gestational diabetes. 
  • Having other diseases like polycystic ovary syndrome, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and sleep apnea. 
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Metabolic Syndrome Causes?

The Metabolic Syndrome causes identified by experts has been discussed below for your understanding. 

  • It is very closely linked to inactivity, obesity and being overweight 
  • Having insulin resistance also leads to this because the cells stop responding normally to insulin and glucose then cannot enter the cells so easily.
  • Causes the blood sugar levels to rise even though the body churns out more and more insulin in an attempt to lower your blood sugar level.

Lifestyle and Home Remedies to Treat Metabolic Syndrome

Dealing with how this syndrome can affect daily life would be important from the initial stages itself. Along with any medication given by the doctors for metabolic syndrome treatment, it is equally important to take into consideration other changes and treatment options that might make dealing with this condition and the reduction of its symptoms more sustainably manageable. Maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle and bringing about some positive changes would play a huge role in reducing other complications that may arise as a result of this condition.

  1. Physical activity – Make exercise and ample physical activity a regular part of life. Doctors recommend getting at least 30 minutes of exercise, even if it is just brisk walking, daily. Increase the quota of daily exercise as you get used to the routine to increase your threshold.
  2. Weight loss – Losing around 7% of the total body weight can help in reducing resistance to insulin and can improve blood pressure levels. It also helps to prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes. Any amount of weight loss can prove to be beneficial. 
  3. Healthy diet – A healthy diet is key to preventing most diseases and maintaining a proper lifestyle. High-fiber foods, a protein-rich diet, whole grains, and limiting sweetened foods, alcohol, fat, maida, etc can be a great approach to deal with the problems associated with metabolic issues. 
  4. Stopping smoking – Smoking and nicotine should be eliminated to improve overall health and well-being. 
  5. Manage stress – Engage in activities of self-care, exercise, meditation, yoga, etc to be able to effectively handle any physical or emotional stress and deal with the symptoms of any conditions or disorders if they arise.

How is Metabolic Syndrome Diagnosed? 

For Metabolic Syndrome diagnosis, a metabolic syndrome doctor will need to perform a certain number of Metabolic Syndrome tests that will help to detect three or more signs of this disorder. The doctor may check one ore more of the following for better diagnosis:

  • The circumference of your waist – more than 35 inches for women and 40 inches for men
  • Your blood triglycerides while fasting 
  • An individual’s cholesterol levels 
  • Their blood pressure – 130/85 mm Hg or higher 
  • The glucose level while fasting – 100 mg/dL or higher 

If there are abnormalities associated with three or more of these above-mentioned tests then that will help the doctor to confirm the presence of metabolic syndrome in the individual. 

Metabolic Syndrome Treatment

Metabolic Syndrome treatment is treated through making lifestyle changes in the individual like the ones that have been mentioned below. 

  • Regular physical activity as part of your daily life 
  • Dietary changes 
  • Weight loss 
  • Managing and reducing stress levels
  • Quitting smoking or reducing

Metabolic Syndrome Complications

In the case of the diagnosis of metabolic syndrome, several other complications could arise within the body that can affect the health dramatically. These complications can also be chronic in nature and might take a lot of effort and management to be able to effectively deal with the symptoms. The syndrome gives rise to two major conditions 

  1. Type 2 diabetes – One of the most common consequences of the development of metabolic syndrome x would be type 2 diabetes. If you do not nip the symptoms in the bud when they first arise, it can lead to the development of excess weight and can also lead to insulin resistance. If this is untreated and occurs frequently, it can lead to a rise in blood sugar levels and eventually, develop into type 2 diabetes.
  2. Heart and blood vessel disease – As a direct consequence of metabolic-related issues, there can be a build-up of higher levels of cholesterol and blood pressure. This can create plaques in the arteries. Owing to the development of plaques, the arteries in the heart can be hardened leading to heart attack or a stroke.

Metabolic Syndrome Prevention

There are no set rules as such for Metabolic Syndrome prevention as it does not happen overnight, however there are some recommended lifestyle changes that an individual can make to ensure they do not develop of any of the 5 risk factors associated with this. Some of these have been mentioned below for your understanding and consideration:

  • Maintain a healthy waist circumference 
  • A healthy blood pressure 
  • A healthy cholesterol levels 
  • Regular exercise and weight loss
  • A diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, proteins, fibre, vitamins and the good fats 
  • Maintaining a healthy weight

FAQs

Which patient is at highest risk for developing metabolic syndrome? 

A person with type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, or gestational diabetes is more likely to develop metabolic syndrome. Other commonly associated conditions would be – liver diseases, PCOS, sleep issues, etc. 

How long does it take to reverse metabolic syndrome?

It takes approximately 3 weeks of healthy diet and exercise to be able to effectively see changes in the metabolic syndrome symptoms. Losing weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle overall can play a huge role in this condition.

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