What is Metabolic Syndrome

8 Oct

What is Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic syndrome is described as a clustering of several risk factors or a number of medical disorders relating to the body’s metabolism occurring together – High blood pressure, high blood sugar level, excessive body fat around the waist, or abnormal cholesterol levels.

When these conditions occur together, in an individual, there is an increased risk of developing more serious conditions.

Metabolic syndrome can develop into heart disease, insulin resistance (type 2 diabetes) and strokes.

Having only one of these disorders does not indicate the presence of metabolic syndrome. Although there is an increased risk of developing metabolic syndrome. However, if more than one of these conditions occur together, the risk becomes much greater.

A relationship between certain metabolic disorders and cardiovascular disease has been known since the 1940s.

Metabolic syndrome is associated with the build up of fat in the liver which can lead to fatty liver and cirrhosis. This condition can also affect the kidneys leading to microalbuminuria ( leaking of protein in the urine) indicating some degree of kidney damage.

Metabolic syndrome is a common disorder approx. 32% of the population in the US have metabolic syndrome, with the highest prevalence of the condition seen in Mexican American.

In Europe and Latin America the estimated figure is 25% for adult. The rate of metabolic syndrome in the developing East Asian countries are rising.

The prevalence of this condition increases with age, and as much as 40% of people over the age of 60 are affected.

Cause of Metabolic Syndrome

As with most medical conditions, environmental and genetics have much to do with the development of metabolic syndrome.

Where family history includes diabetes, hypertension, early cardiac disease, and obesity, the chances of developing metabolic syndrome is greatly increased. Having one component of metabolic syndrome increases the likely-hood of having others. And the more components there are, the greater the health risk.

Obesity, Individuals living a sedentary lifestyle with low activity level and a high weight gain, are at high risk of developing metabolic syndrome.

This condition is seen in 5% of individuals with normal body weight, 22% in those considered to be overweight and 60% in people who are obese.

Adults who gain in excess of five pounds per year, are shown to increases their risk of developing metabolic syndrome by up to 45%, making obesity the greatest risk factor for this condition.


An individual with at least one component of metabolic syndrome, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol or an apple shaped body, may also have the other components and not be aware of it. Therefore, it is worth discussing the condition with a doctor to find out about the need to test for the other components of metabolic syndrome.

The doctor will also be able to give advice on what can be done to avoid serious diseases.

Diet and Lifestyle Changes for metabolic Syndrome, most people who suffers from metabolic syndrome, have a poor choice in diet and lifestyle. The key is a change in lifestyle and a healthy nutritious diet that is well balance and is able to provide all the essential nutrients the body needs.

With the right nutrients and exercise, the body will begin to lose weight and begin to control the other conditions associated with metabolic syndrome. It is possible to go from obese to a normal body weight in less than a year, with the right diet, exercise and determination.

Avoid Foods, which causes a quick increase in blood glucose levels such as refined sugar and starches, avoid or reduce polyunsaturated and trans-fats in the diet avoid or reduce smoking, alcohol, sodium and processed foods.

Increased blood pressure, means a systolic blood pressure of 130 or more mm Hg (the top number)

or a diastolic of 85 mm Hg or more (bottom number)

High blood sugar level, refers to a fasting blood glucose level of 100mg/dL or 5.6 mmol/L or more.

High Cholesterol, When the body’s triglyceride (body fat) level is 150 mg/dL, or 1.7 mmol/L or more, and a high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, or ‘good cholesterol’ of less than 40 mg/dL (1.04 mmol/L) for men or 50mg/L (1.3 mmol/L) for women.

Foods to Choose, choose nutritious food such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fat free dairy product and lean proteins, avoid foods that are calorie rich, but low in nutrients. Fats are not all bad some are essential to the body and will also help to lose weight; fiber is important for the body as it cleanses the bowel, keep the the body feeling full, improves blood pressure and help to maintain a stable blood sugar level.


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