Let's start by defining metabolic syndrome. It is a common condition in which obesity, high blood glucose, high blood pressure and an abnormal cholesterol (lipid) profile cluster in one person.
How common is metabolic syndrome ?Some researchers suspect that 35% of American adults have metabolic syndrome.
What is the mechanism behind metabolic syndrome ?
There is no confirmed mechanism till now but many researchers think that any obese individual is liable to get insulin resistance. When the body is resistant to its own insulin, a lesser amount of glucose is taken by the body cells. This stimulates the pancreas to increase more and more insulin. This leads to high glucose levels and hyperinsulinemia and will also cause a high triglycerides and cholesterol levels.
What are the criteria needed for the diagnosis of metabolic syndrome ?To be diagnosed as having metabolic syndrome, an adult must have three or more of the following:
- Waist measurement of 40 inches or more in men and or 35 inches or more in women.
- High triglycerides level (greater than or equal to 150 mg/dl) or being treated for high levels of triglycerides.
- Low level of HDL (good cholesterol). In males, a low level means less than 40 mg/dl. In females, a low level means less than 50 mg/dl.
- High blood pressure or being treated for hypertension.
- High level of blood sugar when measured after fasting for about 8 hours.
What are the complications of metabolic syndrome ?Metabolic syndrome increases the risk of having diabetes and cardiac diseases.
Can metabolic syndrome be prevented ?Yes. Metabolic syndrome can be prevented by following these instructions:
- Eat a well balanced diet. Avoid foods that contain a high amount of saturated fats. Eat more foods that are rich in fibres as green vegetables.
- Maintain a normal body weight. As mentioned earlier that obesity plays a great role in the mechanism of metabolic syndrome.
- Exercise regularly for at least 30 minutes daily.
- Avoid alcohol intake. If you are a smoker, quit smoking.
- Go for regular medical check-ups. You must regularly check your blood glucose level, blood pressure and cholesterol level.
I hope you benefited from this article. Thank you for reading.