Plate of Healthy Food | Metabolic Syndrome's Risk Factorsx

What is metabolic syndrome and what are the risk factors?

Metabolic syndrome is a condition that affects more than 50 million Americans and is an important health concern for many people. The syndrome refers to the co-occurrence of several risk factors, including abdominal obesity, abnormal blood cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and insulin resistance (or pre-diabetes).

The components of metabolic syndrome often occur together in individuals who are at risk of developing cardiovascular disease or heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.

The most common factors linked to metabolic syndrome are:

  • A large waist size (abdominal obesity) or excess weight
  • A high triglyceride level (blood fats)
  • Low levels of HDL (good cholesterol) and high blood pressure.
  • Insulin resistance or pre-diabetes: the body makes insulin, but is unable to use it effectively, leading to elevated glucose levels.
  • High fasting blood sugar: excess sugar in the bloodstream that isn’t processed by insulin and can damage organs such as the kidneys, eyes, heart and brain over time.
  • Elevated C-reactive protein: a substance in your blood that indicates inflammation throughout the body; CRP is often higher with obesity and diabetes than without them.

How do I know if I'm developing metabolic syndrome?

You should always check with your doctor to have metabolic syndrome diagnosed by a health professional. However, if you’ve noticed that a few of the previously listed risk factors, it might be time to make changes in your diet and lifestyle to reduce your risk. Even if you don’t have metabolic syndrome, your risk for developing metabolic syndrome increases as each risk factor that you experience worsens.

How do you treat metabolic syndrome?

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to improve and even reverse metabolic syndrome. The first step is usually to follow a healthy diet and get regular exercise to help control weight and keep blood pressure low. Some people with metabolic syndrome need to take medication for blood pressure or cholesterol.

How can I prevent metabolic syndrome?

Following the same guidelines that would help treat it — a healthy diet and getting regular exercise and physical activity — can help prevent the development of metabolic syndrome. Reducing stress may also help, since anxiety and depression often accompany this condition

Make Your Health a Priority

If you are at increased risk for metabolic syndrome, you may have a higher risk of developing other syndromes as well – let’s work together to decrease your risk factors!