Metabolic syndrome may lead to a variety of health problems including diabetes. Improper diet, lifestyle habits and other risk factors may cause metabolic syndrome. Get the facts to avoid this health condition that can influence diabetes.
- One in four people in the United States have metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome can cause insulin resistance; your body cannot effectively use insulin, so blood sugar and fat levels rise.
- Some people with metabolic syndrome carry extra weight around their belly and upper body, which is called central obesity. Others carry weight around and in the organs which is called visceral obesity. An “apple-shaped” body is a sign of metabolic syndrome. A BMI over 30 is considered obese. Genetic predisposition, aging, hormone changes, sedentary lifestyle or a lack of exercise can put you at risk of developing metabolic syndrome. Two problems associated with this condition are excess blood clotting and low levels of chronic inflammation in your body.
- Always keep blood pressure testing supplies and blood sugar testing supplies on hand to know your numbers. Blood pressure above 130/80 puts you at increased risk if you have diabetes. A fasting blood sugar over 100 is a risk factor for pre- diabetes and heart problems. Health risks increase for women with a waist circumference above 35 inches and men with a waist circumference above 40 inches. HDL test results for good cholesterol should be over 50 for women and over 40 for men. Lower results may indicate metabolic syndrome. LDL test results for bad cholesterol should be under 100 or even tighter under 70 if you have a pre-existing history of heart disease and diabetes. Triglycerides should be below 150. High triglycerides also can indicate metabolic syndrome.
- Treatment of metabolic syndrome includes reducing your blood pressure, fasting blood sugar and LDL cholesterol as well as reducing belly fat. The goal is to prevent diabetes or keep it away as long as possible. Your health care professional may recommend medication or lifestyle changes such as losing weight and adding aerobic exercise. Losing between 7% and 10% of your current weight is extremely helpful. Working out for up to 30 minutes each day- 5 to 7 days a week- to get 150 minutes of weekly exercise. Smokers should quit the habit immediately. Many doctors may also recommend low dose aspirin therapy of 81mg daily.
- If left untreated, metabolic syndrome can lead to a myriad of health problems including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, heart attack, fatty liver or kidney disease.
- Eat a diet that is low in fat and high in fiber. Include a variety of vegetables, fruits and whole-grain products. Try to have fish, especially oily fish like salmon, at least twice a week. Plenty of plant foods lower cholesterol help you lose weight and may ward off metabolic syndrome and possible diabetes.
Proper diet, exercise and lifestyle changes can eliminate the symptoms of metabolic syndrome. Have tests done regularly to monitor your blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels so you stay on track.