Metabolic syndrome is the name given to a particular set of symptoms and risk factors that combine to increase a patient's chances of having a stroke, developing cardiovascular disease, and becoming diabetic. Metabolic syndrome is also known as Syndrome X, insulin resistance syndrome, and dysmetabolic syndrome. Currently, risk factors associated with the condition include abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, elevated fasting glucose readings, elevated triglycerides, and low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. Abdominal obesity is classified as having a waist larger than forty inches for males or thirty-five inches for females.
New guidelines now define high blood pressure as anything higher than 130 systolic over 85 diastolic, and fasting glucose readings are considered high if they are more than one hundred. Triglyceride readings of 150 or higher are categorized as elevated, and HDL cholesterol is deemed to be low if it is less than forty for males or fifty for females. A diagnosis of metabolic syndrome is made if a patient presents with three or more of these aforementioned risks, and the condition commonly runs in families. Approximately twenty-three percent of American adults have received a diagnosis of metabolic syndrome, and the likelihood of getting the condition increases with age. An estimated forty percent of Americans in their sixties and seventies have metabolic syndrome. The syndrome can be prevented and managed with lifestyle modification and medication.
Underlying Cause Treatment
Treating the underlying cause is the most important step in preventing, managing, and even reversing metabolic syndrome. This involves regular checkups, lifestyle changes, and possibly the use of medication. Periodic checkups with a nurse practitioner or physician provide support for patients and can be used to monitor weight, waist circumference, blood pressure, glucose, and cholesterol readings. Knowing these measurements and having them assessed at regular intervals can empower patients to make positive changes that may reduce the severity of their condition and could eventually eliminate some risk factors.
Although the exact causes of metabolic syndrome are unknown, insulin resistance is believed to play a major role. In addition to losing weight, lowering blood glucose, blood pressure, and blood cholesterol levels, can all be effective methods for improving the body's sensitivity to insulin and treating metabolic syndrome. If lifestyle modifications are not enough, medications are available that can help with weight loss and bring blood pressure and blood markers under control.