If you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, or obesity, you might be suffering from metabolic syndrome. And this condition is dangerous because it can lead to chronic conditions such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and strokes. So, you must know how you can manage this syndrome to avoid its complications.
Keep reading this article to get an insight into metabolic syndrome.
Metabolic syndrome is a condition where you develop a collection of risk factors that can lead to diabetes, obesity, heart disease, or stroke. This condition is also known by other names such as syndrome X, insulin resistance syndrome, and dysmetabolic syndrome.
- High blood pressure
- High blood sugar levels
- Low good cholesterol levels (HDL (High Density Lipoprotein))
- Increased levels of triglycerides
- An excess amount of fat around the waist.
But you can manage this syndrome by losing weight, exercising regularly, or making dietary changes.
Metabolic syndrome is caused when you have a bad lifestyle including a bad diet and no physical activity. Over time, you can become overweight and obese. Obesity can increase your blood pressure and blood sugar levels with excess fat around the waist. Elevated blood sugar levels can cause insulin resistance, which means the body does not use insulin efficiently to lower glucose or help the sugar to be used by cells as fuel which can result in diabetes.
High blood pressure and high blood sugar levels with abdominal fat and high cholesterol levels can form plaque in the arteries, known as atherosclerosis. This plaque makes the arteries clogged and brittle creating blood clots in the arteries, which can cause stroke or heart attack.
These risk factors are linked with each other, that’s why developing any condition leads to the next condition, but you can manage these risk factors by managing your lifestyle.
Several risk factors can cause this syndrome:
- Age: As you age all the functions of the body start to slow down which increases the chance of developing this syndrome.
- Ethnicity: In specific ethnic backgrounds, there’s a high chance of developing this syndrome (such as in Hispanic women in the US). What is the reason behind this is not clear yet.
- Obesity: Major risk factor for developing this syndrome, especially if you’ve excess fat around your abdomen.
- Diabetes: Another major cause to get this syndrome, Diabetes affects the production of insulin or makes insulin resistant to cells and organs. If you are a pregnant woman with gestational diabetes or have a family history of diabetes you are more likely to have this syndrome.
- Other diseases: You can get metabolic syndrome if you develop diseases like nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, sleep apnea, or polycystic ovary syndrome.
Metabolic syndrome shows no major symptoms in the beginning. One major symptom you notice is your fat around the waist. If you have high blood pressure, you note symptoms of diabetes including increased thirst, headaches, fatigue, or blurred vision.
Other risk factors don’t show any symptoms you can only be able to diagnose them with the help of the doctor.
This syndrome can easily be manageable if you make changes in your lifestyle with these steps:
- Eat a healthy diet. In your diet, you should eat more vegetables and fruits, lean proteins, multi-grains, and carbs should be not more than 50% of your total calories. Consume healthy fats. Avoid trans-fat and salt in your diet.
- Exercise regularly at least half an hour a day, 150 minutes (about 2 and a half hours) a week, including aerobic and resistance training. This can help to reduce your weight and improve your blood pressure and triglyceride levels.
- Try to maintain your weight.
- Quit smoking.
You can also take medications to adopt the above-mentioned lifestyle changes to improve your condition.
If you fail to manage your condition, this syndrome can become chronic, which can lead to these complications:
- Heart attack or stroke due to plaque blocking the blood flow in the arteries.
- Diabetes due to high blood sugar levels.
- Kidney disease develops when you fail to manage your blood sugar levels.
- Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease can be caused by high cholesterol and triglycerides levels.
- Cardiovascular disease is caused when your blood vessels get damaged by diabetes.
If you develop diabetes, you might develop diabetes complications, including:
- Kidney disease
- Eye damage
- Nerve damage
- Amputation of limbs.
Metabolic syndrome is a syndrome that is a combination of risk factors. To avoid these risk factors, you need to manage your lifestyle with the steps mentioned above.
Want to know more about the tests to diagnose metabolic syndrome?
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