Metabolic syndrome is a classification of risk factors occurring together and will increase the risk for certain medical conditions including type 2 diabetes, coronary artery disease, and stroke. If you’re curious about it and want to learn more, the following will provide a good overview to give you some more insight to the causes, risk factors, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of metabolic syndrome.
Causes of Metabolic Syndrome
In the United States, metabolic syndrome continues to be more common though researchers are not yet sure if there is one single cause of it. Most of the risks of metabolic syndrome are due to obesity. The risk factors of metabolic syndrome include having extra weight around the upper or middle parts of your body such as your abdomen, hips, or breast area, as well as insulin resistance which causes some people to use insulin less effectively than what should be normal. Additional risk factors for metabolic syndrome include the aging process, lack of exercise, hormone changes, genes that make you develop this condition, and excess blood clotting. Symptoms of metabolic syndrome are similar to risk factors, which include obesity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar levels, or high cholesterol.
Diagnosing Metabolic Syndrome
If you are obese, have high cholesterol, or high blood pressure, your doctor may want to test you for a metabolic syndrome. A physical examination will be performed in which your doctor is going to look for a high blood pressure, high fasting blood sugar level, large waist circumference for your gender, low HDL cholesterol levels, or a high triglyceride levels. Typically if you have at least 3-4 of these signs, you will be diagnosed with metabolic syndrome; if you received it from a family member, it is considered inherited metabolic syndrome.
Treating Metabolic Syndrome
The reason metabolic syndrome needs to be treated is because having the condition may raise your risk of developing diabetes or heart disease. Changing your lifestyle is the normal course of treatment, which may include losing weight, getting at least 30 minutes of exercise a day, changing your diet to healthy foods of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, lowering your cholesterol with medications, weight loss and exercise, and lowering your blood pressure, with medication, exercise, and weight loss. Taking a low-dose of aspirin every day might also help as well as quitting smoking. Possible complications of not treating metabolic syndrome include a long-term risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, or stroke.