Metabolic syndrome is a group of risk factors that increase the probability of heart problems, such as stroke or heart disease. It is also known as Syndrome X, insulin-resistant syndrome, obesity syndrome, and the silent killer. Knowing about this particular group of risk factors can help you prevent problems later on in life.
Although researchers have found what conditions metabolic syndrome is rooted in, no one knows what the actual cause of it is. Some conditions that they can have are:
- A hormonal imbalance.
- Sleep apnea.
- A poor diet.
- A sedentary lifestyle.
- An overweight or obese weight.
- A family history of diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.
- Coming from Asian, African-Caribbean, or Latin-American backgrounds.
- Older in age.
There are 6 risk factors that make up metabolic syndrome, and you will have at least 3 of them to be diagnosed with it.
- Abdominal obesity. This means having extra fat on your stomach, or having an “apple” body shape.
- A high triglyceride level.
- A low HDL (or good) cholesterol level.
- High blood sugar.
- Insulin resistance.
- High blood pressure.
Signs and Symptoms
So how do you find out if you have it? You need to check with your doctor and run some blood tests and have a physical exam. Based on the results, your doctor can decide if you have metabolic syndrome.
What can you do to avoid increasing these risks or treat this silent killer? Most reports will tell you that you can lower or prevent the risks by having a healthy lifestyle. This includes these 5 tips:
- Eat healthy food, such as whole grains, produce, lean meats, low-fat dairy, and avoiding processed food. Make sure the food is heart-healthy.
- Exercise and maintaining an active lifestyle. The American Heart Association suggests exercising at least 150 minutes a week.
- Lose weight and keep it off.
- Take medications. This is necessary only if it is prescribed by your doctor and the other lifestyle changes are not working.
- Quit smoking. Smoking can increase plaque buildup, high blood pressure, and insulin resistance.