What is Metabolic Syndrome? Here's What You Need to Know

Get up and get moving. We hear the saying often, but frequently find it difficult to get up and get moving on days where the motivation just isn’t there. The lack of movement can lead to metabolic syndrome – a dangerous and unfortunate product of a sedentary lifestyle.

What is metabolic syndrome?

Metabolic syndrome is not one specific condition. Rather, metabolic syndrome is a combination of risk factors grouped together such as a stroke, heart disease, elevated blood pressure or high triglyceride levels. Three of this risk factors combined total a diagnosis of metabolic syndrome. A total of 16 risk factors are associated with metabolic syndrome.

When an individual has a combination of several risk factors, chances of conditions such as heart disease increase. We’ve heard the term metabolism. Metabolic syndrome refers to the biochemical process that occurs naturally. When a disruption occurs within the internal system, metabolic risk factors increase.

Approximately 32% of the U.S. population has metabolic syndrome. A combination of poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle has contributes to symptoms of metabolic syndrome.

Symptoms of metabolic syndrome

There can be no visible symptoms of metabolic syndrome, which is what makes detection tricky. However, a visible sign of metabolic syndrome is an increased waist size. Shortness of breath is common in individuals who have increased weight gain and can lead to metabolic syndrome. Accumulation of fat and fatty liver can also be a warning sign.

There is not one set cause of metabolic syndrome. However, a typical profile of an individual who gets metabolic syndrome is one who may be overweight, at risk for heart conditions and a sedentary lifestyle.

Who is at risk?

  • If you are overweight and have a BMI of over 25, you may be at risk
  • At risk of diabetes or currently have diabetes
  • You are increasing in age and approaching 50
  • Notice a change in obstructive sleep apnea symptoms
  • Routine doctor visits can assist in telling the story of internal health:
  • HDL cholesterol should be 40mg/dl or lower for men and 50mg/dl or lower for women.
  • Blood pressure of 130/85 or more.
  • Fasting blood glucose of 100 mg/dl or higher.

Treatment for metabolic syndrome

·         Natural remedies have become increasingly popular as the notion to move away from prescription drugs becomes more of the norm. Consult your doctor before undergoing a supplement routine or drastically making dietary changes.

·         Green tea is a natural antioxidant. Its effects were studied in recent years concluding that antioxidant levels. Green tea assists in providing health benefits such as increased digestion, lower cholesterol and improves heart health.

·         Watch your diet closely. Eat heart healthy foods with a combination of “good fats”. This includes nuts (walnuts and almonds), ghee and organically fed meats. The fewer the chemicals, the less likelihood hidden ingredients that can spike blood and cholesterol levels.

·         Try smoking cessation as a means to quit smoking.

·         Reduce carbohydrate intake. Read food labels in depth.

·         Avoid food dyes and artificial flavorings.

·         Decrease sedentary lifestyle. Walk for up to 30 minutes each day.

·         Invest in a doctor that will closely monitor blood glucose and insulin levels.

Lowering your risk for metabolic syndrome is possible. However, as obesity continues to threaten life expectancy and cause an increasing amount of health problems, metabolic syndrome is on the rise. Lifestyle changes can reduce symptoms and go so far as to reduce and reverse the initial stages.

Kristina Caputi