A metabolic syndrome is a group of illnesses that occur concurrently and significantly increase your chance of acquiring type 2 diabetes or cardiovascular disease (stroke or heart disease). The origins of metabolic syndrome are complex and poorly understood, but a hereditary component is suspected. Obesity and inactivity both increase your risk. Occasionally, metabolic syndrome refers to as syndrome X or insulin-resistance syndrome.
As we age, we become less active and may acquire weight. This excess weight is around the abdomen, which can result in the body developing insulin resistance. This indicates that insulin is less effective throughout the body, particularly in the muscles and liver.
Metabolic Syndrome Diagnosis
The metabolic syndrome is not a disease in and of itself but rather a collection of risk factors that frequently co-occur. A person is diagnosed with metabolic syndrome if they have three or more of the following:
- centralized (abdominal) obesity is an abnormal accumulation of fat in and around the stomach (abdomen)
- hypertension (hypertension)
- excessive triglycerides in the blood
- a deficiency of high-density lipoproteins (HDL) – the ‘good’ cholesterol
- diabetes or impaired fasting glucose (IFG). It elevates blood glucose levels greater than usual but not high enough to be classified as type 2 diabetes.
Central obesity occurs when the majority of body fat concentrate in the abdomen and upper torso—your risk increases as your waist circumference increases. The risk of central obesity varies according to a person’s gender and ethnic origin.
As a general rule, if your waist is 94 cm or greater in circumference (men) or 80 cm or greater in circumference (women), you generally need to lose weight. Men of Middle Eastern, South Asian, Chinese, Asian-Indian, and South and Central American ethnic origins with a waist circumference of 90 cm or greater are considered at risk.
In the absence of additional risk factors, hypertension define as a blood pressure reading greater than 140/90mmHg. This could result from genetics, a healthy lifestyle, or another disease such as kidney or cardiovascular disease. Additionally, hypertension raises your risk of getting heart disease, stroke, and renal illness.
The optimal blood pressure range is less than 130/80 mmHg (or lower in the presence of other disorders), although everyone is unique. Consult your physician to determine the optimal target for you, and ensure that your blood pressure monitor periodically.
While lifestyle adjustments such as increased physical exercise, quitting smoking, reducing sodium (salt) in your diet, reducing stress, limiting alcohol, and maintaining a healthy body weight may assist.
Triglycerides and Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a fatty acid that our liver produces. By accumulating on the walls of blood vessels, LDL (low-density lipoproteins) cholesterol can clog arteries. HDL (high-density lipoproteins) cholesterol contributes to the protection against this fatty obstruction buildup.
Excessive alcohol use can contribute to an increase in triglycerides. If you are insulin resistant, your triglyceride levels are likely to be higher than usual. High triglyceride levels connect with low HDL cholesterol levels – the ‘good’ or protective cholesterol.
Increased triglycerides and decreased HDL cholesterol raise the risk of atherosclerosis (artery narrowing), a risk factor for heart disease. Obesity or being overweight is also a risk factor for illnesses such as elevated triglyceride levels, hypertension, and atherosclerosis.
Glucose Tolerance Impairment (pre-diabetes)
In some cases, impaired fasting glucose and impaired glucose tolerance are called ‘pre-diabetes.’ They arise when blood glucose levels elevate above average but are not high enough to be classified as diabetes. Unless lifestyle adjustments implement, one-third of patients with impaired glucose tolerance or impaired fasting glucose will develop diabetes.
Conditions associated with metabolic syndrome
All of these factors are intricately connected, making it challenging to piece together the sequence of events. Which – if any – situation is the primary trigger? According to some researchers, obesity may be the precursor to metabolic syndrome.
Reduce your body weight and engage in regular physical activity to help lower your triglyceride and cholesterol levels, lower your blood pressure, and boost your body’s insulin response. This may help avoid the development of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Diabetes Mellitus and Insulin Resistance
Insulin resistance occurs when the hormone insulin is not used as effectively, particularly in the muscles and liver.
Normally, your digestive system converts carbs to glucose, subsequently absorbed into your circulation via your intestine. Your pancreas secretes insulin into your bloodstream as your blood glucose level rises. Insulin enables glucose from your blood to enter your muscle cells. Once inside a cell, glucose is ‘burned’ — in conjunction with oxygen – to generate energy.
Insulin resistance means that the pancreas must create and release more insulin than usual to maintain normal blood glucose levels. Over a quarter of the population believes to have some degree of insulin resistance.
Diabetes and Insulin Resistance
Insulin resistance raises the likelihood of acquiring type 2 diabetes and is present in most persons who develop this type of diabetes. Suppose the pancreas is unable to create enough more insulin to overcome the body’s resistance. In that case, blood glucose levels rise and you acquire impaired fasting glucose, impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), or diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is typically associated with other metabolic syndrome characteristics and a greatly increased risk of damage to cardiovascular (heart and blood vessel).
Lowering Your Risk of Developing Metabolic Syndrome
Over half of all Australians have at least one disorder associated with metabolic syndrome. Several suggestions for lowering your risk include the following:
- Include as many positive lifestyle changes as possible – eating a healthy diet, exercising consistently, and decreasing weight significantly reduces your risk of metabolic syndrome-related disorders like diabetes and heart disease.
- Change your diet – consume a variety of natural wholegrain foods, veggies, and fruits. Reduce your meal intake and avoid foods heavy in fat or sugar to aid in weight loss. Reduce saturated fats found in meat, full-cream dairy, and a variety of processed meals. Avoid alcohol altogether or limit your consumption to less than two standard drinks each day.
- Increase your level of physical activity – regular exercise can take numerous forms, depending on what works best for you. At the very least five days a week, try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise. Additionally, try to minimize prolonged periods of sitting by standing or taking a one- to two-minute stroll.
- Maintain a healthy weight – increased physical activity and modifying eating habits will aid in the loss of extra body fat and weight loss.
- Put an end to smoking — smoking raises your chances of heart disease, stroke, cancer, and lung illness. Quitting smoking has numerous health benefits, particularly if you suffer from metabolic syndrome.
- Medication may be necessary – while lifestyle changes are critical in managing metabolic syndrome, medication may be necessary to address the various symptoms. Specific individuals will require antihypertensive drugs or lipid-lowering medicines (or both) to maintain normal blood pressure and cholesterol levels. The primary goal should be to lower your risk of heart attack, diabetes, and stroke.
- Consult your physician to determine the most effective management strategy for you.
Things to keep in mind
Metabolic syndrome is a group of disorders that frequently coexist and significantly raise your risk of diabetes, stroke, and heart disease.
The metabolic syndrome is obesity, high blood pressure, elevated triglycerides, poor HDL cholesterol, and insulin resistance.
Healthy eating habits and improved physical exercise are critical for avoiding or overcoming metabolic syndrome-related illnesses.