Metabolic syndrome is a relatively new term, but it is getting a lot of attention these days. If you’re not sure what to believe, here are the fundamental facts about this syndrome and why it matters if you want to stay healthy.
The Fundamentals of Metabolic Syndrome
- Recognize the point of contention. Only in the last 20 years have people been diagnosed with metabolic syndrome. Some medical professionals question whether it is truly a distinct condition. Nonetheless, there is conclusive evidence that all of the factors involved are critical to your health.
- Recognize the pervasiveness. In the United States, approximately 70 million adults suffer from metabolic syndrome. That equates to more than one in every three adults, and the figure is rising.
- Understand the risk factors. There are numerous risk factors to consider. Being overweight or physically inactive are two examples. High blood pressure, high blood sugar, and unhealthy cholesterol levels are also warning signs.
- Identify the symptoms. Because many of the symptoms are hidden, regular doctor visits are essential. The only thing you can keep an eye on is your waistline. Excess belly fat is a clear indicator.
- Take note of the effect. This group of metabolic factors has been linked to a twofold increase in the risk of heart attack and stroke. It increases the risk of developing diabetes by a factor of five.
Metabolic Syndrome Prevention and Treatment
- Consult your doctor. To determine if you have metabolic syndrome, your doctor will run lab tests. That means you have at least three symptoms, such as excess abdominal fat, high blood pressure, high fasting glucose, or insulin resistance.
- Eat healthily. A healthy diet is important for both prevention and treatment. Reduce your intake of processed foods, unhealthy fats, and sugar. Increase your intake of vegetables and fruits, whole grains, and low-fat proteins.
- Limit your carbohydrate intake. A high-carbohydrate diet is especially dangerous. Try to get less than 60% of your daily calories from carbohydrates, and choose healthy carbohydrates such as whole grains, vegetables, and fruit.
- Lose a few inches. If you are overweight, lose the excess weight by following a sensible eating plan that you can stick to for the rest of your life. Your waistline may be more important than your weight. The ideal waist size for a man is less than 40 inches and less than 35 inches for women.
- Your best defense is to maintain a physically active lifestyle. Cardiovascular health, strength, and flexibility should all be worked on. Find workouts that you can do for at least 30 minutes most days of the week. Brisk walking is both inexpensive and effective.
- Stop smoking. Tobacco use puts a significant strain on your circulatory system. Quitting smoking is yet another way to reduce your risk of heart disease.
- Take your medications exactly as prescribed. Many people can avoid metabolic syndrome simply by changing their lifestyle. If you require medication, your doctor can advise you. These medications may include those used to treat high blood pressure, cholesterol, or diabetes. Your doctor may also advise you to take aspirin to reduce your risk of heart attack or stroke.
- As you get older, you should be more cautious. As we get older, our chances of developing metabolic syndrome rise. Experts estimate a 20% increase in risk in our forties. When we reach the age of 60, that figure rises to 45 percent.
- Gather information about your ancestors. Metabolic syndrome, like many other diseases, has genetic components. Determine if you have a family history of heart disease, diabetes, or stroke.
Although metabolic syndrome does not meet the criteria for a distinct condition, the factors involved are well established as being critical to your health. If you have risk factors such as high blood pressure or excess fat around your waist, it is critical for your health to change your lifestyle and consult with your doctor.