Metabolic syndrome is not a disease itself, but an array of associated conditions that occur together, elevating your risk of other chronic illnesses including heart attack, stroke or type 2 diabetes. As far as these conditions are concerned, they include abnormal triglyceride levels, abnormal sugar levels, increased blood pressure and obesity.
Having one of these signs isn’t an indication that you have metabolic syndrome. However, it signifies that you’re at higher risk of developing further complicated and serious health issues.
Metabolic syndrome is increasingly common these days and one of the surveys conducted by Riteaid pharmacy store suggests that up to one-third of adults in the U.S. alone have it. Luckily, with lifestyle changes and the right diet, you can successfully delay or even prevent the occurrence of chronic health problems.
Unfortunately, most of the conditions associated with metabolic syndrome don’t have any noticeable signs and symptoms. But, if you have a large waist circumference or high sugar levels, now is the time to ask your doctor whether you need any further testing for other conditions of the syndrome.
Metabolic syndrome is strictly associated with inactivity or increased weight. Also, it is closely linked with insulin resistance in which your body cells don’t respond normally to insulin. As a result, glucose can’t absorb in the cells properly and your blood sugar level elevates.
Associated Risk Factors
There are a few factors that significantly increase the risk of developing metabolic syndrome. Some of them include:
- Age – older people are at higher risk of metabolic syndrome than teenagers
- Ethnicity – Hispanics are said to be at higher risk of metabolic syndrome
- Weight – The factor of obesity also plays a crucial role in developing metabolic syndrome
- Other illnesses – You’re at higher risk of metabolic syndrome if you’re suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome or fatty liver disease
Once diagnosed, you’re at higher risk of developing:
Type 2 diabetes
If you don’t make aggressive changes to your current lifestyle now and fail to manage your weight, then you may develop insulin resistance which can raise your blood sugar levels. Sooner or later, insulin resistance can lead to type 2 diabetes.
Noticeably, two of the most prominent metabolic syndrome conditions are linked with high cholesterol levels and increased blood sugar. Both of these conditions can contribute to the development of plaques in your arteries which can lead to the heart attack or a stroke in the end.
The only way to prevent metabolic syndrome is the strict adherence to a healthy lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle includes:
- Getting at least 7-8 hours of uninterrupted night sleep
- Getting at least 40 minutes of physical workout (could be in any form, treadmill, walking, jogging, gym, etc.)
- Quit smoking
- Eating a balanced nutritious diet including vegetables, meat, fruits, nuts and dairy
- Maintaining a healthy weight
The purpose of diagnosis is to identify people who could be at higher risk of metabolic syndrome yet can significantly benefit from lifestyle or diet changes to reduce the risk of future complications. When you’re having an unhealthy lifestyle, your blood sugar levels, cholesterol, and lipid levels are immediately targeted.
One of the best ways to treat metabolic syndrome is to work on reducing your weight. Recommended measures for preventing and curing abnormal sugar or cholesterol levels of metabolic syndrome include:
- Consuming a heart-healthy diet that is low in sodium, sugar and fats
- Regular workout
- Avoid unhealthy habits such as smoking or excessive alcohol intake
Generally, metformin is advised to help certain age groups to control their blood sugar levels and to those who’re not having desired results from lifestyle and dietary changes.
Notably, metformin is not labeled as preventive medicine for people suffering from the conditions of the metabolic syndrome. However, some medical practitioners do prescribe this medicine to treat individuals with exorbitantly high sugar levels.
People with metabolic syndrome should choose food from reliable healthful sources. There should be minimum use of sodium, red meat and sweetened foods and beverages. In addition to that, it’s also important to include lots of vegetables and fruits in your diet. Consume more fish, whole grains and nuts to balance your daily nutritional needs.
In conclusion, if you’re experiencing any or most of the above-listed conditions, now is the time to make lifestyle changes and diet modifications to stay healthy and active.