What is Metabolic Syndrome?
Metabolic syndrome is a term given to a specific group of risk factors that, when combined, increase your chances of developing heart disease and Type II diabetes. It is sometimes called Syndrome X, but whatever you call it, diabetes and heart disease are two major killers. Many health experts are concerned with helping you determine if you have this syndrome.
If you have even four out of five of the factors listed below, you would be characterized as having metabolic syndrome, and your health may be at grave risk.
The risk factors usually associated with this syndrome are the following:
1. Too much fat in the abdominal area, with a waist measurement greater than 35 in women and greater than 40 in men, or a waist-to-hip ratio (waist measurement divided by hip measurement) of .8 or greater in women and .9 or greater in men.
2. Consistently high blood pressure with levels of 130/85 mm/Hg or higher.
3. Less than healthy levels of good cholesterol (HDL), meaning less than 50mg/dl and less than 40mg/dl for men.
4. Fasting triglyceride levels in the blood that are greater than or equal to 150mg/dl.
5. A condition called "insulin resistance" indicated by blood glucose levels between 101 and 125 mg/dl.
What are the risks?
The truth is, if you have metabolic syndrome, you have more than double the risk of heart attack or stroke and 25 times the risk of developing Type II Diabetes. To make matters worse, these factors can accelerate the aging process and keep you from feeling well and living the life you choose.
Of course, you should seek advice from your health care provider, but there are some other things you can do, to reduce or eliminate these risk factors from your health picture.
Here are some things you can do to help:
--Eat healthy. Include fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats in your menu plans and limit or eliminate highly processed foods and sugar. Making these changes will improve all of the risk factors listed above, and you will feel better, also.
--Get moving. Take a walk. Play a sport. Work out. Go dancing. Any activity that gets your body moving will help with all of the risk factors listed above. (Be sure you have the okay from your doctor before starting any exercise program.) Make a few small changes each day and you will soon find yourself with a large change in your activity level and your health.
Get enough z-z-z-z's. Turn off the television early and relax before bed. Sleep in a room that is completely dark. Avoid large meals and stimulants late in the day. Establish a routine by getting up at the same time every day. Adequate sleep can help improve all of the risk factors for metabolic syndrome.
Manage stress. Pray. Pet your dog or cat. Learn deep breathing exercises. Hug your loved ones. Help out in your community. Change jobs. Whatever it takes to reduce the stress in your life, will provide a tremendous benefit for all of the risk factors listed above.
PAGE SUMMARY for What is Metabolic Syndrome
Metabolic syndrome is a term given to a specific group of risk factors that, when combined, increase your chances of developing heart disease and Type II diabetes.
The risk factors usually associated with this syndrome are too much fat in the abdominal area, consistently high blood pressure, less than healthy levels of good cholesterol, high fasting triglyceride levels, and insulin resistance.
Things you can do to help include eating healthy, getting moving, getting enough sleep and learning to manage stress.