metabolic syndrome symptoms, metabolic syndrome diet,
metabolic syndrome treatment, risk factors, causes and insulin resistance, September 10, 2011
Metabolic Syndrome Symptoms
Metabolic syndrome is a group of risk factors that can raise our risk for heart disease, diabetes, stroke and
some other health problems. These risk factors can raise our risk for health problems even if they're only
moderately raised (borderline-high risk factors). Diabetic patients may have symptoms of high blood sugar.
Symptoms of high blood sugar often include increased thirst; increased urination, especially at night; fatigue
(tiredness); and blurred vision. A large waistline is another sign of metabolic syndrome, however, most of the
metabolic risk factors have no signs or symptoms. For example, high blood pressure usually has no signs or
symptoms. However, some people in the early stages of high blood pressure may have signs of dull
headaches, dizzy spells, or more nosebleeds than usual.
Metabolic syndrome Risk Factors, Causes and Insulin Resistence
There are several causes for metabolic syndrome, and the causes are overweight and obesity, an inactive
lifestyle, and insulin resistance. Aging and genetics (ethnicity and family history) are other causes. Genetics
can increase our risk for insulin resistance, which can lead to metabolic syndrome.
People who have metabolic syndrome often have excessive blood clotting and constant, low-grade
inflammation throughout the body. Scientists don’t know whether these conditions cause metabolic syndrome
or worsen it. Moreover, conditions such as a fatty liver (excess triglycerides in liver), polycystic ovarian
syndrome, (a tendency to develop cysts on the ovaries), gallstones and sleep apnea are risk factors for
Metabolic Syndrome Treatment and Diet
Healthy lifestyle changes are the first line of treatment for metabolic syndrome. Lifestyle changes include
losing weight, being physically active, following a heart healthy diet, and quitting smoking.
If lifestyle changes aren't insufficient to improve the condition, medicines are needed. Medicines are used to
treat and control risk factors such as high blood pressure, high triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol, and high
blood sugar. Blood-thinning medicines, such as aspirin, also may be used to reduce the risk of blood clots.
Excessive blood clotting is a condition that often occurs with metabolic syndrome.
Goals of Treatment
The major goal of treating metabolic syndrome is to reduce the risk for heart disease, then others. Treatment
is directed first at lowering LDL cholesterol and high blood pressure and managing diabetes (if these
conditions are present). The second goal of treatment is to prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes (if it hasn't
already developed). The main focus of treating metabolic syndrome is managing the risk factors that are within
your control, such as overweight or obesity, an inactive lifestyle, and an unhealthy diet.
Lifestyle Changes and Losing Weight
If you have metabolic syndrome and are overweight or obese, you may consider weight loss. The long-range
target is to lower your body mass index (BMI) to less than 25. BMI measures your weight in relation to your
height and gives an estimate of your total body fat. A BMI of less than 25 is the goal for prevention and
treatment of metabolic syndrome.
Following a Heart Healthy Diet
A heart healthy diet is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Foods that are low in saturated fat, trans fat, and
cholesterol and a variety of fruits, vegetables, and grains should be included in your heart healthy diet.
Sodium should be limited in food preparation. Salt can raise our risk for high blood pressure, as well as
metabolic syndrome. Alcoholic beverages should be limited to moderation or less.
Being Physically Active
Physical activity can help keep your heart and lungs healthy. Even modest amounts of physical activity are
good to against metabolic syndrome. The more active you are, the less likely you have metabolic syndrome.
However, before starting physical activity, talk with your doctor about the types and amounts of physical activity
that are safe for you, and good for metabolic syndrome. There are various levels of physical activities, people
who have metabolic syndrome usually are urged to keep up a moderate level of activity.
If you smoke, quit. Smoking can raise your risk for metabolic syndrome, heart disease and heart attack and
worsen other heart disease risk factors.
If lifestyle changes aren't enough, medicines are needed to help you control your risk factors for metabolic
syndrome. Unhealthy cholesterol levels are treated with medicines such as statins, fibrates, or nicotinic acid.
High blood pressure is treated with medicines such as diuretics or ACE inhibitors. High blood sugar is treated
with oral medicines (such as metformin), insulin injections, or both. Low-dose aspirin can help reduce the risk
of blood clots, especially for people whose risk for heart disease is high.
Credit: National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, September 2011
What supplements may help metabolic syndrome?
Any supplements that are able to lower the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, high lipid levels are potential
helpful for metabolic syndrome. Please, discuss with your doctor which one that you should consider. Please,
remember that exercise, sleep, rest, and balanced diet can be effectively against metabolic syndrome.
David, September 10, 2011
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