Metabolic Syndrome, What is it Really?


Metabolic syndrome refers to a group of conditions that occur in one person that increases the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. It is becoming more common in the US with an estimate of 50 million Americans having it. It is characterized by a cluster of the risk factors as follows:

  • Abdominal obesity (excessive fat tissue in the abdomen with a waist circumference of over 88 cm (35 inches) in women and over 102 cm (40 in) in men) is the major risk factor.
  • High triglycerides of 160 mg/dl or above, HDL cholesterol of 40 mg d/l or lower in men and 50 mg/dl or lower in women and high LDL cholesterol that promote buildup of plaque in artery walls
  • Fasting blood glucose of 110 mg/dl and above
  • High insulin levels, resistance to insulin or glucose intolerance is a main risk factor.
  • Elevated blood pressure 130/85 or 140/90


Having just one of the above does not mean one has this disorder but it does increase the risk of a disease that is serious. Add one or more of those conditions and the risk is even more. I don't mean to be cruel but I do want to drive home the point in order for all concerned to want to get rid of those conditions.

I just want you to be aggressive in making the lifestyle changes because when this is done, we can stop those unwanted guests in the form of diseases from coming. I will have some strategies, signs, causes, tests and diagnosis, remedies at home and ways of prevention to deal with this later but I like to make sure we understand everything about these conditions first. We may need a few more pages on this issue.

What diseases are we talking about here? Well, there's the coronary heart disease and others that result from the buildup of plaque in the walls of the artery. Examples are peripheral vascular disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. This condition is also referred to as the insulin resistance problem. Why? Because in this disorder the body is unable to use the insulin in an efficient manner.

With insulin resistance, the ability of the cells to react to the action of the insulin to move the glucose from the blood to the other tissues and muscles is lowered. Thus resistance to insulin plays an important role in the development of the disorder in question.

The main risk factors for this disorder are abdominal obesity and resistance to insulin. In fact most people who are resistant to insulin have abdominal obesity. Lack of physical activity, hormonal imbalance, heredity and aging are also linked to this condition.

The relationship between metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease has been recognized since the 1940s and became clearer in the 1980s. The way it is defined depends on the experts but the National Cholesterol Education Program has a guideline that says any three of the aforementioned traits will meet the criteria for this metabolic syndrome.

Metabolic Syndrome Gives One a Second Chance

Metabolic syndrome provides one the opportunity to embark on lifestyle changes of eating healthy and exercising. These lifestyle changes will postpone or even stop serious diseases on their track. This page provides information on the risk factors. You will find the causes and diagnosis at Metabolic Syndrome1. As for the remedies and prevention they're on Metabolic Syndrome_2.

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