Everything you need to know about metabolic syndrome

Updated at: Aug 05, 2018
Everything you need to know about metabolic syndrome

Metabolic syndrome is a group of risk factors and not a disease in itself. Metabolic syndrome is also known as Syndrome X, and there are certain risk factors that can be handled by you.

Arka Roy Chowdhury
Exercise & FitnessWritten by: Arka Roy ChowdhuryPublished at: Oct 06, 2017

Metabolic syndrome is referred to as a group of risk factors that raises the risk for heart disease and other problems such as diabetes and stroke. It is not a disease in itself.

By metabolic we mean that which refers to the biochemical processes involved in the body’s normal functioning. The risk factors include traits, conditions, and habits that help you to increase the chances of developing a disease. The fact is that metabolic syndrome is a condition that many people have but yet no one really knows about it. Doctors and experts debate over whether metabolic syndrome must be viewed as a distinct condition nor not. Metabolic syndrome has been labeled as Syndrome X and this scarily named syndrome is definitively still a mystery.

Understanding the causes for metabolic syndrome

There are several causes for metabolic syndrome, and these act together to finally create a problem. Some of these causes, such as being overweight, an inactive lifestyle and insulin resistance can be controlled. 

Certain other factors cannot be controlled by you, such as growing older, the risk of metabolic syndrome increases with one''s age. Also, genetics (ethnicity and family history) is another cause that cannot be controlled by you. Genetics can potentially increase the risk for insulin resistance and this can then lead to metabolic syndrome. Let us discuss some of these causes here below:

Insulin Resistance: Insulin is something that helps the human body to use glucose which is a simple sugar from the food that is eaten. Those suffering from insulin resistance, the insulin do not work so well and thus the body keeps moving more and more to cope with the rising level of glucose. This then leads to diabetes.

Obesity: This is especially true for abdominal obesity. It is said that metabolic syndrome is becoming more common because there is a rise in the obesity rate among people. Most people seem to have extra fat on their belly in comparison to the other areas of the body.

Unhealthy Lifestyle: Modern life is unhealthy for most, and this is also a factor contributing to metabolic syndrome. People eat high-fat foods and do not really get enough physical exercises.

Hormonal Imbalance: Hormones can also play a prominent role in metabolic syndrome. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a condition that affects fertility. This is related to hormonal imbalance and metabolic syndrome. 

Signs and symptoms

Most of the metabolic risk factors do not have any signs or symptoms, but yes, a large waistline could be a visible sign for the same.
People might have symptoms related to high blood sugar if they are suffering from diabetes, especially the type 2 type. The symptoms often include increased thirst, increased urination, tiredness and blurred vision.

Those suffering from high blood pressure would have no signs and symptoms, but those in the early stages may have dull headaches, dizzy spells or even nosebleeds. 

Who is at risk?

People who are at the greatest risk of metabolic syndrome have underlying causes such as abdominal obesity, an inactive lifestyle, and insulin resistance.  
There are others at the risk for metabolic syndrome because they take medicines which cause weight gain or even bring about changes in blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and blood sugar levels. 

Treatment for metabolic syndrome

The treatment for metabolic syndrome is basically healthy lifestyle changes which include losing weight, being physically active, following a heart healthy diet and quitting smoking. Now because metabolic syndrome or Syndrome X is a result of a group of factors, all you have to do is make sure that you do not cause trouble to your body. Keep your heart healthy, stay away from being fat, and you will see that you are doing much better.

If in case lifestyle changes are not enough then you would probably have to take medicines and these would be used to treat and control risk factors such as high blood pressure, high triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol and high blood sugar.

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