Metabolic syndrome is one of the most common lifestyle disorder that’s on an alarming rise. It occurs in around 25% of the world’s population – and the numbers are quickly increasing. In US alone, more than one-third of the population is suffering from metabolic syndrome. While not a disease in itself, Metabolic Syndrome is defined as a set of five conditions that may lead to a higher chance of developing chronic health conditions, including diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, kidney disorders, stroke, and more.
Unhealthy eating habits, sedentary lifestyle, and lack of physical activity are some of the key factors leading to metabolic syndromes. Once diagnosed, metabolic syndrome is likely to worsen, and if left untreated it leads to chronic, life-threatening metabolic abnormalities. Additionally, one metabolic syndrome paves way for another metabolic syndrome, putting individual at a risk of cluster of health abnormalities. For example, individuals diagnosed with diabetes are up to five times at an increased risk of developing cardiovascular health problems.
Signs That Lead to Metabolic Syndrome
Here are the five signs or risk factors that could lead to metabolic syndrome.
Elevated Blood Sugar Levels
A fasting blood sugar level over 100 milligrams per deciliter is considered as a pre-diabetic condition that, if left uncontrolled, puts you at an increased risk of metabolic syndrome. Similarly, gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) and a family history of Type-2 diabetes also increases your chances of having metabolic syndrome.
Increased Blood Pressure
Known as the “Silent Killer”, high blood pressure is a life-threatening health condition that occurs when the force of your blood against your artery wall is strong enough to cause damage to the arteries and heart. High blood pressure increases the work load on the heart and blood vessels, making them work harder and inefficiently, which in turn leads to the weakening of heart and heart muscles causing heart and other health problems. You suffer from high BP if your systolic and diastolic readings are higher than 130/85 mm Hg.
High Triglyceride Level
Triglycerides are the most common type of fat in the body. They store excess energy from the food that you eat, and their levels increase when you consume more fat than your body actually needs. Increase in triglyceride levels (more than 150 milligrams per deciliter) leads to fatty buildups within the walls of the artery, increasing your risk of heart attack and stroke.
Reduced HDL Level
Known as the “good cholesterol”, HLD or high density lipoprotein protect your body against heart attack and stroke. It also leads to the elimination of LDL (low density lipoprotein) or bad cholesterol from your arteries. Low levels of HDL allow LDL to build up in your arteries, causing their narrowing and increasing the risk for heart attack, stroke, and peripheral artery disease.
A Large Waist
A large waist circumference or “apple-shaped” body signifies increased fat deposition around your belly area. It increases your chances of developing metabolic syndrome. Men having a waist size more than 40 inches and women having waist size higher than 35 inches are at higher risk for developing metabolic syndrome.
Preventing the Metabolic Syndrome
Healthy eating habits and regular physical activity can help you prevent, regulate as well as reverse the metabolic abnormalities. For this, you need to:
Maintain Healthy Eating Habits
You must try to eat plenty of green, leafy vegetables, fruits, lean protein and grains. Try to include at least three servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit in your diet. Also, you must eat whole-grain, high-fiber cereals, drink fat-free or low-fat milk and eat low-fat dairy products.
Try to stay as physically active as possible. Run, jog, walk, play – include moderate to vigorous physical activities in your routine for at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. You must try to replace your time spent on sedentary activities with work that involves active utilization of muscles, like cleaning, yard work, or other fun and engaging activities.
Limit Saturated Fat and Salt in Your Diet
To prevent or reverse metabolic syndromes, you must reduce your intake of saturated fats and trans-fats. You must replace your solid fats with vegetable oils, such as olive or canola oil and try to limit your intake of fried and fatty food products.
Stress is one of the biggest factors that lead to metabolic syndrome. Manage your stress by maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Practice yoga, meditation, and other relaxation and deep breathing techniques to cope up with everyday stress.
Maintain an Ideal Weight
If you are overweight, try to reach your ideal body weight. For this, restrict or eliminate “junk food” from your diet. Say ‘NO’ to foods that contain solid fats, trans fats, refined white flour, added sugars, and high sodium. Avoid sodas and other high-calorie sugary drinks that contain few or no nutrients. Couple your healthy eating habits with rigorous exercise routine to lose weight.
Smoking leads to an increased risk of blood clots, high cholesterol, plaque deposit and heart attacks. To stay healthy, you must quit smoking at the earliest. If you drink alcoholic beverages, you must try to do so in moderation.
Seek Medical Help
If you are not able to reverse the metabolic abnormalities of metabolic syndrome by regulating your diet and exercise regime, medical intervention is advised. Speak to your primary healthcare provider to learn various ways to manage your metabolic disorders through diet, exercise, and medication.
At EPIC Health, we follow a holistic “ABCDE approach” to help you tackle and treat your metabolic abnormalities. Our healthcare physicians take complete account of your existing health conditions to help you treat all your metabolic abnormalities through the right diet, exercise, and medicines.
Our comprehensive approach includes:
- Assessment and management of cardiovascular diseases
- Blood pressure control
- Cholesterol management
- Diabetes management through diet, exercise and medicines
- Exercise therapy