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Health Hacks

What Is Metabolic Syndrome?

Alexander Singh
June 6, 2022

A group of diseases known as metabolic syndrome increases your chance of developing heart disease, a stroke, including type 2 diabetes. These problems include high blood sugar, high blood pressure, excessive body fat all around the waist, and irregular cholesterol and triglyceride levels

You could not have metabolic syndrome even if you have just one of these issues. However, it does indicate a higher risk of developing a serious illness. In addition, as these ailments progress, so does your risk of consequences, including heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

An increasing number of Americans—up to one-third of individuals in the country—have metabolic syndrome. Aggressive lifestyle adjustments can halt the onset of major health issues if you suffer from metabolic syndrome or any symptoms.

What Are The Symptoms?

Typically, there are no apparent physical symptoms right away. The metabolic syndrome-related health issues progressively worsen over time. Consult your healthcare professional if you are unsure whether you have metabolic syndrome. An individual can arrive at the diagnosis by getting the required tests, such as hypertension, lipid profile (triglycerides and HDL), and blood glucose.

The majority of metabolic syndrome-related illnesses lack overt signs or symptoms. A noticeable symptom is a big waist circumference. Additionally, if your blood glucose is high, you can experience some telltale signs and symptoms of diabetes, including increased thirst and urinating exhaustion, and impaired vision.

Metabolic syndrome symptoms include being overweight or obese, raising blood pressure, and having excessive triglycerides. Acanthosis nigricans can occur in people who have insulin resistance. This consists of regions of darkened skin under the breasts, in the armpits, and on the backside of the neck. People typically do not exhibit symptoms.

What are the Causes?

Being overweight, obesity and inactivity are all intimately related to metabolic syndrome. Additionally, it has a connection to insulin resistance. Normally, the things you eat are converted to sugar by your digestive system. Your pancreas produces the hormone insulin, which facilitates the entry of sugar into your cells for utilization as fuel.

Cells in persons with insulin resistance don't react to insulin as they should, which makes it harder for glucose to get into the cells. Because of this, even when your body produces more insulin to lower your blood sugar, your blood glucose levels climb.

Because insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome are linked, many medical professionals believe insulin resistance may be the root cause of the metabolic syndrome. However, they have yet to discover a clear connection between the two ailments. Others contend that prolonged stress-related hormone alterations result in belly obesity, insulin resistance, and increased blood lipid levels (triglycerides and cholesterol).

Age, difficulties with how body fat is distributed, and genetic alterations in a person's capacity to break down fats (lipids) in the blood are additional factors that could lead to metabolic syndrome.

Common Risk Factors

Knowing your disease-related risk factors can help you decide what steps to take. This entails altering your behavior and getting regular disease checks from your healthcare practitioner. Common risk factors associated with metabolic syndrome include:

Smoking: Regular smokers are more prone to contracting this syndrome, as constant smoking can greatly damage and affect their metabolic system.

Heavy Drinking: People with a history of heavy drinking are also prone to getting metabolic syndrome as drinking excessively also majorly affects your overall body system, including blood and sugar levels while increasing lipid levels.

Stress: Bearing constant stress also leads to several diseases, including metabolic syndrome, because stress levels directly increase and effects hypertension and heart diseases.

High-fat diet: consuming a high-fat diet regularly greatly increases your body's cholesterol and fat levels, putting an individual at a greater risk of contracting metabolic syndrome.

Being Past Menopause: Menopause is already a leading cause of imbalance in the hormonal system. It can also trigger the risk factors of getting metabolic syndrome for any woman.

Sedentary Lifestyle: A sedentary lifestyle can be one of the major causes of high cholesterol build-up in a person’s body that can further lead to metabolic syndrome.

Age: Older people are more likely to have metabolic syndrome than younger people due to added and increased levels of sugar and blood pressure.

BMI: A person having a BMI greater than 25 is also more prone to getting metabolic syndrome due to having an obese or overweight body.

Ethnicity: Mexican Americans and African Americans are also more prone to metabolic syndrome due to their eating habits and increased body weight.

Diabetes: People with a family history of diabetes or women who had gestational diabetes during pregnancy are at a greater risk of having metabolic syndrome than others.

How Is It Diagnosed?

A health care provider can diagnose if you have metabolic syndrome by running a few tests and seeing if there are any irregularities in your body. Following are some of the most common ways to diagnose metabolic syndrome:

  • A BMI greater than 25
  • Abdominal Obesity
  • Low HDL Cholesterol
  • High triglycerides
  • High blood sugar levels in fasting
  • Higher blood sugar levels or using medicines to maintain sugar levels
  • Having type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance
  • Having plasma plasminogen activator and fibrinogen, in simpler words having increased blood clotting

Treatment Options

Your health care provider can seek out the best treatment option for you based on the following factors:

  • Your sickness
  • Your age
  • Your overall health
  • How long have you been experiencing this illness
  • The medicines you take and surgeries or therapies you have undergone
  • Your preference
  • The severity of your metabolic syndrome

Following are some of the treatment options that your doctor could use:


Dietary modifications are crucial for managing metabolic syndrome. The AHA states that addressing insulin resistance is essential to modifying other risk factors. In general, decreasing weight and increasing physical exercise are the best ways to manage insulin resistance. To achieve this, take the following actions:

  • Use healthy fats in your diet, such as seeds, nuts, and oils from canola, sunflower, and olive.
  • Adding more fresh vegetables and fruits to your diet can add balanced nutrition to yoru diet.
  • Choosing whole grains like whole-wheat bread and brown rice over processed grains and rice as whole grains doesn't raise a spike in your insulin levels.
  • Reading food labels carefully whenever you buy something from the market. Avoid anything that has high levels of calories and sugar in it.
  • Avoid over-eating while dining out or even at home.

Lifestyle Management

Lifestyle adjustments are frequently part of treatment. This includes decreasing weight, altering your food with a dietitian's help, and increasing your physical activity. Gaining weight causes a decrease in triglycerides and a rise in HDL ("good") and LDL ("bad") cholesterol. Additionally, losing weight can lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. Other lifestyle adjustments include giving up smoking and consuming less alcohol.


A medication may be required as treatment for individuals suffering from metabolic syndrome or at risk of developing it. This is particularly true if diet, as well as other lifestyle adjustments, have had little effect. Your doctor may recommend medication to lower blood pressure, enhance insulin metabolism, increase weight loss, lower LDL cholesterol or raise HDL cholesterol, or any combination.


Exercise helps persons who are overweight or obese lose fat while maintaining and gaining lean mass or muscle tissue. Additionally, it facilitates weight loss more quickly than simply maintaining a balanced diet since muscular tissue burns calories more quickly.

Weight-loss Surgeries

When diet, exercise, or medications have failed to help a person lose weight, weight-loss surgery (also known as bariatric surgery) is a successful option. People who are less fat but suffer from serious problems from their obesity may also benefit from it.

What Should You Do If You Think You Have Metabolic Syndrome?

Exercise, a balanced diet, and striving toward a weight that's balanced for you if you're overweight or obese can help decrease or prevent the difficulties associated with metabolic syndrome since these two factors are the primary underlying causes of its development.

Your body's capacity to identify insulin can be improved with a healthy diet and significant weight loss of between 5% and 10% of body weight. Your insulin sensitivity can be increased only by increasing your activity. Eat a diet where carbohydrates make up no and over 50% of your daily calories.

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