The term metabolic syndrome has been discussed in the news periodically when referring to the health of an individual, but what exactly is it? According to the Mayo Clinic the syndrome has to do with a group of conditions that occur together that increase your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
Despite this definition, there are still disagreements on exactly what the syndrome entails, or whether or not it exists. In fact these risk factors have been referred to by other names such as syndrome X and insulin resistance syndrome.
However, regardless of what the risk factors are called, they have become more common, which explains the need to address them.
Metabolic Syndrome Risk Factors List
As it was stated, there are several risk factors associated with metabolic syndrome. The following are the conditions commonly cited.
Obesity or Overweight This condition is the most common symptom of the syndrome. The excess weight is characterized by a apple-shaped body type or a high BMI. More to the point, this is when the excess fat is stored largely around the abdominal area of your body. Even though this is a typical sign of the syndrome, you can still be of normal weight and be diagnosed with the condition.
Age Your age plays a factor in developing the condition, with the risk of the development of the syndrome increasing as you grow older. People over 50 have a higher percentage of risk then the general population, with women having a greater percentage then men.
High Blood Sugar High blood sugar or glucose levels is another major cause in the development of the syndrome. This is because insulin resistance, which can develop out of high blood sugar, is considered a major risk factor to the development of type 2 diabetes.
High Cholesterol High cholesterol can lead to development of plaque on the walls of your arteries. When this happens, early signs of heart problems will be present, which can lead to coronary heart disease.
Sedentary Lifestyle Individuals who abstain from any type of vigorous physical activity shows increase risks for the syndrome. Because of the lack of demands placed on the body, this sedentary lifestyle causes your body to work less efficiently when it comes to metabolizing your food energy, which opens it up to developing problems such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure, to name a few .
Preventing Metabolic Syndrome
Metabolic syndrome is largely preventable because the majority of the risk factors can be overcome with changes in your behavior. For instance, eating more fruits and vegetables, and staying away from fatty meats can help you to lose weight and lower your cholesterol levels.
Equally important is staying active by increasing your physical activity. Turning off the television and going for a brisk walk can do wonders for your heart, as well as your mood, and thus help to lower your risk of developing the syndrome.
Even though initially these changes may not be easy, they will in the long run save you from needless suffering and medical expenses.