Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic Syndrome is a complex cluster of many different diseases and conditions that are combined to make one large condition. Your doctor can diagnose you with metabolic syndrome once your individual situation is assessed.

Having one or more of the common medical conditions associated with Metabolic syndrome does not guarantee that you actually have it. It simply puts you at a higher risk for developing it at some point in your life.

Metabolic syndrome is comprised of four individual medical conditions: high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excessive weight around the waistline, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels. These are all serious medical conditions, even the excessive weight gain, as it can cause the other medical conditions to occur.

If you find yourself with one or two of these conditions, you could still have Metabolic syndrome, but you could also be in the clear and not have it.

Even having all four still does not mean that you will develop this condition, it simply means that your chances for developing it are significantly higher. When it comes to Metabolic syndrome, you will have to make and keep up with permanent lifestyle and diet changes to make sure that the condition does not get worse.

You should be seeing your medical doctor on a yearly basis at the very minimum to make sure that everything is in check with your health. If you have any of these conditions, your doctor will be able to help you get them under control with medications, diet and exercise.

Because some of these conditions do not have obvious symptoms, you may not notice there is a problem until it becomes a significant problem. While excessive weight is something that is very noticeable, high blood pressure and high blood sugar can sometimes go undetected.

High blood pressure can cause you to feel sick to your stomach, dizzy, and can even cause you to have vision problems. High blood sugar is associated with diabetes, and you should be checked for this at your yearly doctor’s appointment. Diabetes symptoms include excessive thirst, fatigue, blurry or double vision, and dizziness.

If you are experiencing any of those symptoms, you should have your doctor check your blood sugar and run some tests. Some of these symptoms can be caused by any excessive weight that you might be carrying, as weight puts a strain on your organs and muscles. While you are at your yearly doctor’s appointment, have your doctor check for all of these conditions, especially if you are showing any symptoms.

If you already have one or more of these conditions, ask your doctor to check for development of Metabolic syndrome just to be on the safe side.

Rick Factors

While there are numerous causes of Metabolic syndrome, there are two that put you at a significantly increased risk of developing this condition.

Excessive Weight

Having excessive amounts of weight on your waist is one of the main contributors of Metabolic syndrome. Excessive weight and weight gain are due to lack of a healthy diet and an overall lack of activity in your everyday life.

If this is the main cause of your Metabolic syndrome, your doctor will more than likely put you on a healthy diet and suggest that you get out and exercise at least three times a week. Most likely more exercise depending on the amount of weight that you have will be suggested.

Insulin Resistance

This causes glucose levels in your body to rise to an unsafe level. Your body produces insulin naturally by turning the sugar or glucose you eat into energy to fuel your body. Insulin resistance happens when your cells do not respond to the insulin that your body is creating, thus causing your glucose levels to rise. Your body is then trying to produce more insulin to help lower your sugar back to a safe level.

Demographic

Similar to other health conditions, there are other factors that go into it other than simply having some or all of the medical conditions that are associated with Metabolic syndrome. You are looking at certain risk factors that put you at an increased or higher risk of developing Metabolic syndrome, though just because you have these risk factors does not mean that you will develop this condition.

Age

This is a major factor in any medical condition or disease, the older you are the more likely you are to develop medical conditions.

Race

According to research studies conducted in the United States, people of Mexican descent are more likely to develop Metabolic syndrome than others. However, race does not always mean that you are immune to developing this condition.

Obesity

Excessive weight can cause many health problems and challenges including Metabolic Syndrome.

Diabetes

While you may not have diabetes, if you have a direct family history of diabetes, you are not only more likely to develop diabetes, you are also more likely to develop Metabolic syndrome. Women who had gestational diabetes while pregnant are also at an increased risk for this syndrome as well.

Diseases/Medical Conditions

There are a few other medical conditions and diseases that can also cause you to be at a higher risk for Metabolic syndrome.

Women who suffer from polycystic ovary syndrome, someone with cardiovascular disease or nonalcoholic fatty liver disease are also at an increased risk of developing Metabolic Syndrome.

Complications of Metabolic Syndrome

If you are one of the people who have Metabolic syndrome, but you do not have all of the medical conditions that are normally associated with it, there are some complications you should know about. As with any medical condition, you can develop complications for many reasons, but one of the main reasons that you develop complications is not taking care of yourself.

You are now someone with a serious medical condition and you must begin taking proper care of yourself in order to remain as healthy as you can. Getting plenty of exercise on a regular basis and maintaining a healthy diet will allow you to lose any excess weight.

It will also help to improve the blood flow to your organs and allow them to improve the way they function for you. By not controlling your diet and continuing to gain weight, you could develop diabetes, which can complicate your Metabolic syndrome further than it already is.

If you have high cholesterol or high blood pressure, you are at the risk of developing plaque in your arteries. By having large amounts of plaque in your arteries, you are at risk for having a heart attack or stroke, this is due to the plaque hardening and narrowing your arteries and restricting the blood flow to your organs.

Signs That You May Have Metabolic Syndrome

You may be asking yourself how your doctor will determine if you have Metabolic syndrome or not. There are certain factors that they will have to take into account when you have your exam, and remember just because you have one or two of the medical conditions that cause Metabolic syndrome, that does not necessarily mean that you have that syndrome.

Most doctors will use the guidelines set by the National Institutes of Health, which states that if you have more than three of the medical conditions and you are currently or have taken medications to control those conditions, you must also have these certain “requirements.”

Excessive Weight

In regards to weight, there are two separate requirements for men and women. Women must have a waistline of at least 35 inches and men must have a waistline of 40 inches. Most of the time they are only looking at the waistline for this condition, but they will also take into account the actual weight of the patient.

High Triglyceride Level

This is testing the level of fat in your blood, and there are two certain levels that they are looking for. And depending on how your doctor does their testing will determine which one they use. If a patient has 150 milligrams per deciliter or 1.7 millimoles per liter of blood, your triglyceride level is considered high.

Reduced HDL Cholesterol

HDL cholesterol is high density lipoprotein cholesterol and is considered to be the good type of cholesterol. With this there are also two different levels for men and women, with men the level is less than 50mg and for women it is less than 40mg.

If your good cholesterol is under these levels, then you fall into the category.

High Blood Pressure

For men and women who have a blood pressure level of higher than 130/85, you are considered to have high blood pressure for this syndrome. Women who are pregnant tend to have higher blood pressure due to the larger amount of blood they have during pregnancy. Your doctor may have a separate test for those pregnant women to determine if their blood pressure is higher due to Metabolic syndrome or pregnancy.

High Fasting Blood Sugar

If you are on diabetes medication and your blood sugar is still at 100mg or higher, you doctor may consider you to have Metabolic syndrome. They are looking for a blood sugar that cannot be controlled by any diabetes medications and is consistently that high.

When it comes to having Metabolic syndrome, your doctor will more than likely take all of your other medical conditions and treatments into account before prescribing any other medications. If you are already on medications, your doctor might suggest that you add diet and exercise to your daily routine to see if you can lower your levels without any added medications.

If changing your diet and adding or upping any exercise does not help your condition, then you might need a change in the amount of medication you are taking or a different dosage. You and your doctor will work together to find a solution that is a right fit for you and will allow your conditions to improve.

Changes To Expect

When it comes to Metabolic syndrome, even if you are placed on medication by your doctor you will still need to make some major life changes. These are going to be permanent changes that you are going to have to keep up with to help make sure that your levels and conditions stay under control.

Metabolic syndrome is considered to be a chronic illness and it is something that you could deal with for a few years, or for the rest of your life.

Because you may be dealing with the effects of this syndrome for the rest of your life it is important to make sure that you are keeping up with the lifestyle changes that you make. There are five different lifestyle changes that you will need to make or adjust in order to help yourself be healthier and also to minimize the symptoms of Metabolic syndrome.

Regular Exercise

Every person is different and your doctor may suggest that you start out with short walks or exercises like yoga or pilates to help build your strength. It is important to follow all exercise guidelines that you are given to ensure that you are not causing yourself any unnecessary harm while exercising. Most research studies indicate that you need at least 30 minutes of exercise every day, adding in different exercises and longer times as you get stronger.

Weight Loss

Talk with your doctor about healthy ways that you can lose weight. While you may be changing your diet, you don’t want to go on a crash diet that will only cause you problems in the long run.

Stick with healthy foods and plenty of physical exercise and you should start to see those unwanted pounds slipping away.

Healthy Eating

If you are unsure of the types of foods that you should be eating, or maybe you are already on a special diet for a medical condition, talking with a dietitian could be very beneficial for you. Your doctor can set you up with someone who can work with you on a personal level and take into account your needs with Metabolic syndrome.

Smoking

If you are not a smoker, stay that way. If you are a smoker, it is time to quit. Smoking not only increases your chances of stroke, heart disease and cancer, it can also cause your Metabolic syndrome symptoms to get worse. Your doctor can also help you when it comes to quitting smoking, so don’t hesitate to ask.

It can also be beneficial to your health to stay away from people if they are smoking, and while that might not be too easy at times, it is something that you should be working on to make sure that you are completely free of any harmful smoking side effects.

Reducing Stress

Everyone has some form of stress in their everyday lives. How you deal with said stress can have a positive or negative effect on your overall health. It can also make the symptoms of Metabolic syndrome worse or better.

If you find that your usual way of dealing with stress is only making your feel worse, then try find a soothing activity to do like yoga, Pilates, even meditation. If you find that those are not working for you, you may try some therapy sessions or have a discussion with your doctor about other stress reducing activities.

Metabolic Syndrome Final Words

Overall, Metabolic syndrome is a serious medical condition that can follow you throughout the rest of your life. It is certainly something that you want to take seriously and make sure that you are following up with your doctor on a regular basis to help keep your medical conditions under control.

The further you go along with your diagnoses of Metabolic syndrome, the more likely your doctor will need to adjust your medications to help you keep steady levels. Before you are examined by your doctor you should bring in a list of all of your current medications that you are taking, even if your current doctor prescribed them.

This will help keep the both of you on the same page and make it easier for your doctor to make the correct diagnoses.

Even if you do not believe that you have Metabolic syndrome, you should still let your doctor preform an exam and test to check. It is important to remember that you do not need all of the medical conditions that are associated with Metabolic syndrome to have it.

Most people who have Metabolic syndrome have two or three of the four medical conditions and require medications to help keep those conditions under control.

Your doctor might also change, add or decrease your medications depending on how severe your case is. You can also help yourself by being prepared for your appointments and making lifestyle changes before you get a diagnosis. By taking the time to change your lifestyle before you are diagnosed with Metabolic syndrome, you have a better chance of keeping any long term effects away and improving your overall health.

Getting your family on board with your lifestyle changes will also help to make your experience with Metabolic syndrome an easier one.

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