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Metabolic Syndrome: A Health Issue to Watch Out For

Metabolic syndrome has become a common health condition widespread in society. Although the official definition of metabolic syndrome didn’t appear in medical textbooks until 1998, now it is just as frequent as pimples and the common cold. In addition, the condition is more prevalent in African-American, Hispanic, Asian, and Native American people and runs in families. Although very few people know about it, metabolic syndrome appears to be a disorder many people have. However, some experts disagree on whether or not metabolic syndrome should be treated as a separate illness.

Metabolic syndrome itself is not a disease. Instead, it is a collection of metabolic conditions that coexist and raise the chance of developing heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. These conditions include high blood sugar, high blood pressure, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels. This syndrome is also known as syndrome X, insulin resistance, and dysmetabolic. 

Obesity and metabolic health are the principal reasons for metabolic syndrome. HealthifyPro 2.0 is a straightforward approach to combating the condition. It is a multi-pillared strategy for weight management that is comprehensive. HealthifyPro 2.0 first evaluates intrinsic health by a metabolic panel based on more than 80 indicators. Then, a wearable gadget with real-time AI, a CGM-based BIOS, and coach inputs transform how one approaches metabolic health. As a result, it makes it easier for one to keep track of how your blood glucose levels change. Next, the coaches assess the real-time reports on various health parameters. Then, they assist in creating a sustainable eating and exercise plan based on precise individual requirements.

Metabolism refers to biochemical processes connected to the body’s regular functioning. Various parameters that affect metabolism constitute metabolic health. A set of illness risk factors known as metabolic syndrome can raise one’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. It is also known as the syndrome of insulin resistance. Although the origins of metabolic syndrome are complicated and poorly understood, a genetic connection exists. The risk increases if you are physically inactive and overweight or obese. You become less active as you age and might put on weight. Visceral fat promotes systemic inflammation and can contribute to insulin resistance. It indicates that insulin is less efficient throughout the body, notably in the muscles and liver.

A combination of lifestyle choices, genetic predisposition, and other uncontrollable health risk factors result in metabolic syndrome. Some influences cross over and intensify one another. Metabolic syndrome risk factors include: 

Insulin sensitivitySedentary LifestyleSleep DeprivationDiabetes or Metabolic Condition in the FamilyAgeDiabetesHigh Carb or High-calorie dietsTaking drugs that make you gain weight or raise your blood pressure, triglycerides, or sugar levelsPolycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and being overweight

Everyone should be concerned about their risk factors, given the prevalence of metabolic syndrome (one in four people) and its frequency. Even though metabolic syndrome frequently goes undiagnosed, it can significantly raise the chance of developing severe health issues like diabetes, heart attacks, and strokes. Although the exact causes of metabolic syndrome are unknown, it is a group of health issues rather than a single illness. Thus, there are possibly numerous causes. Such as:

Insulin Resistance

The body uses glucose as fuel with the aid of the hormone insulin. Because insulin doesn’t function well in those with insulin resistance, the body must continually produce more to keep up with the rising amount of glucose. It may eventually result in diabetes. One of the primary causes of insulin resistance is excess abdominal weight.

Obesity

Obesity, particularly abdominal obesity, can be dangerous. According to experts, rising obesity rates are to blame for the increased prevalence of metabolic syndrome. Additionally, it appears that having additional abdominal (visceral) fat, as opposed to fat elsewhere in the body, raises the risk.

A study showed an up to 45% higher risk of getting the Metabolic Syndrome was associated with a weight increase of less than 2.25 kg over 16 years. Furthermore, it shows that the probability of acquiring the condition within five years increases by an adjusted 80% for every 11 cm increase in waist circumference (WC).

Age

With age, the risk of developing metabolic syndrome rises. Research shows that metabolic syndrome rises by 10% for those in the 20–29 age group, 20% for those in the 40–49 age group, and 45% for those in the 60–69 age group.

Race and gender

Black women are more likely to have metabolic syndrome than white women, even though Black males are less likely to have it than white men.

Hormonal Imbalance

It can be another reason. For instance, hormonal imbalance and metabolic syndrome can lead to polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), which impacts fertility. It can be a leading cause of the metabolic syndrome.

Unhealthy Lifestyle

A high intake of unhealthy processed foods, an irregular sleep cycle, and insufficient exercise can also contribute to metabolic syndrome. 

A study has found that changes in genetic make-up, diet, levels of physical activity, smoking, family history of diabetes, and education influence the prevalence of metabolic syndrome and its components.

Indeed, metabolic syndrome frequently goes unnoticed. However, you should be aware of the symptoms because the syndrome’s various components can deteriorate without your knowledge. 

When you have metabolic syndrome, you may suffer symptoms brought on by the impacts of each syndrome component. For example, the effects of hypertension include headaches, tiredness, and vertigo. Insomnia, exhaustion, lightheadedness, thirst, dry mouth, and frequent urination are all symptoms of high blood sugar.

The following clinical signs of metabolic syndrome are present:

DizzinessHeadachesFatigueSnoringTrouble sleepingCommon diabetes symptoms include increased thirst and frequent urination.

The HealthifyMe Note

Several symptoms can indicate this illness. However, if you have metabolic syndrome, you may or may not experience them. Weight gain is the most apparent symptom of metabolic syndrome, and if you are overweight or have a wide waist circumference, it can lead to metabolic syndrome.

The potential effects of metabolic syndrome are typically severe and protracted (chronic). They consist of:

Arteries becoming more brittle (atherosclerosis)DiabetesFatty liver diseaseChest painArtery disease in the legsA cardiovascular conditionStrokeRenal illness

You could be at risk for further health issues, such as the following, if diabetes develops:

Eye injury (retinopathy)Renal illnessNerve injury (neuropathy)Cutting off limbs

According to the National Institutes of Health, if one has three or more of the following, then its an indicator of metabolic syndrome:

Abdominal Obesity 

A waistline greater than 35 inches for women and greater than 40 inches for men.

High Triglyceride Level

After fasting, healthcare professionals conduct a lipid panel to assess fasting triglycerides. A risk factor occurs when the blood level is 150 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or higher.

High Blood Pressure

A blood pressure of 130/85 mm Hg or higher or if the person is taking blood pressure medications.

Elevated Fasting Blood Sugar

A fasting blood glucose level greater than 100 mg/dl or if the person is taking glucose-lowering medications

Reduced HDL (Good) Cholesterol

The lipid panel also shows the blood’s high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) concentrations. An HDL level of less than 40 mg/dl in men or under 50 mg/dl in women or a person taking medicine for low HDL cholesterol.

Increased Blood Clotting

It indicates that the blood clotting factors fibrinogen and plasma plasminogen activator levels are higher.

If the results of three or more of these tests are above the range, one might have metabolic syndrome.

You can avoid the conditions that lead to metabolic syndrome with a lifelong dedication to a healthy lifestyle. A healthy way of life includes:

Exercise

Insulin sensitivity can be increased by increasing activity. For example, a brisk 30-minute daily walk will help one lose weight, improve triglyceride and blood pressure levels, and lower the risk of diabetes. The majority of medical professionals advise 150 minutes of aerobic activity per week. 

Exercise can lower the risk of heart disease even if one doesn’t lose weight in addition to it. Even for those unable to engage in 150 minutes of exercise per week, any increase in physical activity is beneficial.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

A moderate weight loss of between 5 and 10% of body weight will help the body once again recognise the insulin and significantly lower the likelihood that the syndrome will progress to more severe sickness. You can accomplish it by food, exercise, or even with the assistance of weight-loss drugs if the doctor prescribes it.

Studies highlight that a slight 5–10% weight loss can significantly impact triglycerides reduction and HDL (High-Density Lipoprotein) cholesterol elevation. Additionally, a little weight loss can significantly lower blood pressure in hypertensive people and people at risk of hypertension.

Eat Healthy

Follow a diet where carbohydrates make up no more than 50% of total calories. Complex carbs from whole grains like brown rice and whole grain bread should be the primary source of carbohydrates (instead of white). In addition, one can increase the dietary fibre intake by consuming whole grain products, legumes (like beans), fruits, and vegetables. 

Eat less poultry and red meat. One should consume 30% of daily calories as fat. Consume healthy fats such as those found in flaxseed, tree nuts, olive, canola, and olive oil. Reduce the intake of processed foods, trans and saturated fats, sodium, and added sugars.

Quit Smoking

Quitting smoking helps in reducing the risk of developing metabolic conditions.

Schedule Regular Checkups with Your Doctor

One must visit the doctor frequently to check blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels because metabolic syndrome doesn’t have any symptoms.

TheHealthifyMe Note

Exercise, a balanced diet, and trying to lose weight if one is overweight or obese can all assist in lessening or preventing the difficulties linked to metabolic syndrome. That is because these two factors (physical inactivity and excess weight) are the primary underlying causes of its development.

Treatment of metabolic syndrome demands resolving multiple issues. You can do the following.

Stay Physically Active

Exercise is a fantastic method to lose weight, but keep trying, maybe if the number on the scale is not moving down. Exercise can lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol levels, and improve insulin resistance even if one doesn’t lose a pound. Start slow if you are out of shape. Increase daily physical activity. Increase physical activity gradually until one is doing it on the majority of the days of the week. Try to find a level of exercise that you enjoy. 

Research shows that when brisk walking is a preferable exercise, one should increase the daily step goal of 10,000–12,000 steps by 500 steps every three days.

Dietary Modifications

Even if the weight doesn’t change, eating a nutritious diet can lower blood pressure, insulin resistance, and cholesterol. One might require customised meal plans if one has diabetes or heart problems. People with high blood pressure and a higher risk of cardiovascular disease benefit from a diet low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, and sodium and high in fruits, vegetables, lean protein, legumes, low-fat dairy, and whole grains. 

A study revealed that for those starting a cholesterol management program, it is best to follow a diet that comprises 25% to 35% of calories from total fat. It is challenging to maintain the low intakes of saturated fat necessary to maintain a low LDL-C if the fat content is more than 35%. On the other hand, if the fat percentage is less than 25%, triglycerides can increase, and HDL levels decrease.

Doctors frequently advise a “Mediterranean” diet or the DASH diet. These diets can help balance carbs, proteins, and “healthy” fats, such as the monounsaturated fat found in olive oil.

Destress

One can manage stress and enhance emotional and physical health by engaging in physical activity, meditation, yoga, and other practices.

A study revealed how effective lifestyle modifications could be in preventing metabolic syndrome. More than 3,200 individuals with impaired glucose tolerance, a pre-diabetic condition, were examined by researchers. One group had to alter their way of life. They followed a low-calorie, low-fat diet and engaged in 2.5 hours of weekly activity. Three years later, those in the lifestyle group had a 41% lower risk of having metabolic syndrome than those without no treatment.

Lifestyle Modifications

Diet and exercise significantly impact metabolic syndrome. However, other lifestyle factors are equally significant.

Changing one’s way of life can help lessen the impacts of metabolic syndrome, which includes: 

Sleep: According to a study, adequate sleep (at least six hours each night) is crucial for managing metabolic syndrome.Giving up Smoking: According to a study, smokers have a much higher chance of developing metabolic syndrome than non-smokers. At the same time, the risk of hypertriglyceridemia and low HDL cholesterolemia is exceptionally high. Therefore, even for young people, quitting smoking is crucial because smoking can affect blood lipids even for short periods.

A group of five risk factors known as metabolic syndrome can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and stroke. While it is likely to be reversed without medicine or other medical treatments, it can lead to chronic health conditions if left untreated.

You can successfully manage metabolic syndrome by reducing caloric intake, increasing physical activity, and modifying nutrition. Making such changes to your lifestyle can be difficult, but doing so will reduce your risk of developing life-threatening chronic conditions.

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