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Metabolic syndrome is a health condition that is already now widespread among the world’s population -30 to 40 % of adults by the age of 65 suffer from it – and the percentage is unfortunately still growing. With the metabolic syndrome being asymptomatic the detection of problems might take long. If it takes the patient very long to recognise the problem and to acknowledge that the treatment is necessary. The metabolic syndrome can in the meantime cause heavy damage to the persons health and especially to the cardiovascular system.
What is metabolic syndrome?
Metabolic syndrome is a group of risk factors specific for cardiovascular disease. It is a collection of conditions that often occur together such as high blood pressure, high blood sugar and central (abdominal) obesity and other.
Why is metabolic syndrome dangerous?
Each of the risk factors has negative effect on a person’s blood vessels, which is why having more of them at the same time is especially risky. People with metabolic syndrome are more likely to suffer from coronary heart disease, stroke, and other conditions affecting blood vessels.
What are the symptoms of metabolic syndrom?
Metabolic syndrome is usually asymptomatic, which means it does not show visible symptoms that would be easily noticeable by the patient. However, some symptoms might be connected with the metabolic syndrome and those are:
- Being very overweight or having too much fat around waist
Other signs of metabolic syndrome, however, detectable through laboratory test only are:
- Fat in the blood
- Low levels of HDL in the blood
- High blood pressure (140/90mmHg or higher)
- Inability to control blood sugar levels
The metabolic syndrome is diagnosed if the patient has at least 3 of these signs.
What is the main cause of metabolic syndrome?
It is caused by mix of lifestyle factors, genetic predisposition and other health risk factors. The main cause of metabolic syndrome is overweight and obesity.
What are the risk factors that may cause the metabolic syndrome?
Risk factors that could lead to metabolic syndrome are:
- Insulin resistance
- A high calorie or a high carbohydrate diet
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Sleep deprivation
- Family history of diabetes or metabolic syndrome
- Older age
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
- Using medicaments affecting weight gain, blood pressure, triglyceride levels, blood sugar levels
How to prevent metabolic syndrome?
It is possible to prevent the metabolic syndrome by keeping healthy lifestyle. That includes:
- Keeping healthy weight
- Regular exercise
- Healthy food and balanced diet
- Stopping smoking
- Not drinking alcohol
- Enough good quality sleep
How can I find out if I have metabolic syndrome?
The diagnosis depends on the results of blood tests and other clinical measures. To diagnose the metabolic syndrome the blood pressure needs to be checked and also blood tests are done to measure the blood sugar, cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
What can I do if I have been diagnosed with metabolic syndrome?
If a person is diagnosed with the metabolic syndrome it is important to make immediate lifestyle changes. It is possible to reverse the metabolic syndrome through healthy lifestyle and medications.
What are the factors that affect the choice of the best treatment for you?
- Your age
- Your overall health and your health problems in the past
- How well you react to different treatments
- How long is the treatment going to last
- Your personal opinions and preferences
What are the 2 main ways of Metabolic syndrome treatment?
The first and non-invasive option is the lifestyle management that includes working with dietitian to change your diet and getting more exercise and physical activity in general. Some people may need to take some medicine as an addition to this treatment. It can be for example to lower blood pressure, improve insulin metabolism, lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol, increase weight loss, or some combination of these.
The second option is invasive and medical and consists of weight-loss surgery. It is an effective treatment especially for morbid obesity. This treatment is recommended for people who have not been able to lose weight through diet, exercise or medicine.
Why is it important to treat the metabolic syndrome?
Metabolic syndrome can cause more serious and long-term health problems such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Neglected metabolic syndrome can lead to:
- Polycystic ovarian syndrom (PCOS)
- Fatty liver
- Cholesterol gallstones
- Sleep problems
- Some forms of cancer
While minor changes in your lifestyle can help you, you can contact us for metabolic syndrome, which you can prevent by seeing a nutritionist and doing your annual check-ups.