As defined by the Mayo Clinic, metabolic syndrome is a group of conditions – from high blood pressure, elevated insulin, excess fat around the stomach area to high cholesterol levels – that happen simultaneously; thereby increasing the chances of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. You cannot have metabolic syndrome by having just one of these conditions. Although, if you find you do have metabolic syndrome, you will have to take drastic measures in your lifestyle to decrease such health risks.
Normally, an individual will have to have three or more disorders/conditions that are all related to metabolism – and have them at the same time. These could include conditions such as, obesity, high blood pressure, elevated bad cholesterol (triglycerides), low good cholesterol (HDL), and resistance to insulin.
Causes and Risks
Scientists are still researching the causes for factors of metabolic syndrome like insulin resistance. They do agree that more than likely it’s a combination of reasons – genetics and environmental factors to start. Some persons inherit the tendency to be insulin resistant from family. However, inactivity is a learned and dangerous tendency that can lead to obesity.
It stands to be noted that some experts do not agree on the definition of metabolic syndrome or even that it should be classified as a distinct medical condition. Regardless, doctors have talked about this group of conditions and their risk factors for years. Doctors do agree that with advancing age, in certain races (Hispanics and Asians) obesity, family history and in combination with any other diseases a person might already have - the risk of metabolic syndrome increases.
If you have metabolic syndrome, it’s needless to say that taking on multiple conditions will seem overwhelming. That’s why it will be important to work with your health assessment team to coordinate a treatment plan and make sure that medications being taken will not clash in any way.
One thing for sure, it will take aggressive action and persistence to stabilize your health. Do exercise. Slowly work up to 30 minutes a day.