Initially, your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
The National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP), which is part of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute at the National Institutes of Health, published criteria for diagnosing metabolic syndrome in their Third Report of the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults (Adult Treatment Panel III)—also known as ATP III.
According to the report, you have metabolic syndrome if you have at least
three out of five
of the following conditions:
obesity—This occurs when extra fat tissue is "central," found in the waist area, thus having greater metabolic consequences.
In men, defined as waist measurement greater than or equal to 35 inches (90 cm)
In women, defined as waist measurement greater than or equal to 31 inches (80 cm )
Glucose intolerance—This occurs when your body is not able to efficiently convert carbohydrates (the energy source found in foods such as fruits, vegetables, and starches) into energy for the body to use.
Defined by a fasting glucose level greater than or equal to 100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L)
Insulin resistance—This occurs when your body is unable to respond to and use the insulin it produces—often a feature of
type 2 diabetes.
Unhealthy cholesterol levels—Called dyslipidemia, this is happens when the amount of lipids (or fats) circulating in the blood is higher or lower then normal, including
Glucose tests—These tests check your blood sugar levels and make sure they are within normal range. There are a few ways that this can be accomplished:
Fasting glucose tests—Your doctor will ask you to fast (not eat) after dinner the night before the test. The next morning, he or she will take a blood sample from your arm to test it for glucose levels.
Post-prandial (after a meal) glucose test—Your doctor will test a sample of your blood right after a meal.
Glucose tolerance test (GTT)—Your doctor will measure how well your body can respond to a glucose (sugar) load. First, a blood sample will be taken from your arm and tested for glucose levels before anything is eaten (to establish a comparison base). Then, you will drink a liquid that has glucose (sugar) in it. Blood will then be taken and tested at timed intervals to see how your body deals with the glucose in the blood.
Tests for cholesterol levels
—These tests are also called lipid profile tests and are often done all together. Tests for these types of cholesterol can all be done by your doctor. He or she will test a sample of your blood taken from the arm or a fingerstick.
Serum triglyceride levels—Triglycerides are a kind of fat found in your blood.
LDL cholesterol levels—LDL stands for low-density lipoprotein and is the “bad” cholesterol.
HDL cholesterol levels test
Patients with the metabolic syndrome may also have the following diseases:
Deen D. Metabolic Syndrome: time for action.
Am Fam Physician.
Gami AS, Witt BJ, Howard DE, et al. Metabolic syndrome and risk of incident cardiovascular events and death: a systematic review and meta-analysis of longitudinal studies.
J Am Coll Cardiol.
Reaven GM. The metabolic syndrome: requiescat in pace.
2005; 51: 931-938.
Tan CE, Ma S, Wai D, et al: Can we apply the National Cholesterol Education program Adult Treatment Panel Definition of the Metabolic Syndrome to Asians?
Third Report of the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults (Adult Treatment Panel III): Executive Summary. National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health website. Available at:
. Accessed August 1, 2005.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a