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Metabolic Syndrome: Know Your Numbers!

By March 15, 2008 - 1:44pm
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For the younger women among us, who may not be concerned about heart disease in our near future, but know we should generally eat right and exercise, I wanted to mention a condition that may occur before a diagnosis of cardiovascular disease, which is Metabolic Syndrome.

(oh---and just because you are “young” does not mean you do not have risk factors for heart disease! Just read egreene’s personal story with heart disease on her blog entries on the EmpowHer site).

Metabolic Syndrome is basically a group of risk factors that greatly increase your chances of developing heart disease. If you have three or more of the following risk factors, you may need to speak with your doctor about Metabolic Syndrome:
- abdominal obesity (waist size 35” or more)
- high blood pressure (120/80 mm Hg or higher)
- high blood triglycerides (150 mg/dl or higher)
- low HDL (“good”) cholesterol (less than 40 mg/dl)
- high blood sugar (fasting glucose of 100 mg/dl or higher)

Do you know your numbers? When I go to the doctor, and the nurse takes my vitals, s/he (sometimes) is in such a hurry that s/he does not tell me the numbers of my blood pressure. I find it strange that I have to ask, sometimes like I’m asking a FAVOR, to tell me what MY numbers are! Have you had that experience, too? (Please remember to be your own patient advocate, and ask what your blood pressure numbers are, and write them down).

I decided to write about Metabolic Syndrome, because I (selfishly) needed some kudos for getting my glucose, cholesterol and triglycerides checked a few days ago. (I am terrified of needles!!) However, now that I got this very quick & easy blood work done, it feels incredibly empowering to KNOW MY NUMBERS! Unfortunately, one of my numbers was a little high, but now I can do something about it.

What are YOUR numbers? Some important ones to know include: total cholesterol, LDL and HDL cholesterol (which will give you your cholesterol ratio), triglycerides and blood glucose, along with blood pressure, weight and height. Go get your numbers and share your experience…we’ll give you kudos, too, if you’re afraid of needles!

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