You might not know what metabolic syndrome is. But you could have a few things that put you at risk for this condition. Keep reading if you are overweight, have high blood sugar, or have high blood sugar. With this information, you can lower your chances of getting metabolic syndrome.
What is metabolic syndrome?
A metabolic syndrome is a group of five things that create you more likely to get heart disease, a stroke, or diabetes. These five things put you at risk:
- Blood pressure that’s too
- High blood sugar
- High triacylglycerols
- Low levels of HDL
If you have at least 3 risk factors, your doctor may say you have metabolic syndrome. If you have metabolic syndrome, you are double as likely to get heart disease and 5 times as likely to get diabetes. The good news is that metabolic syndrome can be prevented or put off by losing weight, working out, giving up smoking, and changing how you eat.
What does metabolic syndrome look and feel like?
If you have insulin resistance, you might not have any clear signs. A bigger waistline or an apple-shaped body may be a sign. If your blood sugar is too great, you may have diabetes symptoms like thirst, blurred vision, cramps, and tiredness. Tell your doctor if you have one of the five risk factors for metabolic syndrome to determine if you should get checked for the others.
How do doctors diagnose metabolic syndrome?
A doctor will need to do several tests to determine if someone has metabolic syndrome. We will use the results of these tests to look for at least three signs of the disorder. Best practices list the following tests and levels of risk:
- Waist circumference. A doctor will measure your waist. Men with a waist size of 40 inches or women with a waist size of 35 inches are at risk.
- Blood triglycerides while fasting. After a fast, a lipid panel is done to check the triglycerides. A risk factor is a blood level equal to or higher than 150 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL).
- Cholesterol levels. The lipid panel will also show your blood’s levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoproteins (LDL). Men and women are at risk if their HDL level is 40 mg/dL or 50 mg/dL.
- Blood pressure. If you have a systolic blood pressure of 130 mmHg or more or a diastolic blood pressure of 85 mmHg or more, this could mean you are at risk.
- They were fasting glucose levels. This blood sugar test is also done after the person has fasted. A risk factor is a blood sugar level of 100 mg/dL or more.
If the results of three or more tests fall within the ranges given above, you may have metabolic syndrome.
Can I avoid developing metabolic syndrome?
Studies have shown that even losing 10% of your body weight can:
- triglycerides down
- improve the HDL cholesterol
- bring down blood pressure
- lower blood sugar
You need to lose weight if you have excess fat around your middle. For women, the goal is to have a waist circumference of fewer than 35 inches; for men, it should be less than 40 inches.
Metabolic syndrome can be avoided by eating well.
Choosing healthy foods can help you keep a healthy weight and reduce your risk of getting metabolic syndrome. Here are a few tips:
- Follow the Food Guide for Canadians.
- Get 21–38 grams of fiber daily from fruit, veggies, and whole grains.
- Choose lean protein sources like poultry without the skin, lean meat, fish, tofu, beans, and lentils.
- Limit eggs, liver, shrimp, and filled dairy products to keep your cholesterol intake below 200 mg/day.
- Keep the amount of saturated and trans fat in your diet low by eating less deep-fried food, bakery items, fatty meat, dairy with full fat, and fast food.
- Instead of butter, choose unsaturated fats like oil or non-hydrogenated margarine.
- Limit sodium. Don’t eat processed foods like soup, deli meat, frozen meals, canned goods, and sauces high in salt.
- Have little more than one or two drinks of alcohol per day.
To avoid metabolic syndrome, you should be active.
Exercise can help you lose weight and lower your blood pressure. The benefits can be increased by working out for 60 minutes every day. If you haven’t been active before, talk to your doctor before you start.
Don’t get metabolic syndrome by smoking.
Heart disease is still most often caused by smoking, so it’s important to cut down or stop.
Conclusion To avoid metabolic syndrome, you should change your lifestyle by eating right, working out, quitting smoking, and losing weight. Talk to your doctor if these changes are just not enough; you may need medication to treat and control risk factors like high cholesterol and high blood sugar.