We all know it’s important to manage our health by eating right, exercising, and watching our weight. Unfortunately, the risks are too high not to. Metabolic syndrome is used to encompass a range of health issues that can lead you to a higher risk of severe and life-threatening diseases and is something you should definitely work to avoid.
Here’s what you need to know about metabolic syndrome and how to protect yourself:
Understanding Metabolic Syndrome
According to the World Health Organization, insulin resistance is an absolute requirement in the definition of metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is not a disease but rather refers to the co-occurrence of several known cardiovascular risk factors, including insulin resistance, obesity, atherogenic dyslipidemia, and hypertension. Without having evidence of insulin resistance metabolic syndrome cannot be diagnosed. When insulin resistance is accompanied by obesity, dyslipidemia, and HTN then that becomes metabolic syndrome. Insulin resistance can mean any of the following: impaired fasting glucose level above 100, or, it can mean impaired glucose tolerance (when you have a glucose level of 140 or higher after 120 minutes after ingestion of 75 grams of the glucose load).
When individuals have these conditions, they are at a significantly increased risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and other severe and potentially fatal health conditions. Metabolic syndrome affects more than 30% of adults in the United States, according to a study conducted by the CDC, and with each year that passes, the numbers increase.
Regular health screenings and speaking with your doctor are crucial in preventing metabolic syndrome since most of the signs you typically can’t feel, aside from excess weight around your stomach. Be sure to have your blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels measured periodically and make lifestyle adjustments to correct any concerning results.
Several risk factors can put you at a greater risk of developing metabolic syndrome:
- Age – Your risk increases as you age.
- Ethnicity – In the United States, Hispanics, and more specifically, Hispanic women, have shown to be at the highest risk for developing metabolic syndrome.
- Obesity – Those who are overweight, especially those who carry much of their weight around their abdomen, are at a greater risk.
- Family history – Even if you are not currently obese, you may have inherited a higher risk of developing obesity and health complications such as diabetes from your family.
- Diabetes – You are more likely to develop metabolic syndrome if you have a family history of type 2 diabetes or had gestational diabetes while pregnant.
- Other health conditions – You are at a higher risk if you’ve ever had sleep apnea, polycystic ovary syndrome, cholesterol gallstones, or nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
Your health is most important, and lifelong healthy habits are the best way of preventing diseases and metabolic syndrome. These lifestyle habits include:
- Exercise regularly – It’s ideal to incorporate at least 30 minutes of physical activity into your schedule most days.
- Eat a diverse and healthy diet – Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains to ensure you are getting enough nutrients.
- Limit your diet – Try to avoid saturated fat and salt in your diet as much as possible.
- Maintain a healthy weight – Be conscious of your weight and do what you need to not become overweight or obese.
- Quit smoking – Smoking destroys your lungs and leaves you vulnerable to countless other illnesses.
Health Care in New York
If you are concerned about your health or your risk for metabolic syndrome, don’t hesitate to speak with one of the expert doctors at NY Health. Here at NY Health, our wide variety of services are here to help ensure that you get the proper, personalized care you need. We continuously strive to deliver the best medical care possible with your well being in mind.