Metabolic syndrome is a range of conditions that occur together. These conditions include elevated blood sugar, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and excess body fat. These conditions can impair your well-being significantly and even cause life-threatening consequences. Because every third person in the United States has metabolic syndrome, it is important to know more about its causes and treatments to ensure your well-being.
Below are 5 important things every person needs to know about metabolic syndrome to prevent the development of serious health problems.
1. Symptoms of metabolic syndrome
In most cases, metabolic syndrome doesn’t cause immediate physical symptoms. Most serious symptoms associated with metabolic syndrome develop over time. In the beginning, the accumulation of visceral fat can be a precursor to metabolic syndrome. If your blood sugar is high, you may have symptoms typical for the early stages of diabetes or prediabetes. They include fatigue, blurred vision, increased thirst, and frequent urination.
At the later stages, metabolic syndrome causes more serious symptoms. They include high levels of blood sugar, problems with your blood vessels, and heart disease.
If you suspect you have metabolic syndrome, schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider. Your doctor can order tests to obtain data about your health to determine whether you have metabolic syndrome.
2. Causes of metabolic syndrome
The major causes of metabolic syndrome are obesity and low physical activity. Insulin resistance may also cause metabolic syndrome. In a healthy person, the digestive system breaks the food you eat into sugar and converts it into energy with the help of insulin. But when cells don’t respond to insulin, your blood sugar increases and the body has to produce more insulin to keep your blood sugar at normal range.
The combination of low physical activity, excessive weight, and insulin resistance will eventually lead to the development of metabolic syndrome.
3. Metabolic syndrome risk factors
Some people are more prone to the development of metabolic syndrome. Below are several factors that can increase your risk of metabolic syndrome:
Ethnicity plays a role in your risk of developing metabolic syndrome. Hispanics, particularly Hispanic women, are more likely to develop metabolic syndrome.
Your age is another risk factor for metabolic syndrome. People over the age of 50 are more prone to metabolic syndrome.
Obesity may also contribute to the development of metabolic syndrome. Moreover, people with excessive abdominal fat have even higher risk compared to those with excessive weight in other body areas.
Other health conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome, sleep apnea, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease can make you more likely to develop metabolic syndrome.
If you have diabetes or a family history of this condition, you can be at risk of metabolic syndrome.
4. Metabolic syndrome prevention
Because excessive weight and low physical activity are major risk factors for metabolic syndrome, it is extremely important to manage these. You need to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day, eat healthy foods, and ditch bad habits like smoking.
Include more vegetables, fruits, lean protein, and whole grains in your diet. These foods have low calorie content and are rich in nutrients. The fiber on these foods helps process sugars and keep your blood sugar stable. It is crucial to limit your intake of saturated fat and salt. These ingredients lead to weight gain and can cause fluid retention.
These lifestyle changes will help you maintain a healthy weight and prevent the development of insulin resistance. If you have a predisposition to metabolic syndrome, talk to your health care provider. The specialist can develop a special exercise and dietary program to decrease your risk of metabolic syndrome.
5. Treatment options for metabolic syndrome
The treatment of metabolic syndrome usually includes healthy lifestyle changes and home remedies. You need to get regular physical activity, eat healthy foods, reduce your body weight, and stop smoking. Managing your stress levels may also be crucial to improve your physical and emotional health.
Besides, your doctor may refer you to specialists like endocrinologists to rule out the risk of other serious health conditions. If you have severe issues with your blood vessels or heart, additional medications may be required to reduce the risk of life-threatening complications.