Just over twenty years ago, researchers and medical professionals identified and named a group of risk factors that greatly increase the risk of heart disease, heart attacks and strokes, and diabetes. The ability to more accurately identify these risks helps doctors more effectively guide and monitor their patients. This group of risk factors is called metabolic syndrome.
Metabolic syndrome is a diagnosis of at least three of the following risk factors: low good cholesterol (HDL) level, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, waist measurements of 35 inches or more for women and 40 inches or more for men, and high fasting glucose level.
People who are overweight or obese are more likely to be diagnosed with metabolic syndrome.
Doctors often advise some weight loss for those diagnosed with metabolic syndrome and may often encourage exercise and a diet that is low in saturated fat. In addition, doctors may prescribe a statin for reducing overall cholesterol levels. For most patients diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, blood tests will be performed regularly to monitor all risk factors and yearly wellness appointments will be recommended.
The dangers of metabolic syndrome are real, a significant risk for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Discuss your risk factors for metabolic syndrome with your doctor and see what you can change to reduce your risk. If you smoke, do everything you can to quit, ask for help from your medical professional if needed. You can take steps to reduce the dangers of metabolic syndrome, and it is never too late to improve your health.