Metabolic syndrome

We talk about Metabolic Syndrome here and how you should prevent it.

What is Metabolic syndrome?

This is a collection of risk factors which mainly happens if you are overweight or of a certain ethnicity. It affects 20-30% of adults in Australia. It is also common in the US

There are no symptoms for this but the other risks have symptoms. It usually is caused by the fat around your waist.

It is also known as Syndrome X.

How is metabolic syndrome defined?

“Based on the guidelines from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and the American Heart Association (AHA), any three of the following traits in the same individual meet the criteria for the metabolic syndrome:

  1. Abdominal obesity: a waist circumference of 102 cm (40 in) or more in men and 88 cm (35 inches) or more in women. For Asian Americans, the cutoff values are ≥90 cm (35 in) in men or ≥80 cm (32 in) in women
  2. Serum triglycerides 150 mg/dl or above.
  3. HDL cholesterol 40mg/dl or lower in men and 50mg/dl or lower in women.
  4. Blood pressure of 130/85 or more.
  5. Fasting blood glucose of 100 mg/dl or above.” 

(Source: Medicinenet)

What risk factors are associated with this?

  • Hypertension and high blood pressure- this is where a person’s blood pressure is over 140/90mmHg (source: Better Health Channel)
  • Coronary Heart disease
  • Diabetes- in particular type 2 diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Low levels of healthy cholesterol
  • Insulin resistance
  • Cardiovascular disease

What causes it?

  • Sedentary lifestyles such as watching too much television and not enough time outdoors
  • Poor dietary choices such as too much red meat and not enough vegetables and legumes
  • High stress lifestyles such as working long hours

What happens if I have it?

You may need to:

  • Quit smoking
  • Cut back on caffeine
  • Eat healthily
  • Move more
  • Reduce your stress
  • Lose some weight
  • Drink more water

How to prevent this

  • Sleep 7-8 hours every night
  • Do 150 mins of vigorous exercise each week- you could break it up into 5 sessions for 30 mins each
  • Do two or three strength sessions a week at the gym
  • Eat a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables, dairy, grains, legumes, fish, seafood and limit your meat intakes
  • Drink lots of water rather than sugary drinks
  • If you can, cut back on your working hours
  • If you’re someone who regularly drinks too much coffee and caffeinated drinks you may need to cut back on those
  • Have a few free alcohol free days a week

If you think you have metabolic syndrome, its best to see your GP or your doctor about this.

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