What Is Metabolic Syndrome?
Metabolic syndrome is not a disease but a group of risk factors such as high blood pressure, high blood sugar, unhealthy cholesterol levels, and increased abdominal fat. It tends to run in families, so you can be genetically predisposed to it. It is also more common among African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians, and Native Americans. As you get older, the risk of developing it tends to go up.
Metabolic syndrome can be a serious health condition that you should take seriously if you have been diagnosed with it. It can give you a higher risk of heart disease, stroke and vascular disease and you are more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes. It has become very common in the United States with close to 20 to 25 percent of adult Americans diagnosed with it, nearly 50 million Americans have it, according to the American Heart Association, that’s about one out of every six people!
Insulin resistance is a factor associated with it, which is where the body can’t use insulin efficiently. This creates issues because the body needs insulin to convert sugar and starch into energy and insulin is a hormone that helps move blood sugar into cells for this important purpose. Once you develop this, it can lead to high blood sugar levels and easy weight gain, especially around the mid-section. Instead of having energy it all goes to storing everything you eat into fat. This tends to be a hereditary condition, so if you have a history of it in your family or diabetes, you should be especially conscious of a healthy and active lifestyle.
The good news is that it can be easily controlled and reversed, mainly by simple changes to your lifestyle, such as a healthy diet and plenty of exercise. It is also possible to prevent or delay its onset, so a healthy and physically active lifestyle should be a lifelong commitment.
If you’ve recently been diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, you might be anxious and worried, but the best thing to do is be grateful and think of it as a wake-up call. It’s not something to ignore or mess around with, but instead a time to get serious about improving your overall health for life. Making some simple changes to your daily habits and eating routine that is recommended by your doctor can prevent serious illness in the future.
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