Ok, take this quiz:
– Do you NOT exercise properly, or on a consistent basis?
– Are your nutrition habits based on empty calorie foods with weak nutrient profiles?
– Do you drink excessively?
– Are you a smoker?
– Do you lack proper sleep?
If you answer “YES” to at least 2 of the above statements, then you are at risk for Metabolic Syndrome. But, have no fear – continue reading. You can change this today. Metabolic Syndrome is the result of poor lifestyle habits and choices. A result of self-neglect. A result of believing “health care providers and medications” is supposed to keep me healthy and in-shape”.
What Is Metabolic X?
Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions — increased blood pressure, a high blood sugar level, excess body fat around the waist or abnormal cholesterol levels — that occur together, increasing your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
Having just one of these conditions doesn’t mean you have metabolic syndrome. However, any of these conditions increase your risk of serious disease. If more than one of these conditions occur in combination, your risk is even greater.
Complications of Metabolic Syndrome:
Having metabolic syndrome can increase your risk of developing these conditions:
- Diabetes. If you don’t make lifestyle changes to control your insulin resistance, your glucose levels will continue to increase. You may develop diabetes as a result of metabolic syndrome.
- Cardiovascular disease. High cholesterol and high blood pressure can contribute to the buildup of plaques in your arteries. These plaques can cause your arteries to narrow and harden, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
Diagnosing Metabolic X Syndrome:
I don’t diagnose patients with Metabolic X. I simply look at body type and how they carry their weight, to help me with risk factors and potential health risks. These are a few things that providers look for in weighing your risks:
- Large waist circumference, greater than 35 inches (89 cm) for women and 40 inches (102 cm) for men. Certain genetic risk factors, such as having a family history of diabetes or being of Asian descent — which increases your risk of insulin resistance — lower the waist circumference limit. If you have one of these genetic risk factors, waist circumference limits are 31 to 35 inches (79 to 89 cm) for women and 37 to 39 inches (94 to 99 cm) for men.
- A triglyceride level higher than 150 mg/dL (1.7 mmol/L), or you’re receiving treatment for high triglycerides.
- Reduced HDL (“good”) cholesterol — less than 40 mg/dL (1.04 mmol/L) in men or less than 50 mg/dL (1.3 mmol/L) in women — or you’re receiving treatment for low HDL.
- Increased blood pressure, meaning a systolic (top number) blood pressure measurement of 130 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or more or a diastolic (bottom number) blood pressure measurement of 85 mm Hg or more.
- Elevated fasting blood sugar (blood glucose) of 100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L) or higher, or you’re receiving treatment for high blood sugar.
How to Treat Metabolic X:
Lifestyle changes are the single, most important change that you can make.
- Lose weight. Losing as little as 5 to 10 percent of your body weight can reduce insulin levels and blood pressure and decrease your risk of diabetes.
- Exercise. Doctors recommend getting 30 to 60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, such as brisk walking, every day.
- Stop smoking. Smoking cigarettes increases insulin resistance and worsens the health consequences of metabolic syndrome. Talk to your doctor if you need help kicking the cigarette habit.
- Eat fiber-rich foods. Make sure you include whole grains, beans, fruits and vegetables in your grocery cart. These items are packed with dietary fiber, which can lower your insulin levels.
You can start today, changing your body and lowering your risk factors. It is also important to take medication that is prescribed to you, until you are told to stop. Look for my other blogs about diet, exercise, high blood pressure, and diabetes.