Metabolic syndrome, formerly known as Syndrome X, is the combination of factors that increase the risk of an individual to go on an develop Ischaemic Heart Disease, Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and Stroke. Although it is not a disease in itself, the risk factors come together to form the metabolic syndrome.
The five conditions described below are metabolic risk factors. You could have any one of these risk factors alone, but they tend to occur in combinations. The presence of at least three metabolic risk factors is necessary to be diagnosed with metabolic syndrome.
A large waistline: This also is called abdominal obesity. Excess adipose tissue (fat tissue) in the stomach area is a greater risk factor for heart disease than excess fat in other parts of the body, such as on the hips or thighs.
- High serum triglyceridelevels: Triglycerides are a type of fat found in the blood. A total serum cholesterol test will reveal the amounts of Triglycerides in the blood.
- A low HDL cholesterol level: HDL is also known as the “good” cholesterol. This is because it helps remove cholesterol from your blood vessels, thereby preventing fat deposition in the arteries that later lead to heart disease. A low HDL cholesterol level raises your risk for heart disease.
- High blood pressure: As the heart pumps out blood with force, this force is resonated in the blood that is pumped out, and the blood exerts this force against the arteries. If this pressure rises and stays high over time, it can damage the organs, especially the heart.
- High fasting blood sugar Mildly high blood sugar may be an early sign of type 2 diabetes.
Metabolic syndrome has several causes that act together. Being overweight or obese, having an inactive lifestyle, and insulin resistance are some causes that can be controlled. Having an excess of abdominal fat is closely associated with Insulin resistance. The other factors that are beyond one’s control are older age, and genetics. Family history and ethnicity play a role in causing the condition. For example, genetics can increase your risk for insulin resistance, which can lead to metabolic syndrome.Lifestyle changes are the first line of treatment for metabolic syndrome.
The best way to prevent metabolic syndrome is to adopt heart-healthy lifestyle changes, including losing weight to maintain an optimum BMI (Body Mass Index) consumption of healthy food and regular exercise, Increased stress level is the latest risk factor prominent among the current generation of young adults. As smoking is also a major risk factor for cardiovascular health in general, smokers must quit the habit. Hormonal imbalance may play a role, according to recent research. polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a condition among females that affects fertility, is related to the development of metabolic syndrome. Once diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, or upon finding out you have risk factors, patients may feel anxious, but kickstarting astep-by-step lifestyle modification regimen will yield results when followed consistently. The key is to start as early as possible, as prevention and early intervention is always better than cure.
If lifestyle changes alone aren’t enough, your doctor may prescribe medicines that re used to treat and control risk factors, such as high blood pressure, high triglycerides, low HDL (“good”) cholesterol, and high blood sugar. Those with Metabolic syndrome/ risk factors must make it a priority to schedule routine doctor visits to keep track of your cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels. A lipid profile test, which shows your levels of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides must be assessed regularly.
The ultimate goal of treating metabolic syndrome is to reduce the risk of ischemic heart disease, which would lead to Myocardial Infarction(Heart attack) and to reduce the disease burden, thereby enhancing the quality of life.