Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic Syndrome is also known as Syndrome X or Insulin Resistance Syndrome. It is characterized by an excess of abdominal fat, resistance to insulin, abnormal levels of fats in the blood and high blood pressure. Excess abdominal fat increases the risk of high blood pressure, coronary artery disease and Type 2 Diabetes. Metabolic Syndrome is diagnosed by measuring the waist circumference, blood pressure, fasting blood sugar and lipid levels. Metabolic Syndrome is a serious problem in developing countries. In the U.S 40% of people over 50 have it. Children and adolescents can also develop it. The people most likely to store excess fat around their abdomen rather than their hips are men and post menopausal women. These people are at an increased risk for gout, fatty liver, chronic kidney disease and polycystic ovary syndrome. A waist circumference of 40+ inches for men and 35+ inches for women qualifies if the other factors are also within the determined range. Those factors are having a fasting blood sugar of more than 100mg/dL, blood pressure of 130 over 80mm/Hg, a fasting blood triglyceride level of 150mg/dL  and a High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) of 40mg/dL or less for men and 50 mg/dL or less for women. Treatment always involves changes to the diet and adding exercise as well as other behavioral adjustments like quitting smoking. Pharmaceuticals are often prescribed for weight loss or treating other particular symptoms of the syndrome.

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