As more of our population become obese and overweight, obesity diseases become much more prevalent. Metabolic Syndrome is one such disease, and here I explain what it is, why it affects the overweight, symptoms and prevention.
What is it?
Metabolic syndrome is characterized by several disorders related to your metabolism simultaneously. These disorders/components include obesity (particularly abdominal/waist fat), elevated blood pressure, increased triglyceride level, low HDL “good” cholesterol level, and insulin resistance. Having one of these components means you are more likely to have others; the more components you have the greater risk to your health.
Metabolic Syndrome has had a few names including syndrome X and insulin resistance syndrome. Not all experts agree on the definition of metabolic syndrome or whether it exists as a medical condition. Despite the discrepancies, the severity of possessing this collection of risk factors can lead to serious health complications.
Why is it affected by obesity/overweight?
Obesity is one of the components to this syndrome, therefore it has a huge impact on it. A body mass index (BMI) of greater than 25 increases your risk. BMI is a measure of your percent body fat based on height. Abdominal obesity (fat accumulation in the stomach area), or being “apple-shaped” rather than “pear-shaped,” is another factor increasing your risk of metabolic syndrome.
What are the symptoms?
As mentioned above, components to this syndrome include:
- Obesity (“apple-shaped”)
- Insulin resistance
- Elevated blood pressure
- An elevated triglyceride level
- Low HDL/”good” cholesterol level
What can you do to prevent it?
Leading a healthier lifestyle is a huge determinant of reducing your risk of metabolic syndrome. Aggressive lifestyle changes need to be made; doing so can delay or derail the development of serious associated diseases (heart disease, etc). Eating healthy, losing and maintaining a healthy weight, and exercise will take you a long way in overcoming and reducing the severity of metabolic syndrome.