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.
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We’re usually told to gauge our heart attack risk by the size of our waistlines. The more belly fat, the higher the risk. Well, you may be “up to your neck” in heart problems. And both men and women need to take heed.
Your neck size may be a predictor of heart disease risk, according to two new studies on the subject. The researchers found that the bigger a person’s neck size, the greater their risk of having high levels of LDL “bad” cholesterol and blood fat, insulin resistance, and high blood sugar. Maybe the most interesting and telling aspect of their findings is that it held true even excluding belly fat.
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What is Diabetes?
Simply put, when you eat food your body begins the digestion process and breaks down the sugar (or carbs) into glucose. The glucose is then absorbed into the blood stream where it waits to enter the cells, so the body can use it for energy. Insulin helps get glucose into the cell. In people with diabetes, there may not be enough insulin to get the glucose in; therefore the glucose sits in your blood and gives a high reading when you test your blood glucose level.
Diabetes can affect anybody! Here are a few different types of diabetes:
- Type I (Insulin Dependent)- anyone who is dependent on insulin to keep their blood glucose levels under control because their pancreas does not produce insulin.
- Type II (Non-Insulin Dependent)- anyone who can control their blood glucose levels with diet, exercise, and/or oral medications. Their pancreas typically secretes insulin, but the body has built a resistance and doesn’t utilize it sufficiently.
- Medication Induced- when medications cause an increase in blood glucose levels
- Gestational- when a woman develops high blood glucose levels during a pregnancy.
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