Would You Know if You Had Metabolic Syndrome?

If you knew that one of the most deadly diseases also is one of the most preventable, wouldn’t you do everything within your power to avoid it? It may seem like a silly question, but the fact is, many American adults simply are not making this connection. Thankfully, you have the ability to control many of the factors that lead to this dangerous disease.

Facing the Facts
Metabolic syndrome is a constellation of five different health concerns that, when combined, can lead to an increased risk for heart disease, stroke and Type 2 diabetes. The health concerns are:

  • Waist circumference of 40 inches or more for men and 35 inches or more for women.
  • Blood pressure of 130/85 or greater.
  • Fasting blood sugar levels greater than 110, also called hyperglycemia.
  • Fat levels in the blood, or triglycerides, greater than 150.
  • Blood levels of high-density lipoprotein, or HDL (the “good” cholesterol), of less than 40 for men and less than 50 for women.

Take Action

Although metabolic syndrome occurs when an individual has at least three of the above criteria, the more of these risk factors you have, the greater your chances of developing heart disease or diabetes or having a stroke. In fact, a person with metabolic syndrome is twice as likely to develop heart disease and five times as likely to develop diabetes, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
One in Four
Nearly 25 percent of adult Americans have metabolic syndrome. One underlying cause of metabolic syndrome is obesity, a widespread health risk in itself.
Your primary care physician can determine your risk with a cholesterol blood test, a blood pressure test and a waist measurement. Although ethnicity and family history can play a role in developing metabolic syndrome, lifestyle modification in most cases reduces a person’s chances.
There are many ways to control your risk:

  • Physical activity of at least 30 minutes five days a week is important. Losing just 10 percent of your current weight will lower your risk factors.
  • Eat a healthy diet. Increase your consumption of fruits and vegetables to five servings a day and decrease your portion sizes of everything else.
  • If you’re a smoker, stop! The combination of smoking and metabolic syndrome is a potent killer.
  • An ongoing relationship with your primary care physician can motivate, educate, inspire and help you to get on the right track.

Additionally, your doctor can prescribe medications to decrease blood pressure, lower triglycerides and increase the level of HDL if lifestyle modifications don’t produce the necessary results.
How GMC Can Help

You can start making positive changes to your health immediately, no matter what you’ve done in the past. The rest of your life begins today. 

Why not get started with talking over your risk factors - and getting your true numbers - in a free wellness consultation with Gwinnett Medical Center’s women’s health navigator? 

In addition to metabolic syndrome, she can answer women’s health and wellness questions, from labor and lactation support to post-childbearing years, through menopause and post-menopause. She can even assist with health-related questions for the children and men in your life. To schedule your free wellness consultation, call 678-671-2303.


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