The term “metabolic syndrome“It’s not exactly a common one, but that may change with this collection of worrying health traits on the rise. So what is metabolic syndrome and why should you avoid it?
You can find great information on metabolic syndrome here, including more details on health factors. But the short version is that metabolic syndrome means you have three or more of these five health factors:
- High blood pressure
- Excess body fat with a wide waist.
- High triglyceride level
- Low HDL cholesterol
- High blood sugar level
What is at stake?
If you meet the requirements for metabolic syndrome and have at least three of the five health factors, you are at increased risk of heart disease, race other diabetes. And, according to Mark Wargo, MD, a family medicine specialist at OSF Medical Group – Primary Care in Streator, Illinois, the more risk factors you have, the higher your risk.
“There can be major quality-of-life problems if you have heart disease or a stroke, and diabetes can also affect your ability to function,” Dr. Wargo said. “It is important because some of these things, once they happen, are irreversible. There are no guarantees that you will regain full function after a stroke. “
Some of the health factors for metabolic syndrome are relatively symptom-free and difficult to identify without proper medical testing, Wargo said, so you should call your primary care physician if you think there is a possibility that you may meet the guidelines. criteria.
However, there are some signs you can look for.
High blood pressure can cause fatigue, dizziness, vision changes, headaches and even make some people anxious, says Dr. Wargo said. And if you have high blood sugar or diabetes, you may be hungrier, more thirsty, and urinate frequently.
Undiagnosed or untreated Sleep apnea You also increase your risk for all of these factors, so you should take your sleep habits seriously. Sleep apnea can be easily ruled out, but it can have serious impacts, Dr. Wargo said.
To take action
Whether you have metabolic syndrome or just want to avoid it, the way you can lower your risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes is to adopt a heart-healthy lifestyle.
That means regular exercise and a healthy diet. Cut out junk food, quit smoking, and decrease your alcohol intake. Eat less processed foods and cook fresh foods more often.
“I think it’s important that we work hard to try to modify the things that we can modify, like exercise and diet,” Dr. Wargo said. “Work on weight loss. There are things that are out of our control between genetics and age, but we can try to make a difference through regular check-ups and working on the negative aspects that these things affect, such as smoking and eating fast food regularly.
“Eating healthy no longer has to be a chore. There is a lot of information available now in regards to diet and recipe websites. Now it’s easier than ever to find recipes that are healthy and taste great. “
Dr. Wargo suggests taking advantage of one of the many easy-to-use diet and calorie tracking smartphone apps to help with weight loss. Or ask your doctor to help you connect with a dietitian for healthy eating ideas and guidance.
“It’s about committing to it,” Dr. Wargo said. Find a partner who will keep you honest and motivated. Try to find ways to stay motivated. Set goals. Work with your provider to set goals, to stay safe, and so it doesn’t seem so overwhelming, like you’re trying to do it all at once. “
Managing stress is important. Exercising, engaging in a hobby, or learning relaxation techniques can help reduce stress.
You should also have regular checkups with your doctor at least once a year, or as often as directed by your doctor.
“Also, be proud of your accomplishments,” Dr. Wargo said. “They may seem small, but they are a step in the right direction, and that is very important.”