Did you know that some people have a syndrome that places them at increased risk of developing diabetes and heart disease – and they never even know they have it?
Metabolic syndrome, which often carries no signs or symptoms, is also associated with several obesity related disorders including fatty liver and cirrhosis, kidney disease, polycystic ovarian syndrome, obstructive sleep apnea.
Tell me more. What is metabolic syndrome?
Metabolic syndrome, also known as insulin resistance syndrome or syndrome x, is a group of factors that increase the risk of developing diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that helps move blood sugar into the cell where it is used for energy. Obesity causes insulin resistance, which leads to high blood glucose.
How is it diagnosed?
A physician who specializes in endocrinology can prescribe the medical tests that diagnose Metabolic syndrome, which is determined by a presence of three of the following:
- Abdominal obesity, defined as a waist circumference in men ≥102 cm (40 in) and in women ≥88 cm (35 in)
- Serum triglycerides ≥150 mg/dL or drug treatment for elevated triglycerides
- Serum HDL cholesterol <40 mg/dL in men and <50 mg/dL in women or drug treatment for low HDL cholesterol
- Blood pressure ≥130/85 mmHg or drug treatment for elevated blood pressure
- Fasting plasma glucose ≥100 mg/dL or drug treatment for elevated blood glucose
Metabolic syndrome is more common in African-Americans, Asians, Hispanics and Native Americans. Chances also increase with age, as well as with lack of physical activity.
Treatment of metabolic syndrome is aggressive lifestyle modification focused on weight loss and increase in physical activity. Weight reduction is optimally achieved by diet, exercise and pharmacological treatment if needed. Medications are used to treat risk factors such as high blood pressure, glucose and lipids.
It is important to visit your primary care physician regularly and address an endocrinology specialist if metabolic syndrome is encountered. Maintaining a healthy diet and an exercise plan (approved by your provider) is an excellent way of avoiding metabolic syndrome and maintaining optimum health.
Divya Reddy Pati, M.D.
Dr. Divya Pati is an endocrinologist practicing with TMCOne Medical Group. She diagnoses and treats diabetes, thyroid problems, calcium disorders, osteoporosis, pituitary, adrenal and other hormonal disorders.