Metabolic syndrome: are you affected by this scourge of the century?

Metabolic syndrome is a collection of conditions that work together to increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. These conditions include increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels. Having just one of these conditions does not mean you have metabolic syndrome. But it does mean you have a higher risk of serious illness. And if you develop more than one of these conditions, your risk of complications, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease, increases further.

Metabolic syndrome is increasingly common. If you have metabolic syndrome or one of its components, drastic changes in your lifestyle can delay or even prevent the development of serious health problems.

How to recognize metabolic syndrome?

Most disorders associated with metabolic syndrome do not have obvious signs or symptoms. A visible sign is a large waistline. And if your blood sugar is high, you may notice the signs and symptoms of diabetes, such as increased thirst and urination, fatigue, and blurred vision.


Having at least three of the following characteristics classifies you as someone with this syndrome, including those for whom you may be taking medication to control them:

– Large size: A waist circumference that measures at least 89 centimeters for women and 102 centimeters for men.

– High level of triglycerides: 150 milligrams per deciliter (mg/ dL) or 1.7 millimoles per liter (mmol/L) or more of this type of fat in the blood.

– Decrease in “ good » cholesterol or HDL cholesterol: Less than 50 mg/dL (1,04 mmol/L ) in men or less than 50 mg/dL (1.3 mmol/L) in women for high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.

– Increased blood pressure: 150/50 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or more

– High fasting blood glucose: 102 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L) or more.

Causes of Metabolic Syndrome

The metabolic syndrome is closely linked to overweight or obesity and inactivity. It is also linked to a condition called insulin resistance. Normally, your digestive system turns the food you eat into sugar. Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas that helps sugar enter cells to be used as fuel. In people with insulin resistance, cells do not respond normally to insulin and glucose cannot enter cells as easily. As a result, blood sugar rises, even though the body is producing more and more insulin in an attempt to lower it.

Risk factors for metabolic syndrome

The following factors increase your chances of suffering from metabolic syndrome:

– Age. Your risk of metabolic syndrome increases with age.

– Obesity. Carrying too much weight, especially in the abdomen, increases the risk of metabolic syndrome.

– Diabetes. You are more likely to have metabolic syndrome if you had diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes) or if you have a family history of type 2 diabetes.

– Other illnesses. Your risk of metabolic syndrome is higher if you have ever had nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, polycystic ovary syndrome, or sleep apnea.

Serious illnesses that follow the syndrome metabolic

Having metabolic syndrome can increase your risk of developing:

– Type 2 diabetes

If you don’t make lifestyle changes to control your excess weight, you are at risk of developing insulin resistance, which can cause your blood sugar levels to rise . Eventually, insulin resistance can lead to type 2 diabetes.

– Diseases of the heart and blood vessels

High cholesterol and high blood pressure can contribute to plaque buildup in your arteries. These plaques can narrow and harden your arteries, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke.


Adopt a healthy lifestyle throughout life can prevent the conditions that cause metabolic syndrome. A healthy lifestyle consists of

Practicing at least 30 minutes of physical activity most days.
Eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, lean proteins and whole grains.
limit saturated fat and salt in your diet

Maintain a healthy weight

Do not smoke

Lifestyle and solutions to contain the syndrome

If you have been diagnosed with metabolic syndrome or one of its components, making lifestyle changes can help prevent or delay serious health problems, such as heart attack or stroke. A healthy lifestyle includes:

– Regular physical activity

Health experts recommend doing at least 30 minutes of exercise per day, such as brisk walking. But you don’t have to do this activity all at once. Look for ways to increase your activity whenever you get the chance, such as walking instead of driving and using the stairs instead of the elevator.

– Weight loss

Losing 7% of your body weight can reduce insulin resistance and blood pressure and lower your risk of diabetes. In fact, any weight loss is beneficial. It is also important to maintain your weight loss. If you are having trouble losing weight and keeping it off, ask your doctor about the options available to help you, such as medication or weight loss surgery.

– A healthy diet

Healthy diets, such as the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) and the Mediterranean diet, emphasize the consumption of vegetables, fruits, high-fiber whole grains and lean proteins. Healthy diets generally recommend limiting sugary drinks, alcohol, salt, sugar, and fats, especially saturated fats and trans fats.

– Stop to smoke

Quitting smoking considerably improves your general state of health. Talk to your doctor if you need help quitting smoking.

– Reduce or manage stress

Physical activity, meditation, yoga and other programs can help you manage stress and improve your emotional and physical health.

Presse Santé strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information given can not replace the advice of a health professional.

Do you like our content?

Receive our latest publications for free and directly in your inbox every day email


Type 2 diabetes Hypertension overweight metabolic syndrome

Related Articles

Back to top button