By Arinola Adeniyi (firstname.lastname@example.org) - Nigeria
"Although it was only identified less than 20 years ago, metabolic syndrome is as widespread as pimples and the common cold."
The existence of a group of risk factors/symptoms manifesting together in an individual that can increase the risk of heart attack, stroke and diabetes is known as metabolic syndrome.
Metabolic syndrome is not a disease in itself. The cluster of risk factors in metabolic syndrome include: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, elevated blood sugars, abdominal obesity.
According to the American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, there are five risk factors that make up metabolic syndrome:
* Abdominal Circumference: 40inches or larger for men; 35 inches for women
* High Blood Pressure: Having Blood Pressure of 135/85 mmHg or greater or Using a high blood pressure medicine
* Cholesterol: Low good cholesterol HDL - less than 40 for men; 50 for women or using cholesterol medicine
* Cholesterol: High triglycerides -150 or higher or using cholesterol medicine
* Blood Sugar: High fasting glucose level - 100 or higher
Contending with any one of these risk factors is not cheering, but when they are combined, they set the stage for grave problems. In fact, it is usually a wake -up call and might be quite overwhelming for the individual, as these would no doubt involve therapeutic lifestyle changes.
It is believed that people with metabolic syndrome are frequently overweight or obese and may have tried and failed to lose weight many times, with BMI of over 25. New alternative behaviours have to replace old ones with appropriate stimulus control to support healthy choices; so, they can lead a long and healthy life.
Causes of Metabolic Syndrome:
* Obesity, especially abdominal obesity
* Insulin Resistance
* Age: The risk of metabolic syndrome increases with age
* Lifestyle changes
* Late night food
* Sugary candy
* Low physical activity
* Family history of Type 2 Diabetes
* Unhealthy lifestyle
Given how common metabolic syndrome is, we should be concerned about our risk factors as they are all lifestyle related diseases.
Metabolic Syndrome can be prevented and controlled by:
*Changing eating patterns: start eating better, adopt a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low calorie, high fibre; portion size, avoid overcompensation of calories after you have skipped meals
*Take up regular physical activity
*Minimising stress levels
Syndrome X (Metabolic Syndrome) can be treated and reduced to the barest minimum.
For me, it boils down to lifestyle, lifestyle and lifestyle. We must all just take control of our health destiny by imbibing healthy/healthier lifestyles.
I wish you optimum health and well being!