A Sign Of What’s To Come
Metabolic syndrome is not a specific disease. If a doctor confirms that a patient has metabolic syndrome, there is usually a series of markers that can lead to more severe conditions. Anyone with metabolic syndrome has a significantly higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cardiovascular disease, and stroke. A patient needs to have at least 3 of the 4 signs to have metabolic syndrome. Luckily, the syndrome is not set in stone. There are some ways to reverse these dangerous signs.
1. Spikes in your triglycerides
High triglycerides are often an overlooked marker for heart disease, diabetes, and other serious diseases. Triglycerides, like cholesterol, are a type of fat present in the blood. The body converts excess calories into fats like triglycerides. Triglycerides can be used as energy later. However, consuming more calories and sugars prevents this from happening. Excess triglycerides can contribute to stroke, heart disease, and heart attacks. A measure of 150 mg/dL in the blood is a contributing factor to metabolic syndrome.
2. A high fasting blood glucose
Blood glucose or blood sugar is simply the amount of sugar in the blood. This blood sugar comes from foods, drinks, the liver, and muscles. Diabetes happens when an elevated amount of blood glucose cannot be processed by the body’s insulin. To confirm the presence of diabetes, a medical professional performs a fasting blood test. The patient’s glucose levels are tested after a long period of fasting, preferably overnight. If the test shows a blood sugar of over 100 mg/dL, there is a high risk of diabetes.
3. High blood pressure
High blood pressure happens when the blood flowing through the blood vessels is at an abnormally high force. Over time, high blood pressure can lead to severe complications like heart disease. The condition is also known as hypertension. Many people with high blood pressure show no symptoms. A systolic measure of 130 and above with a diastolic measure of 80 and above is considered hypertension.
4. Low healthy cholesterol levels
Cholesterol is an essential fat that travels through the bloodstream, helping with several vital functions. There are 2 types of cholesterol, namely LDL and HDL. These build cells, process vitamins, protect blood vessel walls, and other helpful processes. HDL cholesterol is considered good cholesterol and helps remove LDL cholesterol from unwanted places. Low HDL levels, less than 40 mg/dL, mean a high risk of heart disease. These low numbers are one of the critical signs of metabolic syndrome.
Four Signs, One cure
By definition, more than 30% of Americans have or are at risk of developing metabolic syndrome. The key to reversing the syndrome is through diet and exercise. Dietary changes can positively affect all 4 signs of metabolic syndrome. More fruits, vegetables, and fewer processed foods reduce triglyceride levels, blood pressure, glucose, and cholesterol. Regular exercise improves blood circulation, reduces fat, and improves blood pressure.
In severe cases, a doctor may prescribe medication to manage these conditions. However, metabolic syndrome can be reversed with the right lifestyle.
Know your numbers to fight metabolic syndrome
Metabolic syndrome silently affects millions of Americans. Therefore, reversing metabolic syndrome starts with knowing the numbers. Wellness checks with a doctor can identify these risks. The doctor will use blood tests and blood pressure testing to record the figures. If these are within a manageable range, diet and exercise can help. Speak with a doctor about suspected metabolic syndrome to find treatment options and reversal.