Metabolic syndrome is a term used to describe a group of health conditions and mostly cardiovascular risk factors that puts people at higher risk of developing heart disease, other heart-related problems, and type 2 diabetes.
By having 3 or more of the following conditions you can be considered to have metabolic syndrome:
- High fasting blood glucose levels
- High blood pressure
- High level of triglycerides
- Low levels of HDL, the “good” blood cholesterol
- Abdominal obesity or too much fat around your waist
The more conditions you have, the higher your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease. There is still some debate about what causes metabolic syndrome. Some researchers believe the cause may be related to insulin resistance. Genetics, older age and lifestyle (including a high-fat diet and inactivity) also appear to play a role.
The good news is that even modest improvements in eating habits and physical activity have been shown to improve the conditions associated with metabolic syndrome and reduce poor health outcomes. Results from the studies showed that reducing body weight and increasing physical activity could reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in obese people at risk of the disease.
By taking the following steps you can easily improve your lifestyle and help reduce your risks of metabolic syndrome, heart disease and type 2 diabetes:
- Follow a healthy eating plan
- Exercise regularly
- Maintain a healthy weight
Test the blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol levels regularly.