Metabolic Syndrome Overview
What is metabolic syndrome?
A person with metabolic syndrome has a group of conditions that, together, increase the risk for diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Conditions include high triglyceride levels, high cholesterol levels, high blood sugar levels, obesity around the waist, and high blood pressure. The more conditions a person has, the greater the risk. Metabolic syndrome may be caused by insulin resistance, in which cells in the body do not respond to insulin properly. Insulin is a hormone that reduces blood sugar (glucose) levels by stimulating the body to utilize glucose for energy. About 25 percent of the population of the US has metabolic syndrome.
What are the criteria for metabolic syndrome?
In order to have metabolic syndrome, a person must have more than two of the following:
- High triglyceride level
- High cholesterol level
- High blood sugar
- Obesity, especially around the waste
- High blood pressure
How does the doctor treat metabolic syndrome?
Treatment for metabolic syndrome depends on which conditions a person has. Treatment for metabolic syndrome may include medications and changes in life style, such as an increase in exercise, a low-fat diet, a low cholesterol diet, weight loss, and stopping smoking.
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