What is Metabolic Syndrome?

From time to time we think it is important to take a break from the insurance focus and review something different.  Today I wanted to focus on something that is growing the like wildfire in the United States.  It is called Meabolic Syndrome.  Metabolic syndrome is the name for a group of risk factors that raise your risk for heart disease and other health problems, such as diabetes and stroke.  There are five conditions that are metabolic risk factors. You must have at least three metabolic risk factors to be diagnosed with metabolic syndrome.

The five risk factors are:

  1. A Large Waistline– waist measurement of 35 inches or more for women or 40 inches or more for men is a metabolic risk factor.
  2. A High Triglyceride Level- triglyceride level of 150 mg/dL or higher (or being on medicine to treat high triglycerides) is a metabolic risk factor.
  3. A Low HDL Cholesterol Level- HDL cholesterol level of less than 50 mg/dL for women and less than 40 mg/dL for men (or being on medicine to treat low HDL cholesterol) is a metabolic risk factor.
  4. High Blood Pressure- blood pressure of 130/85 mmHg or higher (or being on medicine to treat high blood pressure) is a metabolic risk factor.  
  5. High Fasting Blood Sugar (Glucose)- A fasting blood sugar level of 100 mg/dL or higher (or being on medicine to treat high blood sugar) is a metabolic risk factor.

How is metabolic syndrome treated? Healthy lifestyle changes are the first line of treatment for metabolic syndrome. Lifestyle changes include losing weight, being physically active, following a heart healthy diet, and quitting smoking.  If lifestyle changes aren’t enough, your healthcare provider may prescribe medicines.  Medicines are used to treat and control risk factors such as high blood pressure, high triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol, and high blood sugar.  Don’t forget that .74 cents of every healthcare dollar spent can be directly attributed to lifestyle.  For a place to check your BMI look no further then  http://www.bmi-calculator.net/.  It will most likely not make you feel good unless you are in London right now competing in some Olympic event!  As well I wanted to add the red and blue picture to show just how much our “snacking habits” have changed over the last 40 years.

Well, hopefully we haven’t made you feel totally self-conscience of your current health status!  Just be more aware and understand what is out there that can impact your life for the short and long term.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *