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What is Metabolic Syndrome?

Animation Copyright © Milner-Fenwick

Healthy food choices don't really appeal to Jack. In fact, Jack hardly pays any attention to his health. He doesn't eat very well, and he isn't as active as he could be, either.

Jack knows he's a little overweight, but he feels fine. What he doesn't know is that years of unhealthy habits have put him at serious risk for developing metabolic ayndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a silent, but extremely life-threatening condition that can lead to: heart disease, a heart attack or stroke, diabetes, circulatory problems, and kidney disease. All of which can have extremely serious complications.

There are warning signs for metabolic syndrome, but all too often they are overlooked and ignored.

Metabolic syndrome can be treated and even prevented. The first step is to recognize your risk factors for developing it.

There are five major risk factors for metabolic syndrome.

Obesity, which is defined as a waistline of 40 inches or more for men, and 35 inches or more for women. This is the most common one.

High blood pressure, which is blood pressure of 130 over 85 millimeters of mercury, or higher.

A high triglyceride level of 150 milligrams per deciliter, or above.

A high fasting blood glucose level of 110 milligrams per deciliter, or above.

And a low high density lipoprotein, or HDL level, below 40 milligrams per deciliter for men, or below 50 milligrams per deciliter for women.

Metabolic syndrome occurs when you have three--any three--of these risk factors. But just one risk factor, or a family history of these risk factors, is enough to increase your chances of developing it.

You should also know that each risk factor is affected in a very big way by the lifestyle choices you make. However, the only way you can find out for sure if you have metabolic syndrome, or are at risk for developing it, is to visit your doctor and have yourself screened for each risk factor.

"Your physical exam shows high blood pressure, and your labs show High Triglycerides and low HDL.

"What?"

"You have metabolic syndrome."

Although you can't change the past, it's never too late to start taking better care of yourself, and reduce your risk factors.

Animation Copyright © Milner-Fenwick