Metabolic syndrome is a condition that consists of a good number of symptoms that affect your metabolism. These symptoms include high blood pressure, increased blood sugar, high cholesterol and excess fat around the midsection. All of these symptoms are considered risk factors that lead to heart-related diseases. According to the American Heart Association, more than 50 million people have metabolic syndrome. If you have any of the five symptoms of metabolic syndrome, you are at risk for heart disease, heart attack or stroke.
1. Obesity and Abdominal Fat
Obesity is the leading symptom in metabolic conditions. You’re more at risk if you carry most of your weight around your abdomen. Your appearance is commonly known as the “apple shape.” 1 in 3 Americans are obese and at risk for serious health-related illnesses. It leads to diabetes, increased cholesterol levels in the blood and high blood pressure. There are numerous symptoms of obesity. They include:
- Lack of sleep
- Skin infections
- Easily out of breath
- Joint pain
2. High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is anything above 120/80. The top number is called the systolic and the lower number is called diastolic. Your doctor will prescribe a healthy diet and exercise plan to lower your blood pressure if you go above these numbers. In extreme cases, you may need blood pressure medication to lower it. Symptoms of high blood pressure include:
- Shortness of breath
- Blurred vision
3. High Cholesterol
High cholesterol is when blood fat clogs your arteries. There are no symptoms of high cholesterol; however, it’s usually a side effect of poor diet, lack of exercise and other illnesses. To diagnose high cholesterol, your doctor completes a blood test. This blood test checks for lipoproteins (fats) in the blood. After the liver creates lipoproteins, they travel through the bloodstream and sometimes block arteries. Avoid foods high in saturated fats, such as red meat.
4. High Blood Sugar
Diabetes and blood sugar related diseases greatly influence metabolic syndrome. Your chances of increased blood sugar occurs when your body no longer regulates insulin. Your blood sugar is higher than normal. Your doctor gives you a simple blood test that detects how much sugar is in your blood. You may need an exercise plan, medication or change of diet to regulate your blood sugar. A good exercise plan helps encourage your body to use this sugar as energy. Not only does this lower blood sugar levels, but you lose weight as well.
Gout occurs in your joints. You have tremendous pain that leads to swelling and inflammation in the affected area. Gout is believed to be a side effect of high blood sugar, a factor in metabolic syndrome. It’s also associated with high cholesterol and obesity. Eating a healthy diet and getting proper exercise helps you avoid gout. Symptoms of gout include:
- Severe and sharp joint pain in wrists, hands, ankles or feet
- Pain in the big toe, especially at night
- Tenderness and redness
- Lingering pain after symptoms subside
Metabolic syndrome doesn’t have to interfere with your life. With a proper diet and exercise you can lead a healthier lifestyle. Speak with your doctor about how you can lower your risk factors.