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Metabolic syndrome

Metabolic syndrome also known as Syndrome X is the name given when people have several medical disorders at the same time. The syndrome includes:

  • Central obesity (an apple shape or a large waistline), where one's fat is localized around the middle
  • High blood pressure
  • High triglycerides
  • Low HDL-cholesterol
  • Insulin resistance (the body can't properly control blood sugar levels)

The diagnosis of metabolic syndrome is given if 3 or more of these factors occur. Exercise, weight loss, and nutrition changes can reduce the risks of metabolic syndrome and the likelihood of getting type 2 diabetes, stroke and heart disease. Sometimes, a medication (such as Metformin and biguanide) will be given to decrease your risk of developing diabetes. if you have metabolic syndrome or prediabetes, you should be checked for diabetes every year or if symptoms of diabetes occur.

Decreasing sodium intake, simple sugars, and low-fiber carbohydrates while adding fish and monounsaturated oils to the diet can improve triglycerides, HDL-cholesterol, and blood pressure. Exercise and moderate calorie reduction can promote weight loss and decrease central obesity.

The more components that are improved, the fewer risks to your health.


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Review Date: 7/8/2012
Reviewed By: Nancy J. Rennert, MD, Chief of Endocrinology & Diabetes, Norwalk Hospital, Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Previoulsy reviewed by Ari S. Eckman, MD, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. (5/13/2010)
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