Despite its mystique, Syndrome X is a rather prevalent condition. It’s more commonly referred to as a metabolic syndrome, a term for a combination of risk factors that might increase your risk of heart disease and other health issues such as diabetes.
Metabolic syndrome can be caused by excess weight and inactivity, but five particular variables can put you at risk. To be officially diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, you must have at least three factors. The following are the five factors:
Having a big waistline is a common affliction (a more than 35-inch circumference for women and more than 40 for men)
The good news is that metabolic syndrome can be avoided, controlled, or even reversed by making dietary and exercise adjustments. If you don’t, you run the danger of developing serious health problems resulting from diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Because your chance of developing metabolic syndrome grows as you get older, it’s critical to begin changing your health practices as soon as possible.
1. Your Family History Is Linked to Metabolic Syndrome
Inquire about your relatives’ medical histories. Your medical history is linked to that of your family. You may be a candidate for metabolic syndrome if one of your near ancestors has diabetes or heart disease.
According to the National Institutes of Health, a full family health record comprises information from three generations of relatives, including children, brothers and sisters, parents, aunts and uncles, and nieces and nephews, grandparents, and cousins.
Gathering this information may be difficult, but interrogating your family can lead to some heartfelt discussions. It may also safeguard your children and their families for future generations.
2. When it comes to the risk of Metabolic Syndrome, where you wear your fat matters.
If you resemble an apple rather than a pear, you’re more likely to acquire metabolic syndrome. While discussing your health plan, your doctor may not emphasise how abdominal fat increases health risks more than weight on your buttocks.
3. A Plant-Based Diet Can Aid in the Treatment of Metabolic Syndrome
The most recent set of dietary guidelines for Americans promotes a plant-based diet. Julie Upton, RD, co-founder of Appetite for Health in San Francisco, advocates for a Mediterranean diet. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and seafood are featured prominently in the Mediterranean diet, low in meat, dairy, sugars, and sweets. “This regimen is beneficial for your heart, but it also lowers metabolic syndrome risks,” Upton says.
4. Dietary Fiber Lowers Cholesterol, Which Lowers Your Risk of Metabolic Syndrome
Your doctor may have given you a list of items to avoid, but you may be able to make more progress by including some foods in your diet. Incorporate soluble fibre-rich foods, such as oats and beans, into your meals. Whole grains, for example, have insoluble fibres that can give a “moving experience” by transporting foods through your gastrointestinal tract while keeping you satiated. Fill at least half of your plate with vegetables and fruits, and go for whole-grain carbs to free up space on your scale (and in your stomach) for less-healthy options.
5. Your Drinking Habits Can Affect Your Metabolic Syndrome Risk
Your doctor may inquire about your diet, offer advice, and refer you to a licenced dietitian or nutritionist who can create a plan tailored to your specific needs. On the other hand, your doctor may not inquire as to what you’re drinking.
Sugary drinks and fruit juices might raise your blood sugar and lipid levels. Alcoholic beverages can produce hypoglycemia and a temporary reduction in blood sugar, but those levels will quickly rise again — especially if you’re drinking mixed cocktails. The greatest beverage for staying hydrated is water. Tea, coffee, skim or low-fat milk, and fruits and vegetables all give water without adding calories.
6. Even a small amount of weight loss can significantly impact Metabolic Syndrome.
Lauren Harris-Pincus, RDN of New York City, adds, “Too often, doctors don’t set acceptable expectations.” “‘Lose weight and exercise,'” Harris-Pincus says, “is not as motivating as ‘If you lose a small 5% of your body weight, you can major impact the crucial statistics like blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol/triglycerides.”
For instance, if you weigh 160 pounds and your target weight is 120, losing 8 to 10 pounds could improve your laboratory test results. It may even be able to reduce or eliminate the requirement for medicines. Smaller, more detailed objectives will appear more attainable and motivating.
7. In the fight against Metabolic Syndrome, exercise is as important as a well-balanced diet.
Joey Gochnour, RDN, an exercise physiologist in Austin, Texas, says, “Your doctor is probably not informed about the sorts of workouts and their related recommended intensities for treating certain characteristics of this syndrome.” Even modest aerobic activity, according to Gochnour, can help lower cholesterol levels. He recommends exercising consistently to help prevent metabolic syndrome, preferably for at least 30 minutes five days a week.
“Strength training and rigorous aerobic exercise may increase your blood glucose sensitivity and minimise raised insulin levels,” Gochnour says. Exercise is essential for increasing metabolism and burning calories, which aid in weight loss.
8. An Excessive Amount of Sitting Increases Your Risk of Metabolic Syndrome
“Sitting or sedentary behaviours such as watching TV, using the computer, sitting at work, or sitting while travelling has been recognised as hazards for metabolic syndrome even when you add modest levels of regular movement into your day,” explains Jo-Ann Heslin, RD, author of Diabetes Counter. A study published in June 2015 in Diabetologia linked sitting time to a higher risk of diabetes, finding that each hour of daily TV viewing increased a person’s risk of diabetes by 3.4 per cent.
9. Your Fasting Insulin Level Should Be Tested to Determine Your Metabolic Syndrome Risk
Numbers like blood glucose and A1C levels are frequently tested in laboratory data. Doctors rarely order a fasting insulin level test, even though this test might help predict your risk of developing prediabetes and metabolic syndrome. Insulin regulates metabolism, and high amounts of the hormone can lead to obesity, increased hunger, and fat storage.
“When you eat sugary foods, your blood sugar levels rise, and your pancreas releases insulin to transfer the sugar from your blood into your cells, where it can be utilised or stored,” explains Chere Bork, RDN, a nutritionist and life coach in Minneapolis–St. Paul. However, if your body is repeatedly exposed to high insulin doses, “the receptor cells become ineffective and resistant to the effects of insulin,” according to Bork, resulting in raised blood glucose levels. Insulin resistance causes metabolic syndrome, also known as insulin resistance syndrome, to have high cholesterol, high glucose, and high blood pressure.
10. Keep an up-to-date copy of your laboratory values to help you assess your risk of Metabolic Syndrome over time.
Your current healthcare provider may or may not be your future healthcare provider, but your current body is yours to keep for the rest of your life. If you have any blood tests or exams, make sure you get copies of the results to keep them at home. It’s critical to understand your baseline numbers and follow the evolution of your health throughout your life.