The metabolic syndrome can be considered as a coexistence of risk factors, which under certain conditions, almost always linked to an incorrect lifestyle, genetic and environmental factors, dangerously increases the probability of get sick with a serious illness (heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes).
According to some studies this condition could favor the onset of serious tumors of the breast, pancreas, liver, uterus and brain.
The metabolic syndrome is therefore a real pre-crisis state that should alarm , because it affects the organism and threatens to put it in difficulty in an almost irreversible way. It is therefore essential to take action on prevention.
The alarm factors
The risk factors that should cause the antennae to stand up are usually highlighted by blood tests, even those of routine. These values are generally designed to verify the existence of problems (which are rarely investigated with radiological or endoscopic examinations):
- systolic blood pressure equal to or greater than 130 mm Hg.
- triglycerides higher than 150 mg / dl.
- HDL cholesterol below 40 mg / dl for men, 50 for women.
- fasting blood glucose above 100 mg / dl is indicative.
Having just one of these out of phase values doesn’t mean you have metabolic syndrome. High blood pressure is certainly worthy of attention, but by itself it is not enough. Even high blood sugar is not sufficient to validate the presence of the syndrome. Everything could be episodic … however, the concomitance of multiple out of phase values, together with an unhealthy lifestyle (smoking, alcohol, substance abuse, accumulation of visceral fat that widens the circumference of the abdomen) could be sufficient to say that we are facing the metabolic syndrome. Insulin resistance appears to be closely linked to the syndrome.
Symptoms of the metabolic syndrome
The metabolic syndrome can make its presence felt through symptoms attributable to the diseases it can cause: constant fatigue, increased urge to urinate, feeling thirsty, decreased vision, rapid heartbeat, dizziness, headache . If the waist circumference is well beyond the limits (102 cm in men, 88 cm in women) it is good to see a doctor.
The risk factors preceding the metabolic syndrome are mostly environmental and genetic:
- family history of metabolic diseases such as diabetes
- aging: defenses are lowered, risk increases
- a state of overt obesity (see above). The presence of fat in the abdomen is particularly indicative. In particular, the body mass index (BMI) above 25 should also be taken into consideration.
- alcohol abuse
- the smoke
- excess stress
- a diet that is too high in fat
- a sedentary lifestyle
- steatosis and liver problems not attributable to alcohol abuse
- sleep apnea (both cause and effect)
- polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) which can be both cause and effect
What tests do you take
The diagnosis is not immediate because it derives from the coexistence of multiple conditions. Routine blood tests may be accompanied by more detailed tests (chest or abdomen ultrasound) to check the health of organs such as the liver and pancreas. Particular insights can be made to check the state of physical fitness.
The doctor can evaluate the general state of health, in relation to age, weight, tendency to get sick, the state of form, how the patient responds to certain treatments.
How to concretely prevent it
Since treatment also involves a change in lifestyle, the best cure is prevention. Anyone who smokes or drinks too much must stop immediately.
Changes in diet too:
- introduce more fruits and vegetables
- consume carbohydrates from whole grains, legumes. Avoid white flours.
- Eat more healthy fats, such as unsaturated fatty acids which are good for the heart and found in nuts, extra virgin olive oil. Also balance fish rich in omega 3 and eggs against meat (especially red meat and sausages).
- moderate the consumption of dairy products
- reduce portions
- read the labels carefully to check the actual calorie consumption, the accumulation of fat due to excess sugar, salt, trans fats is dangerous
- avoid simple sugars that do not provide any nutrients
Combine the balanced diet in favor of healthy and fresh foods with physical activity: in particular, you must pay attention to the body mass index, that is, work to rebalance fat and lean mass. You have to lose weight the smart way. Always visit your doctor before engaging in any physical activity, especially if you are overweight or lead a sedentary lifestyle.
- walk every day if you can, avoid shortcuts
- progressively increases the number of minutes and kilometers traveled
- add physical exercise proper, with weights perhaps, even at home
- or run outdoors or play other sports that help lower blood pressure, regulate heart rate, increase endurance and breath, lose weight while retaining muscle
If you think you are suffering from metabolic syndrome, the advice is to contact your doctor. If you think you are at risk, the invitation is to change your lifestyle.