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What is Metabolic Syndrome?

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  • Written By: K T Solis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 17 July 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Metabolic syndrome is a group of health factors that makes it more likely for a patient to develop diabetes or suffer from a heart attack or stroke. The presence of a combination of high cholesterol, excess abdominal fat, high blood pressure, and high insulin levels can lead to metabolic syndrome. Most patients with this syndrome are classified as overweight or obese. A combination of genetics and lifestyle determines whether a person is at risk of developing the syndrome.

Metabolic syndrome is linked to the body's metabolism. In a normal body, the digestive system breaks down food into sugar or glucose. The glucose is then transported to the body's tissues where it serves as fuel for cells. Insulin, a hormone in the body, helps the glucose enter the cells. People with insulin resistance possess cells that experience trouble accepting the insulin.

As a result, it is more difficult for the glucose to enter the cells. In order to combat this problem, the body produces more insulin so that it can feed the cells. This, in turn, leads to more glucose and insulin within the body.

Increased levels of insulin and glucose in the body leads to high blood pressure, higher triglyceride levels, and high blood fat levels. Such negative effects within the body force the patient on the road to heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and other health problems. All of these health factors comprise metabolic syndrome.

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If a patient commits to a healthier lifestyle, he or she can avoid many of the serious health conditions that relate to metabolic syndrome. Eating a healthy diet that includes fruits, vegetables, fish, and lean meats is an excellent way to combat metabolic syndrome. Avoiding deep-fried and processed foods is another good way to live a healthier lifestyle. Regular exercise and doctor visits are crucial to cultivating a healthier body as well. Refraining from health-damaging habits such as smoking is another key way to combat or prevent metabolic syndrome.

After making these lifestyle changes, some people are still unable to combat metabolic syndrome. When this occurs, the doctor will prescribe medications that can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Insulin sensitizers are sometimes prescribed in order to assist the body with insulin use. Aspirin might be used to help patients prevent heart attacks or strokes. The doctor may even be able to assist the patient in the goal of losing weight through the use of medications and special diet plans.

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