Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic SyndromeMetabolic syndrome is a “cluster” of metabolic risk factors and conditions. It isn’t a disease in itself. Having metabolic syndrome means that you have three or more metabolic related disorders at the same time. 

These disorders can include:

  • Obesity
  • Increased blood pressure
  • High blood sugar levels
  • High/abnormal cholesterol

Obviously, having any of these risk factors is dangerous to your health, but combining them increases your chances of developing serious health risks like coronary heart disease and heart attacks, strokes and peripheral vascular disease. You are also five times more likely to develop diabetes if you have metabolic syndrome.

What Causes Metabolic Syndrome?

Since Metabolic Syndrome is caused by numerous disorders, there isn’t a single proven cause. However, there are certain factors that can increase your chances of developing metabolic syndrome. Obesity is the biggest risk factor involved in metabolic syndrome. Obesity is a gateway to developing other damaging disorders. Abdominal obesity can hinder how well insulin is accepted by your body. If insulin isn’t properly accepted into the cells, your body will work harder to push out more insulin to compete with the rising levels of glucose. This is called insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is a direct link to diabetes and can therefore be attributed to metabolic disorder. Also, obesity significantly raises your chances of developing the other factors that fall under metabolic syndrome.

Other factors linked to the cause of metabolic syndrome are:

  • An unhealthy lifestyle
  • Hormone imbalance
  • History of diabetes or other diseases
  • Smoking

Coping with Metabolic Syndrome

If you have been diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, you will have to take aggressive action to control not only one disorder, but several. This may seem overwhelming. Treating metabolic syndrome requires permanent lifestyle changes, and you may need a professional’s help.

Ways to cope with metabolic syndrome include:

  • Losing weight. If you are struggling with obesity, this will be tough. You have to commit to losing weight and make a permanent change. If you fear that exercise and diet will not be enough, ask a doctor about other weight loss options. Bariatric surgeries are becoming more common and can greatly improve the lives of those who are committed to overcoming obesity.
  • Dieting. Improving your diet will reduce your chances of high cholesterol, high blood sugar and obesity. By watching what you eat and making positive food choices, you can reduce your risk of metabolic related disorders.
  • Quitting smoking. Smoking cigarettes can increase insulin resistance and raise your blood pressure. Smoking worsens the effects of metabolic syndrome. Quitting will decrease your chances for metabolic syndrome, and help you maintain a healthier lifestyle.