A person is said to have a metabolic syndrome if he/she suffers from any three clusters of health risk factors from high blood pressure, high blood sugar, obesity, high serum triglycerides, and low serum high-density lipoprotein. The person having metabolic syndrome has a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
The first definition of metabolic syndrome appeared in medical textbooks in 1998. Metabolic syndrome in America is as widespread as common cold or pimples. According to the American Heart Association, approximately 45M people have this health condition and the ratio is almost one in every six people. It is a common syndrome that runs in families especially in people who are African-Americans, Native Americans, Hispanics, or Asians. Moreover, the risk of metabolic syndrome increases as you go towards old age, usually, people from 50 or above age have it.
Having a single health condition related to your weight or heart might not be a risk factor but when combined it moves to a serious stage. Metabolic Syndrome becomes the reason for the doubled risk of developing heart disease and diabetes by five times, resulting in stroke and heart attack.
- High blood pressure
- High blood sugar
- High serum triglycerides
- Low serum high-density lipoprotein
Metabolic Syndrome shows visible signs in your body and these symptoms can be recognized by oneself and also getting a routine health checkup. If a person has any of the three symptoms from the below list then it is highly likely that a person has metabolic syndrome.
- Obesity: If an individual has a waist circumference of, 90cm or more in South Asian men and 80cm or more in South Asian women. 94cm or more in European men and 80cm or more in European women.
- High inflammation: a tendency of swelling, and irritation of body tissues.
- High blood pressure: 140/90mmHg or higher value.
- Insulin resistance: The body is unable to control blood sugar levels.
- DVT (deep vein thrombosis) or related issue: a health condition that makes blood clots.
- High Triglyceride levels: an increased amount of fat in the bloodstream.
- Low level of HDL: unhealthy level of cholesterol in the blood.
- Atherosclerosis: a health factor where arteries become clogged with fatty substances such as cholesterol present in your bloodstream.
Metabolic Syndrome is not a single disease but a collection of some. Therefore, there is not a single factor that causes metabolic syndrome but associated with multiple factors. The cause of metabolic syndrome are:
The main reason for developing metabolic syndrome is linked to leading an unhealthy lifestyle where a person consumes high-calorie diets and no exercise. A person who solely depends on fast processed food and has little to none physical activity in daily life has a higher risk than other causes.
One of the common causes of an increase in metabolic syndrome among masses is due to obesity, especially abdominal obesity. In America, obesity rates are getting higher each year and also causing more cases of metabolic syndrome.
Although not common, it still causes metabolic syndrome in many people. People suffering from conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or fertility issues or hormonal imbalance are also at risk of developing metabolic syndrome.
Insulin is a necessary hormone in your body that helps produce a sufficient amount of glucose. Glucose is a sugar made from foods you eat that your body uses as energy. People with the issue of insulin resistance have a high level of blood sugar because their hormone does not work well and keep on making glucose that results in diabetes. Due to excess glucose levels in the body, people have excess weight in their abdominal area and develop metabolic syndrome easily.
Some other factors that can lead to metabolic syndrome are smoking, old age, stress, belong to a family that has a history of related diseases, belonging to a certain ethnic group, and other health conditions involving the heart, liver, ovary, etc.
Metabolic syndrome is caused due to different health issues and it does not just stop there. If anyone is diagnosed with it, things get complicated as more problems soon arise. Some complications that arise due to metabolic syndrome are:
- Heart Attack
- Kidney Disease
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
- Peripheral Artery Disease
Metabolic syndrome is commonly treated with two approaches, medication, and diet. Both go side by side and are important to beat health issues and live a healthy life.
The disorders involving metabolic syndrome are treated individually because the syndrome comprises different health issues. To treat hypertension, physicians use Diuretics and ACE inhibitors. As for treating Cholesterol, the doctor recommends different medicines to bring it down to a healthy level. Similarly, every issue is treated with related medication.
Diet is as important as taking proper medication in order to completely defeat metabolic syndrome. People who have this syndrome are advised to have dietary carbohydrates restrictions in order to reduce glucose levels, bring down weight, and maintain a healthy body. When following a proper diet, the nutritionist may ask you to reduce the number of medications prescribed for metabolic syndrome because too much can imbalance hormones.
There are a few ways that you can adopt in order to reverse metabolic syndrome naturally. You need to make changes to your lifestyle and include these:
- Exercise consistently daily. Make a schedule whether long or short and stick by it. Do at least 30 minutes of physical activity daily.
- Eat a healthy and well-balanced diet. It is a key to control your cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure levels in the body, and also maintains a healthy weight. Reduce calorie diet, avoid carbs, and adopt a healthy keto diet.
- Lose weight. If you are overweight then bring it down to a healthy point.
- Do not smoke or take drugs. Minimize or cut down your intake of alcohol.
Losing weight while having metabolic syndrome has been proved quite hard. The main key to defeating metabolic syndrome is exercise and a healthy diet that results in a healthy weight and lower blood pressure and cholesterol level. It might be hard to lose weight at first but constant determination and hard work will make their way through and you will be able to achieve your desired results.
People having metabolic syndrome need to reduce their carbs intake and reduce weight and therefore suggested to take on a keto diet. It involves cutting down carbohydrates such as sugar, soda, pastries, white bread, etc, and replacing them with fat and fiber sources. The goal in adopting the keto diet is to reduce carbohydrates so your body stops relying on only glucose for energy and switches to fat for making it into energy. For some people, it can be hard to switch to a keto diet because their body is not used to it. However, usually within 3 to 4 days, your body adapts to your new styles. Once you start keeping carbs at a minimum quantity, your body turns into a metabolic state known as ketosis. Similarly, the keto diet means a way to keep your body in ketosis.
Some symptoms that you can check to be sure your body is in ketosis:
- Weight loss
- Decreased hunger
- Digestive issues
- Short-term fatigue
- Increased ketones in the blood
- Increased ketones in the urine
- Increased focus and energy
- Bad breath
Ketogenic diet helps in reducing all symptoms of metabolic syndrome and has shown improved health in adults. The low carb but high in the fat diet lowers the insulin level and your body starts to break fats into ketones to fulfill the need for energy.
Bethel University, Minnesota USA conducted a research study on adults diagnosed with metabolic syndrome which was published in Diabetes &Metabolic Syndrome: Clinical Research &Reviews. They divided 30 participants into three groups and the study lasted for 10 weeks. The first group of adults followed a keto diet without exercise. The second group took the standard American diet without exercise. Lastly, the third group was instructed to follow the American diet as well along with 30 minutes or more exercise thrice or five times a week.
The Keto diet is restricted to low carbs and more fat and fiber. Whereas the standard American diet is where the person is free to choose what they want to eat.
The results of the study were quite clear. It showed that participants who followed a keto diet without exercise had a much visible difference compared to the other two groups. They achieved weight loss, lowered body fat, and sugar levels. It clearly shows that the keto diet easily beats any diet with exercise and brings much fruitful results. Although the study was on a small level and against a standard diet, it still helped to prove how the keto diet helped in reversing metabolic syndrome.