Metabolic syndrome is an umbrella term used to describe a group of factors that raise the risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. It’s estimated that almost a quarter of adult Americans have metabolic syndrome. It’s linked to unhealthy lifestyle choices and certain genetic factors. But here’s the good news: you can bring metabolic syndrome under control by making certain lifestyle adjustments. In some cases, if lifestyle changes alone aren’t enough, medicines are used to treat the condition.
Metabolic syndrome is defined as having at least three of these five factors:
As you can see, all of these factors are measurable. If you suspect you may have metabolic syndrome, your doctor can measure your blood pressure and order blood cholesterol and blood sugar tests.
Factors that put you at a higher risk of developing metabolic syndrome include the following:
Treatment and prevention of metabolic syndrome lie in changing certain lifestyle aspects that cause the condition:
Your doctor may prescribe medicines for a specific aspect of metabolic syndrome (e.g. ACE inhibitors for high blood pressure, or statins for high blood cholesterol). Your doctor may also recommend taking small doses of aspirin to reduce the risk of a heart attack and stroke.