The Nail In The Coffin: Metabolic Syndrome

Odds are you’re not talking about this trendy new term during your Monday morning water cooler talks at work.

It’s not something many people talk about and the actual terminology hasn’t been around very long. As Doctors begin to understand more about cardiovascular health, diabetes, and obesity, more terms will be created to help classify certain issues.

The new, trendy term is Metabolic Syndrome.

Based off of the definition, there are MANY people in this country suffering from it. According to the American Heart Association, 47 million Americans, or roughly 1 in 6 people, fall into this category.

So What Exactly is it?

It’s simply a list of five risk factors. They are…

  • High Blood Pressure – If you are taking blood pressure medications or if your blood pressure is at least 10/85
  • Elevated Fasting Blood Sugar Levels – If you take medications to control blood sugar levels or if you have a fasting blood sugar level of at least 100 mg/dL
  • Reduced HDL Cholesterol Levels – If your levels of “good” cholesterol are less than 40 mg/dL in men or less than 50 mg/dL in women
  • High Triglyceride Levels – If your triglyceride level is at least 150 milligrams per deciliter.
  • Abdominal Fat or Large Waist Circumference – waste line measures at least 35 inches for women and 40 inches for men.

In other words, some Doctor bundled these risk factors together and came up with a fearful looking name to label people.

Here’s a more detailed graph:


Large Waist Size

 

For men: 40 inches or larger
For women: 35 inches or larger


Cholesterol: High Triglycerides

 

Either

150 mg/dL or higher

or

Using a cholesterol medicine


Cholesterol: Low Good Cholesterol (HDL)

 

Either

For men: Less than 40 mg/dL
For women: Less than 50 mg/dL

or

Using a cholesterol medicine

High Blood Pressure

Either

Having blood pressure of 135/85 mm Hg or greater

or

Using a high blood pressure medicine


Blood Sugar: High Fasting Glucose Level

 

100 mg/dL or higher

*Chart from Web MD

If you have three of these risk factors you would suffer from metabolic syndrome.

Anyways, these factors usually (not always) correlate with individuals who have excess amounts of body fat or who are obese. When you combine multiple factors you:

  • Double your risk of heart disease which ultimately leads to heart attacks and or strokes.
  • Increase your risk of Type 2 Diabetes
  • Increase your risk of cancers
  • Increase your risk of liver disease
  • Increase your risk of Alzheimer’s

How To Prevent It

Before I get into it, understand that it’s a collection of risk factors and not a disease. Clearly, by reading above, there are multiple factors that go into each risk, making it a multifaceted process in preventing it.

The boring, not exciting answer to this problem boils down adjusting your current lifestyle. If you don’t exercise, eat like shit, get little to no sleep, drink, and smoke you’ll have a greater shot at fulfilling 3 of the 5 risk factors.

If you would like to prevent becoming a member of the Metabolic Syndrome club, I’d suggest:

  • Eating more protein, vegetables, and less processed foods
  • Exercising or Working Out (MUST REDUCE ABDOMEN FAT)
  • Getting quality sleep
  • No smoking or drinking
  • Stress less

I’ll go off on a brief tangent:

If you don’t see the value in fitness and working out you will join the millions of people currently on the verge of suffering metabolic syndrome. This isn’t about looking like a fitness model or stepping on stage, in fact, its far from that. It’s about being active, mobile, and not dead at the age of 45.

Working out doesn’t have to be long, boring, hard, stressful, embarrassing or painful. You don’t need to spend hours in the gym or do two-a-days. You can do a hundred things in your living room with no equipment other than your body.

Just be active.

Play a sport. Ride a bike. Go canoeing. Just do shit and eat like a healthy competent, adult and you can reduce your body fat, lower your blood pressure, improve your cholesterol and improve your quality of life.

Forget all the minutia, bullshit, or waiting for the perfect moment, just go out and DO IT.

I’m dead serious, if you’re even remotely close to suffering from metabolic syndrome get your ass in gear because these statistics are scary and it’s not something to joke around about.

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