What is Metabolic Syndrome?

Metabolic syndrome is a group of risk factors that increase the likelihood of developing heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. It can also be known as insulin resistance syndrome.

The five risk factors are:

  • Increased blood pressure
  • High blood sugar levels
  • Excess fat around the waist
  • High triglyceride levels
  • Low levels of good cholesterol

The American Heart Association describes metabolic syndrome as a “cluster of metabolic disorders.” These include high blood pressure, high fasting glucose levels, and abdominal obesity. All of these combined increases the risk of heart disease.


What Causes Metabolic Syndrome?

The main reason for metabolic syndrome to occur is from being overweight. Being overweight or obese causes insulin resistance. Meaning, the body isn’t responding to insulin, making it harder for glucose to enter the cells.


What are the signs and symptoms of the syndrome?

People with metabolic syndrome have:

  • High Body Max Index and waist circumference
  • Blood test results that show low HDL cholesterol, high triglycerides, or high fasting blood sugar
  • Acanthosis Nigricans (the darkening of the skin in folds and creases, like the neck and armpits, is a sign of insulin resistance)

Having these factors signifies a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases. There are also other factors that can increase the chance of metabolic syndrome:

  • Age
  • Family history
  • Not getting enough exercise
  • Women who have been diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Smoking



Doctors may suspect the syndrome in people who are overweight or obese. The doctors will do a BMI and waist measurement, measurement of blood pressure, and many blood tests like a lipid panel, glucose test, or hemoglobin A1c.


How can it be treated?

Start creating positive lifestyle changes. Weight loss is significant to preventing metabolic syndrome and other diseases. Additionally, it can bring major improvements in blood pressure, blood sugar, and lipids.

Families can work with their health care provider, a dietician, or a weight loss program like Options Medical Weight Loss. Some of the recommendations include:

  • Eating more fruits and vegetables
  • Choosing whole grains
  • Exercising and being more physically active
  • Avoid smoking
  • Limit junk foods and processed foods


Don’t let being overweight affect your lifestyle. Avoid unwanted syndromes and diseases by taking care of yourself and seeing someone like Options Medical Weight Loss, Orland Park.