Metabolic Syndrome: The Gateway to Serious Diseases
- 07 Dec 2018
- #Metabolic Syndrome
Metabolic syndrome, also known as Syndrome X, is a group of ‘risk factors’ or conditions that increase the likelihood of developing serious diseases such as coronary artery disease, hypertension, strokes, diabetes, and liver cirrhosis (scarring and poor function of the liver).
These ‘risk factors’ are:
“Metabolic syndrome is the ‘pre-form disease stage’ where the chances of developing diseases in the near future are high. However, this is also the stage when a person can reverse the risk factors by appropriate lifestyle changes,” says Dr Sushila Kataria, Director, Internal Medicine, Medanta-The Medicity.
According to doctors, there are certain set criteria to determine whether a person has metabolic syndrome.
|Risk factors||Risk Numbers||Ideal Numbers|
|Central Obesity (Waist|
|Women: 90 cms and above|
Men: 100 cms and above
Talk to a doctor to know about an ideal WC according to the height
|Blood pressure||135/85 mmHg or more||120/80 mmHg|
|Blood glucose/sugar levels||Fasting: More than 110 mg/dL|
Post meals: Less than 126 mg/dL
|Fasting: Between 72 to 99 mg/dL|
Post meals: up to 140 mg/dL
|Triglycerides level||More than 150 mg/dL||Less than 150 mg/dL|
|HDL or good cholesterol||Less than 40 mg/dL||More than 50 mg/dL|
The exact cause of the metabolic syndrome is not clear but according to doctors, the underlying reasons are often a combination of a lack of physical activity, genetics, environmental factors, obesity and age. Metabolic syndrome has also been linked to insulin resistance but the cause-effect relationship between the two is still unknown. Insulin resistance is a condition where the cells of the body don't respond properly to the hormone insulin which is secreted by the pancreas.
Doctors say that unfortunately, Indians as a race, have more than one risk factor associated with metabolic syndrome.
Metabolic syndrome has no immediate symptoms and the complications associated with it develop gradually as well. Some of the tell-tale signs to look out for include:
“People with this condition generally have an apple-shaped body, which means they have a lot of weight around their abdomen and have a disproportionate waist, which is not a good sign,” explains Dr Bornali Datta, Associate Director, Respiratory and Sleep Medicine, Medanta.
Consulting a doctor is the best option to detect metabolic syndrome and prevent the onset of other diseases. A person will need to undergo a few diagnostic tests like blood sugar test and lipid profile test, blood pressure monitoring, and Body Mass Index (BMI) calculation.
If a person is found to be detected with factors associated with metabolic syndrome, doctors sometimes prescribe Metformin, which is the first-line medication to treat high blood sugar, along with cholesterol medicines to lower the Low-Density Lipoproteins (LDL) which is also commonly called the bad cholesterol. But leading a healthy lifestyle is the best way to reverse it, doctors say.
The risk of suffering from metabolic syndrome can be reduced by adopting some healthy habits.