This article tells you about preventing metabolic syndrome with the help of a few self-care measures at home. This article also gives you some basic facts on the condition of metabolic syndrome.
So what is metabolic syndrome? This medical condition is known to affect one out of every six people in the United States, and people usually remain unaware even if they have it. Medical experts, however, do not regard this problem as a sole health condition or disease in mainstream medical science. It is actually used as an umbrella term for a group of conditions, or let’s say risk factors such as high blood pressure, increased levels of insulin, excess abdominal fat, high blood sugar, and unhealthy or abnormal cholesterol levels in the body.
It is obvious to understand that merely having any one of these factors is not good enough to say that a person is suffering from metabolic syndrome. But having more than one of these, does increases the risk of developing diseases of the blood vessels, and of the heart. A person is 5 times increasingly vulnerable to develop diabetes, if he has more than any one of these conditions of metabolic syndrome. According to doctors, having three of the risk factors mentioned above, is enough for someone to be diagnosed with this condition.
As already mentioned, the condition is not regarded as a distinct medical condition. In fact, some experts disregard its existence is medical science. So under such circumstances, there can be no specific answer to what causes the condition. However, factors that may contribute to its development include:
Some doctors regard metabolic syndrome as insulin resistance syndrome too. This is because of the fact that it might have a close link with the body being resistant to the hormone called insulin. When the body breaks down carbohydrates from the food that is eaten, sugar (glucose) is produced. And this glucose gets carried to the cells by the blood, to be used as a source of energy.
Now for the cells to absorb the glucose in them, they need a particular hormone called insulin. But if the body becomes resistive to the effects of insulin, then the glucose can’t enter the cells. So to manage this problem, the body produces more and more of this hormone, so that the glucose moves into the cells. With time, or eventually, the body becomes unable to produce enough insulin to keep the blood glucose level at a stable range, thus causing what is known as diabetes.
Being overweight also makes a person increasingly vulnerable to develop this syndrome. Now this can be caused due to an unhealthy lifestyle, as in not getting enough physical exercise, and following a diet high in fats.
Then comes hormonal imbalance as another contributor. Experts say that even a slight imbalance in hormones such as the thyroid hormones, cortisol, progesterone and testosterone, can have a significant effect on the metabolism of the body.
Guidelines to Keep Metabolic Syndrome At Bay
As said, the conditions that together make up this syndrome, increase a person’s risk of developing heart diseases, diabetes, or even a stroke. So regardless of a person having one or more or none of these conditions, simply following a healthy lifestyle can cut such risks significantly. The condition could be prevented by:
One of the most important factors to keep in mind and to practice is the need to inculcate a healthy diet. People who include plenty of fruits and vegetables in their daily diet, are the ones who remain the least vulnerable to develop metabolic syndrome. Red meat must be avoided, and white meat (lean cuts) and fish must be included in the diet. Equally important is to control and keep away from saturated fats, trans fat, cholesterol, and excessive use of salt. These are the substances that make a diet unhealthy, and a person more vulnerable to develop one or more of the conditions that define metabolic syndrome.
The next preventive measure is to lead an active lifestyle. People whose lives are more of a sedentary nature, tend to be highly vulnerable to develop this condition we are discussing in this article. On the other hand, people who have the habit of at least walking for 30 – 60 minutes everyday, are less susceptible. So the more regularly a person exercises, the further away he would be from such health problems.
Healthy Weight and Quitting Smoking
Maintaining a health weight and avoiding or shunning habits involving the use of tobacco are things that health-conscious people remain always particular of. Obesity is not only a risk factor of metabolic syndrome, but it is a bag of several unpleasant conditions. And the same goes with smoking.
Regular Health Checkups
Following the above measures in order to prevent metabolic syndrome is just one part of the process, and they may be ineffective without regular doctor visits. This is mainly because of the reason that this disease does not have any specific manifestations. And that is why, a regular checkup of blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar, is important to detect any problem when it is still in its early stage.
Metabolic syndrome is a group of conditions that often go unnoticed and untreated. However, when it starts causing complications such as cardiovascular diseases or diabetes, it may be too late to reverse the conditions. So leading a healthy life is the best way out to keep such problems at bay.