What is Metabolic Syndrome?

Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic syndrome is the medical term for a combination of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity.

It puts you at greater risk of getting coronary heart disease, stroke and other conditions that affect the blood vessels.

On their own, diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity can damage your blood vessels, but having all three together is particularly dangerous.

They’re very common conditions that are all linked, which explains why metabolic syndrome affects an estimated one in four adults in the UK.

Symptoms of Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic syndrome may be diagnosed if you have three or more of the following symptoms:

  • a waist circumference of 94cm (37 inches) or more in European men, or 90cm (35.5 inches) or more in South Asian men  
  • a waist circumference of 80cm (31.5 inches) or more in European and South Asian women  
  • high triglyceride levels (fat in the blood) and low levels of HDL (“good” cholesterol) in the blood, which can lead to atherosclerosis(where arteries become clogged up by fatty substances such as cholesterol)  
  • high blood pressure that’s consistently 140/90mmHg or higher  
  • an inability to control blood sugar levels (insulin resistance)  
  • an increased risk of developing blood clots, such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT)  
  • a tendency to develop inflammation (irritation and swelling of body tissue)

What Causes Metabolic Syndrome?

Metabolic syndrome is associated with being overweight or obese, and a lack of physical activity.

It’s also linked to insulin resistance, which is a key feature of type 2 diabetes. Blood sugar levels are controlled by a hormone called insulin. If you have insulin resistance, too much glucose can build up in your bloodstream.

Your chances of developing metabolic syndrome are greater if you have a family history of type 2 diabetes, or you’ve had diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes).

Other risk factors

Other factors that increase your risk of developing metabolic syndrome include:

  • your age  – your risk increases as you get older  
  • your race – certain ethnic groups, such as Asian and African-Carribean people, may be at greater risk  
  • other conditions – your risk is greater if you’ve had cardiovascular disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), or, in women, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

Preventing or Reversing Metabolic Syndrome

You can prevent or reverse metabolic syndrome by making a number of lifestyle changes, including:

  • losing weight  
  • exercising regularly  
  • eating healthily – to keep your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels under control  
  • stopping smoking  
  • cutting down/ eliminating alcohol  

You may also like…

Covid-19- Is Nature Fighting Back?

Covid-19- Is Nature Fighting Back?

‍I’ve had my 5 hens for 10 weeks since covid lockdown and what a joy they have been. Absolutely love them! They are intelligent, loving, just amazing creatures. How can anyone coop them up in small cages in dark sheds. They love to roam and have space.So easy and low...

read more
How the programme drives long-term weight loss

How the programme drives long-term weight loss

Many clients come to Skinny Jab after years of yo-yo diets and trying the latest fads. They have never been able to find a solution that allows them to achieve their long-term weight loss goals. Dieting alone generally fails to keep weight off and those who...

read more
Covid & Comfort Eating

Covid & Comfort Eating

During the lockdown, we had a number of patients who used the opportunity to focus on our SkinnyJab programmes and keep their weight in check. However must of us got into bad habits during isolation and this was for a number of reasons for example- more time to eat,...

read more