What is metabolic syndrome and why does it matter?

Do you ever wonder what we do with all the information we gather at your provider visits? 

Sometimes we look for a specific problem but oftentimes we are looking to prevent future problems.  Only in the last few years have we added a waist measurement in addition to the number on the scale.  As the waist grows, insulin resistance happens.  Insulin resistance is a condition in which the body can't use its insulin properly.  Insulin is a hormone that helps move blood sugar into cells where it can be used for energy.  
Insulin resistance can lead to high blood sugar levels, and it's closely linked to being overweight and obese.
But weight is only one piece of the puzzle. Metabolic Syndrome is the name for a group of risk factors that raise your risk for heart disease, stroke and diabetes.  
When we assess for Metabolic Syndrome, we look at five things:
  1. Waist Measurement.Goal is <35 inches for women and <40 inches for men.
  2. Triglyceride levels. Triglycerides are a form of fat in your blood. Goal is <150 for both men and women.
  3. HDL levels. A low HDL level raises your risk for hear disease. Goal is >40 for men and >50 for women.
  4. Blood Pressure. A blood pressure above goal can raise the risk of heart disease and stroke. Goal for most people is <130/80 for determining if you have metabolic syndrome. 
  5. Fasting Blood Sugar. Goal is <100.
To have Metabolic Syndrome you need to be out of the goal range for 3 of the 5 criteria listed. So what does this mean to you? Well, this is a way that we can figure out if you are at high risk for developing future problems. Then we can help you see if there are lifestyle changes that can decrease your risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke.  If you make small changes, and especially if you are able to lose just a little weight (5% or less), you can lower your risk of developing diabetes by 1/3 or more!   While changes can be hard, they are a key to a healthy life! 
 CLICK HERE for more information about Metabolic Syndrome. Or CLICK HERE for our handout on Metabolic Syndrome.