Syndrome X or metabolic syndrome or Insulin resistance syndrome is related to an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and other diseases. Metabolic syndrome is quite common and mostly found in those with type 2 diabetes, poor blood sugar control or kidney disease and manifests itself through one or more risk factors that include obesity and insulin resistance.
Risk factors for Metabolic syndrome
- Obesity, that shows up as excess fat in and around the abdomen
- Insulin resistance or intolerance to glucose where the body is unable to use blood sugar or insulin
- High levels of C-reactive protein in the blood
- High amounts of fibrinogen or plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 in the blood
- Blood fat disorders where good cholesterol levels are low and bad cholesterol levels are high
- High blood pressure
The symptoms of metabolic syndrome
Some of the signs of metabolic syndrome are:
- Fatigue, especially after meals
- Inability to focus
- The browning of folds of skin around the neck, armpits, groin and between the buttocks.
The most common signs are abdominal obesity and insulin resistance. Metabolic syndrome is diagnosed when at least three of the following signs are present:
- Unusually large waist circumference
- High triglyceride levels
- Low HDL cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- High fasting glucose levels
Inflammation can also be a factor in Metabolic Syndrome because it is linked to the development of artery damage known as atherosclerosis. Inflammation can show up externally or internally.
The complications of metabolic syndrome
The complications of metabolic syndrome are often serious and long-term and include:
- hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis)
- heart attack
- kidney disease
- nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
- peripheral artery disease
- cardiovascular disease
If diabetes develops, this puts you at risk for additional health complications including:
Testing for insulin resistance and blood sugar levels is the first step. An OGTT or Oral Glucose Tolerance Test may be prescribed.
How to manage metabolic syndrome?
Ideally, diagnosis must be made early so that the risk of developing type 2 diabetes can be reduced. Ignoring it can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Regular exercise and a proper diet help.
If you are diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, treatment will focus on reducing the risk of developing further health complications.
The best way to reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome is by managing diabetes effectively and keeping blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity under control. Some lifestyle changes that help include
- Weight loss to reach the ideal goal weight targeting a BMI goal of 25 kg/m2 or less
- Quitting smoking
- Stepping up physical activity that includes at least 30 minutes of exercise per day
- A balanced nutritious diet minimizing the use of saturated fats, trans fats and cholesterol.
Your doctor may prescribe medication to reduce blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels, besides helping reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack.
Day 24 of the A to Z Challenge
X for Syndrome X or metabolic syndrome in diabetes