It’s important to get answers to any questions you may have about metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome, or syndrome X, is a metabolic disorder that can cause a variety of serious health conditions including hypertension, insulin resistance, obesity, heart attack and stroke. It’s characterized by having excess belly fat, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and poor cholesterol ratios. Poor cholesterol ratios usually refers to HDL that is too low and LDL that is too high.
If you believe you’re at risk for this syndrome, you would be wise to have a list of questions to ask your health care professional. Here are a few questions to get you started with your list.
1. Who needs to be worried about metabolic syndrome?
The answer is we all need to be on guard about metabolic syndrome, especially if you are overweight. Approximately 60 percent of people with metabolic syndrome are obese. Only five percent who have the condition are of normal weight. If you have any of the other symptoms but aren’t overweight, you should still be concerned about this condition and take steps to prevent it.
2. How will I be tested for metabolic syndrome?
A variety of tests will need to be conducted to determine if you are at risk for or already have metabolic syndrome. Your health care professional will take your history and will also run some blood tests. He or she will probably take a measurement to determine if your waist circumference is too large, as well as some other tests. The first step in taking action about this condition is to gather information.
3. I’m not overweight…can I still have metabolic syndrome?
As mentioned earlier, the answer to this question is yes. About five percent of people who are living with metabolic syndrome are of normal weight, yet still seem to experience symptoms. Often the problems can still be traced directly to your food choices. Some people tend to process what they eat better in terms of the calories and not pack on weight even if they are not eating healthfully. Sometimes it’s determined it’s simply hereditary and is a gene pool thing.
4. What are my risk factors?
It’s possible for different people to have different risk factors. Your health care professional will look at your family history, your diet, how much you exercise and your overall lifestyle. Taking into consideration your race, sex, lifestyle, and family history will help determine exactly what your risk factors are so that you can mitigate or manage them with diet, exercise, and possibly with medication.
5. Will I need to take medication?
Everyone is different. If you have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar, chances are your doctor is going to want to give you some form of medication. It’s okay to ask if you can try diet and exercise first. However, most of the time starting meds and a new lifestyle at the same time is preferred by many allopathic or traditional health care providers. You can reduce your meds as you get healthier, so don’t buy into not being able to have some affect on your health with a change in lifestyle.
6. What if I’d rather use diet and exercise to treat my condition?
If you are overweight, chances are you can improve your diet and will see positive results in a short period of time. If you’re not overweight, it might a bit more challenging. When you do eat a highly processed and high-fat diet and are of normal weight but have other symptoms of metabolic syndrome, changes to your diet can help. Give eating more veggies, legumes, and whole grains a try to find out how it works. If you’re overweight, you are going to see a reduction in illness with as little as a 10 percent weight loss.
7. How do I know my goal weight?
Work with your doctor and other health care professionals to determine what your ideal weight is and then work on small goals. Knowing your goal weight, and exactly how you’ll work toward meeting that goal, will be very helpful. You can also use the classic BMI tables that insurance companies use. They use health data to come up with those numbers, but be sure to remember there are other factors outside of the number on the scale.
Metabolic syndrome affects nearly 50 million Americans, and 60 percent of these people are obese. With the right knowledge and understanding, most people can be treated for this condition successfully with diet and exercise. It’s in your best long term interest to avoid the most dangerous conditions that result from the syndrome; health events such as heart attack and stroke.
Many people find once they focus on eating a healthier, diet of less processed food, they naturally begin to lose weight. Be very clear about this; it is not about your weight. It’s about the food you choose to eat and how that food affects your body.
I help people just like you learn to be and feel healthier, both mentally and physically by learning about food and how it can be used to improve your life and your health. Click Reply if you have a question or want to discuss this further. I’m here to help you.
Helping You Achieve Major Wellness!
Cheryl A Major, CNWC
I’m author, health coach, and entrepreneur Cheryl A Major, and I would love to connect with you! If you’re new to the world of creating better health, both mental and physical for yourself, please check out my training on how to read food labels. That’s a wonderful way to begin your new healthy eating journey. What’s In a Food Label is where to check it out. Learn how to really know what’s in that package of food you’re buying and exactly where to find the truth!
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