(AscendHealthy.com) – More Americans are at risk than may be aware, with at least 33% of the population living with this potentially deadly condition. It can lead to heart disease and diabetes — but it’s also preventable in many cases. Know the signs and symptoms, and learn how to reduce the chances of developing this common but preventable syndrome.
A Dangerous Trend
According to the latest research, more than one in three Americans suffer from metabolic syndrome, a cluster of conditions that might lead to deadly consequences. When a person has any type of metabolic disorder, it puts them at a higher risk of developing diabetes and heart disease. Metabolic syndrome is the presence of multiple metabolic disorders, which together compound the sufferer’s health risks. This condition is so serious, it increases the chances of dying from all possible causes, but it especially increases heart disease risks.
Signs and Symptoms
The most evident symptom of metabolic syndrome is an excessive waistline. Abdominal obesity, or an “apple shape” to the body, often indicates this condition. Other signs of metabolic syndrome include:
- High triglycerides in the blood
- Low HDL (“good cholesterol”) levels
- High blood pressure
- High fasting blood sugar
Sufferers must exhibit three of the above indicators to be diagnosed with metabolic syndrome. Over time, related symptoms may increase potential plaque buildup in the arteries and put a strain on the cardiovascular system. Because sufferers might not feel many of the health effects until serious damage has been done, some researchers have dubbed this condition the “new silent killer.”
Reducing the Risks
There’s no specific treatment for metabolic syndrome, but changes in lifestyle can improve outcomes. The National Library of Medicine recommends starting with diet, including as many fruits, veggies, whole grains and lean meats as possible each day. Getting regular exercise can make a big difference, as can minimizing stress levels. Smokers reduce many of their risks by kicking the habit, and alcohol drinkers may also be able to improve outcomes by reducing their consumption. People who are unsure where to start may be able to find guidance and resources through their doctors.
Metabolic syndrome is more common than it needs to be, and it’s up to each of us to change the statistics. A few small changes to diet and lifestyle might go a long way. Genetics do sometimes play a role, but for most people, this dangerous condition is fully preventable.
~Here’s to Your Healthy Ascension
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