Monday, November 05, 2007

What the Heck is “Metabolic Syndrome”?

Medical terms such as “metabolic syndrome” enter the common vocabulary and many times people really don’t know what they mean. The first few times I heard the term, I didn’t have a clue.

Simply put, metabolic syndrome is a combination of medical conditions that increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. It is a very common and dangerous medical problem.

Metabolic syndrome means the presence of three or more of the following health problems:

• Excess weight around one’s waist (a waist measurement of more than 40 inches for men and more than 35 inches for women).

• Triglycerides blood level of 150 mg/dL or more.

• HDL cholesterol levels below 40 mg/dL for men and below 50 mg/dL for women.

• Blood pressure of 130/85 mm HG or higher.

• Pre-diabetes (a fasting blood sugar between 100 and 125) or diabetes (a fasting blood sugar level over 125 mg/dL).

Metabolic syndrome seems to run in families; but being overweight, having a poor diet, getting no regular exercise, and having bad lifestyle habits such as smoking also contribute to it.

Usually there are no symptoms, but your doctor is able to diagnose it with lab tests that are usually a part of a thorough physical examination.

Gray Iron urges people to have periodic exams at intervals their doctor recommends.

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