Metabolic syndrome risk factors that increase your risk for heart disease and diabetes
Metabolic syndrome is really a clustering of risk factors that makes up the syndrome, like a high waist circumference. When you carry the weight around your waist, it puts you at higher risk of disease. It’s a low HDL cholesterol, your good cholesterol. When that’s low, that puts you at higher risk of disease. It’s a high triglyceride level. It’s a high blood pressure level, and it’s also a high blood glucose level, which shows risk for diabetes.There are five risk factors, but the National Institutes for Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have identified if you just have three of the five risk factors then you actually can be diagnosed as having the metabolic risk syndrome. It’s estimated that 23 percent of the population has metabolic syndrome, and really it’s the clustering of risk factors, so a lot of people have many of the risk factors but might not have three of them and might have other risk factors for heart disease that aren’t identified in the metabolic syndrome but also are at risk for disease.
It’s an epidemic of obesity in America, so some research study are trying to identify how they can help people lose weight and how they can help them keep it off. In the study, they looked at trying to reduce these risk factors for chronic disease by reducing weight but also reducing some of these other things — reducing waist circumference, abdominal obesity, reducing blood pressure, triglycerides, blood glucose, and increasing HDL by really having an emphasis on physical activity.
We’ve heard this from many patients, is that “every year I go to my doctor and I’m told that you’re healthy but you could lose a few pounds, you’re healthy but you could lose a few pounds,” and year after year they keep hearing this until pretty soon they have hypertension, they have cholesterol through the roof, they have all these different things, and that’s when it really makes an impact. What we’re trying to do is get the message out that even when your blood pressure is slightly high, even though your cholesterol isn’t high, your good cholesterol is low and that’s a risk. So, looking at some of these things, these borderline levels of things, trying to take care of these before they get out of control and you already have plaque build-up in your arteries, so it’s really the prevention piece of moderate amounts of weight loss can really make a difference. Yeah, you might not get back down to your high school weight, and that’s OK because even 10 pounds is going to reduce your risk for disease quite a bit. You might not lose the 50 pounds you want to lose, but losing that 10 pounds really can make a big difference.
A lot of times people think weight loss is just a big demon they have to conquer, and so they look at it as “oh, well, I’ll put it off until the new year or I’ll put it off until swimsuit season, or I’ll put it off until then because well, I’ve already blown this month, why even try?”. And, it’s not that way. You can do something today, just little, small changes can make a big difference and just those small amounts of weight loss can really make a big difference. That’s the hard thing is convincing people to go slowly with the weight loss, because when you do start exercising and you do make changes in your nutrition, you are really making significant changes in your life. You’re giving up things that you don’t want to give up. So, you want to see the results tomorrow on the scale and it doesn’t always happen, but if you can just stay with it and know that you’re going to see those results in a couple of months, I’ll ask you in two months if you’re happy that you stuck with it and you’re going to say, ‘of course, I’ve got 10 pounds off now,’ but it’s this yo-yo thing where you try to lose the weight real quickly and then you gain it back and you lose it and you gain it back, and I’ve run into so many people that have been doing this for 20 years, and if you can just go slowly and moderate the weight loss, then that’s going to be the key.
It’s confusing because metabolic syndrome is something that you can be diagnosed with, but really it’s a clustering of risk factors, so it’s not like there’s one specific test that says you have metabolic syndrome. It’s looking at all of these different five risk factors and saying, ‘OK, you have three of these five risk factors, so you have metabolic syndrome, which means that you’re at high risk for coronary artery disease and diabetes later on in your life.’
Source: Ivanhoe News
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