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Metabolic Syndrome Metabolic syndrome is the medical term for a combination of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity. It puts you at greater risk of heart disease, stroke and other conditions affecting blood vessels. On their own, diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity can potentially damage your blood vessels, but having all three together is particularly dangerous. What are the symptoms? People with metabolic syndrome will have: a waist circumference of 37 inches or more (in European men) or 31.5 inches or more (in European and South Asian women) a waist circumference of 35.5 inches or more (in South Asian men) high levels of triglycerides and low levels of HDL ("good" cholesterol) in the blood, which can lead to atherosclerosis – where arteries become clogged up by fatty substances such as cholesterol high blood pressure that is consistently 140/90mmHg or higher an inability to control blood sugar levels (insulin resistance) an increased risk of developing blood clots, such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT) a tendency to develop inflammation (irritation and swelling of body tissue) What are the causes? The factors that can cause metabolic syndrome are: having an inherited genetic tendency towards insulin resistance being overweight being physically inactive In other words, you can develop metabolic syndrome if you were born with a tendency to develop insulin resistance, and you go on to develop this by putting on weight and not exercising. Metabolic syndrome is especially common in Asian and African-Carribean people, and in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). How to Prevent Metabolic Syndrome: Prevention and reversal of metabolic syndrome can be achieved by Weight reduction, Regular Exercise and Eating a proper diet. Weight Reduction must be achieved gradually through diet and exercise. You may seek the help of a physician or surgeon if considerable reduction is necessary Moderate Exercise undertaken regularly can help prevent metabolic syndrome. Exercise helps reduce weight and can also reduce your blood pressure. 30 minutes of brisk walk 5 days in the week will go a long way to prevent metabolic syndrome. Dietary Changes: A healthy diet should consist of fresh vegetable and fruits, less carbohydrates, more fish and less red meats. Most health care workers will be able to plan a suitable healthy diet individually. Dr G Mohan.
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