You know there’s a problem when a new syndrome is created because of the society you live in. In other words, a particular lifestyle makes a person more prone to developing a life threatening disease. One such syndrome with this association is metabolic syndrome which is found right here in the U.S.
Living in the Western world offers tremendous advantages from individual freedoms in speech, religion, and race, to opportunities in education, work, and healthcare. However, with these freedoms also comes choices in how we live our life. Modern day conveniences offer countless benefits in terms of time, effort, and cost, but the trade-off can be at the expense of our health. So, what exactly is metabolic syndrome?
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) defines metabolic syndrome as, “a group of risk factors that raises your risk for heart disease and other health problems, such as diabetes and stroke.” These risk factors can be traits, conditions or habits that increase your chance for developing these diseases. The Western diet and a sedentary lifestyle play a significant role in the development of metabolic syndrome, which requires three risk factors to be diagnosed with it. These risk factors include:
- Excess fat in the stomach area.
- High levels of triglycerides which is essentially fat in your blood.
- Low levels of the good cholesterol (HDL).
- High blood pressure.
- High blood sugar, especially while fasting.
The good news is that metabolic syndrome is preventable with a commitment to a healthy diet and an active lifestyle. Working with a team of healthcare professionals can help treat this condition effectively, too. Treatment begins with education to fully understand the implications of this disease, then a structured plan to achieve weight loss through diet and exercise. Many times the assistance of a rehabilitation specialist is needed as well. Other steps include re-balancing the gut bacteria by eating probiotics and supplementation.