We are so close to the end of 2020 (insert: *huge shout of gratitude*), and this is normally the time that people begin really thinking about their resolutions for the upcoming year. When making their ‘commitments’, most in America add diet and exercise to their list of things they are purposed to ‘fix’. Speaking of things to ‘fix’, have you thought about your list of resolutions this year? Yeah, sure, maybe you did last year, but by the second week of January your resolutions were long forgotten in a sea of ‘apologies’ and ‘I’ll start back tomorrows’.
The reality is that sometimes we have difficulty changing our lifestyle because our motivations aren’t right. You might be more likely to pass on the easy fast-food dinner and eat at the house if you value the importance of maintaining a healthy weight and living a healthy lifestyle. What you may not know is that by making a few simple changes to your schedule and your diet, you may be changing the quality and length of your life. In addition, and more importantly, you may avoid a serious and debilitating condition called metabolic syndrome.
Is Metabolic Syndrome a Life Threatening Condition?
Metabolic syndrome can be a life-threatening condition, and is classified as a cluster of symptoms that together can greatly increase your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. When plaque, a thick, waxy substance, hardens and builds up in your arteries, the passageway for blood to flow to your heart becomes more stressed and even blocked. This leads to heart disease and even a heart stoppage. Similarly, diabetes is a potential risk of metabolic syndrome. Diabetes is a condition that occurs when your body becomes resistant to insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels throughout the body to give you energy. People that are resistant to insulin have high levels of blood sugar even though the body is working hard to produce more insulin and lower the high sugar levels.
What are the Causes of Metabolic Syndrome?
Diagnosing metabolic syndrome can be a tricky proposition, as there are many symptoms that may indicate something other than metabolic syndrome. However, just having one or two symptoms does not necessarily mean that you are at high risk for heart disease or diabetes. As such, understanding the factors that may lead to metabolic syndrome are vital in keeping your body healthy and functioning properly.
Women that carry weight around their stomach and have an excess of fat in the waistline are at risk of metabolic syndrome. This is more closely linked to heart disease than carrying fat in your hips or other parts of your body. Triglycerides are a kind of fat that is located in the blood. Having high triglyceride levels is also a symptom that can indicate metabolic syndrome. In addition, a steady rise in blood pressure can be a direct link to plaque build-up in the heart and is a symptom of metabolic syndrome. In this case, the blood flow becomes more strained and difficult as the plaque builds up and hinders flow. Another indicator is high blood sugar, and this may foreshadow diabetes. Women with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease are also at risk for heart disease. Lastly, a low HDL cholesterol level also puts you at risk. HDL is considered the “good cholesterol” because it removes the bad cholesterol linked to heart disease.
It is important to note and acknowledge that in order to be diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, you must have at least three of the symptoms listed above.
How Do I Treat Metabolic Syndrome?
There is great news when it comes to the treatment of metabolic syndrome. Most symptoms of metabolic syndrome can be managed and even avoided by a change in lifestyle. The journey to life change can be tedious and difficult. However, the commitment and your desire and drive for ‘stick-to-it-iveness’ can lead you to a healthy place today and a chance for a healthier and longer life moving forward!
The reality is that many of these symptoms can be placed under the umbrella of obesity. Learning how to maintain a healthy weight will not only lessen your risk for health problems, but it could end up saving your life. In addition, exercise is extremely valuable. Adding at least 30 minutes of exercise into your daily schedule and eating a well-balanced diet are two ways you can begin adjusting your life for the better. Finally, if a drastic change in diet and exercise aren’t helping, one of our doctors may suggest and prescribe medications.
As always, we want you to know that we are here to help you on your journey to a healthy weight and a healthy life! If you are struggling to control your weight and feel like metabolic syndrome may be a real problem, you can make an appointment today and start on your path to weight loss and health today! Our team of doctors offers excellent care at every life stage. We can help you get your life—and your body—healthy.