Metabolic Syndrome: What Is It And How To Avoid It

Metabolic syndrome, a group of related illnesses, can turn into chronic illness if ignored. This syndrome comprises too much belly fat, high triglycerides, and high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar. Your chances for heart disease, diabetes, and stroke are higher if you have at least three of these issues.


metabolic syndrome



Metabolic Syndrome: Large Waistline

When you’re larger around the middle, such as you have an apple or pear shape to your body, it can be a sign of metabolic syndrome. In general, this means a waist size of 35 inches or more for women and 40 inches or more for men. The key is the location as belly fat is more dangerous for heart disease and other conditions, studies show.


High Triglycerides

It’s a type of fat in the blood that your body makes from extra calories. If you can keep your level below 150 mg/dL, you are more likely to avoid this condition. Medicine will help, but the best way is to lose weight, exercise, and cut back on calories.


Low Levels HDL Cholesterol

HDL is “good” cholesterol that can remove LDL, the “bad” kind, from your arteries. If your HDL is less than 50 mg/dL for a woman, or less than 40 mg/dL for a man, you are set you up for metabolic syndrome. Raise your HDL levels with weight loss, a better diet, and an exercise regimen.


High Fasting Blood Sugar

When you don’t eat for 8 hours or so, your body begins to run out of blood sugar from food and it starts to break down the stored form. Your body uses the hormone insulin to keep levels in a healthy range. But sometimes it can’t manage this balancing act and your “fasting” blood sugar gets too high. Anything over 100 mg/dL could lead to metabolic syndrome.


High Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against your arteries as your heart pumps and rests. If yours is higher than 130/85, you could get metabolic syndrome. But you may be able to cut your numbers naturally if you lose just 5% of your body weight. Exercise, stop smoking, and a healthy diet will help.



Genetics and age increase are likely to increase your chances to develop metabolic syndrome. Although you can’t prevent that, you certainly can improve your diet, exercise on a regular basis, and stop smoking.


Keep Moving

People who don’t get enough physical activity are more likely to get metabolic syndrome. You should get about 30 minutes of exercise a day, at least 5 days a week. But don’t stop there. The more you get up and move around throughout the day, the better your health will be. Even 10 minutes of exercise at a time will make a big difference.


Watch Your Weight

Too much body fat is another probable cause of metabolic syndrome. It’s strongly linked to all of the health problems that make up the condition. It also makes your body stop responding to insulin, so consequently your blood sugar level becomes unstable. This is called insulin resistance.


Additional Causes

If you have inflammation throughout your body or if your blood clots too easily, you are more likely to get metabolic syndrome. Other conditions that contribute are:

  • A fatty liver: Too many triglycerides and other fats in the liver
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome: When women get cysts on their ovaries
  • Gallstones: Hard pieces made from digestive fluid in the gallbladder
  • Sleep apnea: You stop breathing over and over during sleep, which means you don’t get enough oxygen



Cut back on sugar, salt, saturated fat, and processed foods. Eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Get more exercise. Quit smoking. Together, these lifestyle changes will lower your blood sugar, blood pressure, and triglycerides, as well as raise your good cholesterol and trim your waistline.


Watch this informative video on metabolic syndrome:

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