Metabolic syndrome is characterized as a collection of health issues that can increase the risk of developing heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. These health issues include increased blood pressure (greater than 130/85 mmHg), high blood sugar (insulin resistance), excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal triglyceride or cholesterol levels. Although having a single one of these health issues doesn’t necessarily mean that you may have metabolic syndrome, it can ultimately increase your risk of developing these other health issues. Approximately 23 percent of adults in the United States have metabolic syndrome, according to the American Heart Association (AHA). In the following article, we will discuss, what is metabolic syndrome?
What are the Symptoms of Metabolic Syndrome?
Most of the health issues associated with metabolic syndrome don’t have obvious signs and symptoms, however, having a visibly large waist circumference could be an indication of another underlying health issue. Moreover, a person that has high blood sugar or insulin resistance, may experience signs and symptoms associated with diabetes, such as blurred vision, increased thirst and urination, as well as fatigue. Make sure to seek immediate medical attention or talk to your doctor if you have at least one of the health issues associated with metabolic syndrome for proper diagnosis and treatment.
What are the Causes of Metabolic Syndrome?
Metabolic syndrome is closely associated with excess weight and obesity or inactivity and a sedentary lifestyle. Metabolic syndrome is also associated with a health issue known as insulin resistance or high blood sugar. The digestive system breaks down food into sugar or glucose. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that allows sugar to enter the cells to be utilized as energy. In people with insulin resistance or high blood sugar, the cells don’t respond properly to insulin and sugar or glucose can’t enter the cells as easily and their blood sugar levels increase even when more insulin is produced.
What are the Risk Factors of Metabolic Syndrome?
The increased risk of developing heart disease, stroke, and diabetes in metabolic syndrome is associated with excess weight and obesity. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, there are several, common causes of metabolic syndrome, including excess body fat around the waist and high blood sugar or insulin resistance. Several, common risk factors of metabolic syndrome include age, family history, ethnicity, excess weight or obesity, and inactivity or a sedentary lifestyle. Furthermore, several other common health issues that can cause metabolic syndrome include increased blood pressure, abnormal triglyceride or cholesterol levels, diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, polycystic ovary syndrome in women, and even sleep apnea.
What are the Complications of Metabolic Syndrome?
Metabolic syndrome can cause a variety of complications that may affect overall wellness. As previously mentioned, metabolic syndrome can increase the risk of developing heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Insulin resistance can cause high blood sugar, eventually leading to diabetes, if left untreated. High blood pressure and abnormal triglyceride or cholesterol levels can cause plaques to buildup in the arteries, ultimately causing these to narrow down and harden which may lead to heart disease or stroke. Metabolic syndrome may also cause kidney disease and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. If a person with metabolic syndrome develops diabetes, it can increase the risk of developing other health issues and complications, including:
- eye damage (retinopathy)
- nerve damage (neuropathy)
- amputation of upper or lower limbs
How is Metabolic Syndrome Diagnosed?
Doctors may need to utilize various different tests to diagnose metabolic syndrome. If three or more of these tests demonstrate three or more signs and symptoms of the health issue, you may have metabolic syndrome. The healthcare professional will check one or more of the following, including:
- blood pressure
- fasting glucose or sugar levels
- waist circumference
- fasting blood triglycerides or cholesterol levels
How is Metabolic Syndrome Treated?
After you’ve been diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, the goal of treatment is to decrease the risk of developing further health issues and complications. Doctors recommend diet and lifestyle modifications that include losing weight by eating healthy foods and getting at least 30 minutes of moderate to intense exercise or physical activity, five to seven days a week. They may also suggest that you quit smoking. Doctors may also prescribe drugs and/or medications to decrease blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol. They may also prescribe aspirin to decrease the risk of a heart attack or stroke.
How is Metabolic Syndrome Prevented?
Metabolic syndrome can be prevented by regulating and maintaining a healthy waist circumference, blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and triglycerides or cholesterol levels. Weight loss through diet and exercise or physical activity can also help improve other health issues. The goal of prevention is to regulate and maintain a healthy weight. Make sure to talk to your doctor before starting diet and lifestyle modifications. Metabolic syndrome can also be prevented by having regular physical evaluations. Early diagnosis and treatment of metabolic syndrome may reduce possible health issues and complications.
A healthy lifestyle may prevent the risk of developing health issues and complications associated with metabolic syndrome. A healthy lifestyle includes:
- Eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, protein, and complex carbohydrates
- Limiting the consumption of saturated fats and excess sodium
- Participating in regular exercise or physical activity
- Regulating and maintaining a balanced weight
- Quit smoking
The outlook for people with metabolic syndrome is great if the signs and symptoms are properly diagnosed and treated. People who follow their doctor’s advice, eat right, exercise, lose weight, and stop smoking reduce their risk of developing health issues and complications, such as heart disease, stroke, or diabetes. Although simply regulating and managing the signs and symptoms of metabolic syndrome reduces health issues and complications, most people with metabolic syndrome may also have a long-term risk of developing heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. If you develop any of these health issues or complications, you will need to be monitored by your doctor to help prevent the development of further health issues and complications, such as a heart attack. Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T. Insight
Metabolic syndrome is characterized as a collection of health issues that can increase the risk of developing heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. These health issues include increased blood pressure (greater than 130/85 mmHg), high blood sugar (insulin resistance), excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal triglyceride or cholesterol levels. Although having a single one of these health issues doesn’t necessarily mean that you may have metabolic syndrome, it can ultimately increase your risk of developing these other health issues. Approximately 23 percent of adults in the United States have metabolic syndrome, according to the American Heart Association (AHA). In the article above, we discussed, what is metabolic syndrome?
The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, and nervous health issues or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health protocols to treat injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. To further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.
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- Burke, Darla. “Metabolic Syndrome.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 9 Jan. 2017, www.healthline.com/health/metabolic-syndrome.
- Mayo Clinic Staff. “Metabolic Syndrome.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 14 Mar. 2019, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/metabolic-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20351916.
- MacGill, Markus. “Metabolic Syndrome: Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Causes.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 18 May 2018, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/263834.php.
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Additional Topic Discussion: Chronic Pain
Sudden pain is a natural response of the nervous system which helps to demonstrate possible injury. By way of instance, pain signals travel from an injured region through the nerves and spinal cord to the brain. Pain is generally less severe as the injury heals, however, chronic pain is different than the average type of pain. With chronic pain, the human body will continue sending pain signals to the brain, regardless if the injury has healed. Chronic pain can last for several weeks to even several years. Chronic pain can tremendously affect a patient’s mobility and it can reduce flexibility, strength, and endurance.
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Dr. Alex Jimenez utilizes a series of tests to help evaluate neurological diseases. The Neural ZoomerTM Plus is an array of neurological autoantibodies which offers specific antibody-to-antigen recognition. The Vibrant Neural ZoomerTM Plus is designed to assess an individual’s reactivity to 48 neurological antigens with connections to a variety of neurologically related diseases. The Vibrant Neural ZoomerTM Plus aims to reduce neurological conditions by empowering patients and physicians with a vital resource for early risk detection and an enhanced focus on personalized primary prevention.
Food Sensitivity for the IgG & IgA Immune Response
Dr. Alex Jimenez utilizes a series of tests to help evaluate health issues associated with a variety of food sensitivities and intolerances. The Food Sensitivity ZoomerTM is an array of 180 commonly consumed food antigens that offers very specific antibody-to-antigen recognition. This panel measures an individual’s IgG and IgA sensitivity to food antigens. Being able to test IgA antibodies provides additional information to foods that may be causing mucosal damage. Additionally, this test is ideal for patients who might be suffering from delayed reactions to certain foods. Utilizing an antibody-based food sensitivity test can help prioritize the necessary foods to eliminate and create a customized diet plan around the patient’s specific needs.
Gut Zoomer for Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)
Dr. Alex Jimenez utilizes a series of tests to help evaluate gut health associated with small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). The Vibrant Gut ZoomerTM offers a report that includes dietary recommendations and other natural supplementation like prebiotics, probiotics, and polyphenols. The gut microbiome is mainly found in the large intestine and it has more than 1000 species of bacteria that play a fundamental role in the human body, from shaping the immune system and affecting the metabolism of nutrients to strengthening the intestinal mucosal barrier (gut-barrier). It is essential to understand how the number of bacteria that symbiotically live in the human gastrointestinal (GI) tract influences gut health because imbalances in the gut microbiome may ultimately lead to gastrointestinal (GI) tract symptoms, skin conditions, autoimmune disorders, immune system imbalances, and multiple inflammatory disorders.
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