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Why you should care about Metabolic Syndrome.

October 29, 2009

What the heck is Metabolic Syndrome, and why should you care?

Well, if you’ve been told you have any of the following:

  • High blood pressure                                                                                   Blood pressure
  • Elevated blood sugar levels (but you don’t have diabetes)Cholesterol
  • Central obesity (aka: You have a spare tire around your waist!)   fat_270
  • Elevated cholesterol

Then, you should care…..A LOT. You may have metabolic syndrome.

            Metabolic syndrome is also known as “Syndrome X” or “Insulin Resistance Syndrome”. It is a cluster of symptoms, that together, increase your risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. If you have JUST ONE of the above conditions, you are at an increased risk to serious disease. If you have multiple….then your risk just increased exponentially.

            Experts don’t always agree on the exact definition of metabolic syndrome, but the combination of risk factors have been talked about in the medical profession for years – regardless of the definition. The problem is, these risk factors appear to becoming more prevalent in today’s society. It is estimated that over 50 million Americans have metabolic syndrome.

metabolic-syndrome-af

            The American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute recommend that metabolic syndrome be identified as the presence of three or more of the following:

  1. Elevated waist circumference:
    1. Men – equal or greater than 40 inches
    2. Women – equal or greater than 35 inches
  2. Elevated blood triglycerides:
    1. Equal or grater than 150 mg/dL
  3. Reduced HDL (good cholesterol):
    1. Men – less than 40 mg/dL
    2. Women – less than 50 mg/dL
  4. Elevated blood pressure:
    1. Equal to or greater than 130/85 mm Hg
  5. Elevated fasting glucose:
    1. Equal to or greater than 100 mg/dL

Whether you have ALL the risk factors, or one, diet, weight management and lifestyle are great places to make changes. Commit to a healthier diet, getting more physical activity, losing weight, and quitting smoking.

So, here is what you can do 

  1. Diet! Dieting isn’t a complicated calculus formula. Your diet should be balanced. Eat things like fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein foods like fish and white meat chicken. Cut back on foods high in saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol. Avoid fast foods, sugar laden sodas and cut back on using the salt shaker! You can also use meal replacement shakes for on the go – rather than stopping to get fast food. Shaklee’s Cinch shakes are a great place to start. They help you lose pound and inches while preserving muscle. Bottom line
  2. Exercise! Find activities you enjoy: walking, jogging, or swimming. Do this for 30-60 minutes most days of the week. If you have not been physically active, have physical limitations or a chronic health condition, talk to your doctor first about finding the right exercise program for you.
  3. Supplement! These can provide additional value when dealing with Metabolic Syndrome. Omega-3 fatty acids contribute to healthier triglyceride and blood pressure levels. Magnesium supports healthy blood pressure (and by the way – more than 80% of Americans may be deficient or consuming inadequate amounts).

            We can all do a better job of taking care of ourselves. That is what our family is doing. We sure are not perfect at being healthy, but we are trying! Small changes lead to big results…..so start small, rather than not starting at all!

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