Solution Of Metabolic Problems


    Metabolic syndrome means a condition with a high cardiovascular risk, characterized by the presence of a group of risk factors related to overweight and obesity, which increase the probability of heart disease and other health problems such as diabetes and stroke : risk factors are behaviors or conditions that increase the likelihood of incurring a disease.

   The term metabolic refers to the biochemical processes involved in the normal functioning of the body, but remember that this disease is also known by other names:

Syndrome X
Insulin resistance syndrome
Dis-metabolic syndrome
Hypertriglyceridemic waistline
Obesity syndrome
Reaven's syndrome
The five risk factors on which the diagnosis is based are:

high pressure,
high blood sugar,
hypertriglyceridemia (high triglycerides),
low levels of HDL (good cholesterol),
excess abdominal fat.
As we shall see in the dedicated section, various medical companies propose slightly different limits between them and, in some cases, even additional risk factors.

   The spread of the metabolic syndrome is constantly increasing due to the obesity rates among adults, so that in the future the syndrome could overcome smoking as the main risk factor for heart disease.


   The five conditions listed below are metabolic risk factors for the cardiovascular system (heart, arteries, veins, ...). A person can develop any of these risk factors per se, but it is common for a patient to have more than one or even all of them and the presence of them increases the likelihood of developing cardiovascular events.

   A large waistline. This condition is also referred to as abdominal obesity: excess fat in the abdominal area is a more significant risk factor for heart disease than excess fat in other parts of the body, such as on the hips.
A higher than normal level of triglycerides in the blood (hypertriglyceridemia) a type of fat present in the blood.

   A lower level of normal HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol, linked to high density lipoproteins) in the blood. HDL is considered good cholesterol because it reduces the chances of heart disease. Low HDL levels increase the odds instead.

   Arterial hypertension (high blood pressure). Blood pressure is formalized with two numbers, usually written one above the other or one before the other, such as 120/80. The first number or the one above, corresponding to the systolic pressure and measuring the pressure in the blood when the heart beats. The second number, or the one below, corresponds to the diastolic pressure and measures the pressure in the blood flow between the heartbeats when the heart is relaxed.

   Fasting blood glucose levels higher than normal (hyperglycemia). A slightly elevated blood glucose level can be a sign of early warning of diabetes.

The more risk factors there are, the more likely you are to develop

heart disease,

   In general, a person with metabolic syndrome is associated with a twice greater risk of developing heart disease and five times greater risk of developing diabetes than a healthy person.

   Also other modifiable risk factors, in addition to those inherent in the definition of metabolic syndrome, increase the probability of cardiac pathologies, among which we recall:

    high level of LDL cholesterol (cholesterol linked to low density lipoproteins, considered "bad" cholesterol),
increased blood coagulability,

   Even a single risk factor increases the likelihood of cardiovascular problems and vice versa any risk factor should be eliminated to reduce the risk.

   The probability of developing the metabolic syndrome is closely linked to overweight or obesity and a lack of physical activity.

   Another cause is insulin resistance, a condition that denotes the body's inability is no longer able to use insulin properly: insulin is a hormone that the body uses to promote the conversion of blood sugar into energy. Insulin resistance can lead to high blood sugar levels and is often closely linked to overweight and obesity.

   A research on the complex background process that links the group of conditions involved in the metabolic syndrome is still ongoing but, as the name suggests, the pathology is linked to body metabolism, probably above all to the condition of insulin resistance.

   Normally the digestive system breaks down some of the foods we eat into sugar (glucose); the blood transports glucose to the body tissues, where the cells use it as an energy substrate making it enter with the help of insulin.

  In people with insulin resistance, cells do not normally respond to insulin and glucose can therefore no longer enter cells just as easily. The body reacts by releasing more and more insulin to help glucose enter cells, but the result is higher than normal levels of both insulin and blood glucose.

   An excessive concentration of glucose in the blood (glycaemia), even when it is not sufficient to allow the diagnosis of diabetes, interferes with numerous metabolic processes, for example:

   high insulin raises the levels of triglycerides and other blood lipids,
it also interferes with the way the kidneys work, causing a rise in blood pressure.
These combined effects expose you to the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other serious pathological conditions.

    Researchers are still trying to identify what causes insulin resistance, which appears to be linked to various genetic and environmental factors; it is believed that some people are genetically predisposed to insulin resistance, inheriting this tendency from their parents.

    To date, however, it is believed that the key modifiable factor underlying the development of the metabolic syndrome is obesity (body mass index (BMI) is a measure of fat percentage


   Having the metabolic syndrome means suffering from several metabolic disorders simultaneously, including:

   obesity, especially around life (having an "apple shape"),
a high level of triglycerides in the blood of fats,
low HDL cholesterol ("good" cholesterol),
resistance to insulin, a hormone that helps regulate the amount of sugar in the body.
Suffering even a single risk factor means you are more likely to present others in the future and, the more factors are present, the greater the health risks.


   Several medical societies propose different criteria for the diagnosis of the metabolic syndrome and we will now see the main ones, but it is good to clarify that 1 cm of difference in abdominal circumference or small changes in pressure do not represent a substantial difference in terms of risk, which should instead be interpreted as a continuum in which to increase the values   increase the risks.

   In Italy the ATP III criteria are generally adopted, which make their own the most important American guidelines, promoted by the American Heart Association and by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and adopted by the Mayo Clinic, proposing that the diagnosis be mail in the presence of 3 or more of the following findings:

   Abdominal obesity (waist circumference):
men over 102 cm,
women over 88 cm),
Hypertriglyceridemia (greater than 150 mg / dl or a patient undergoing pharmacological treatment),
Insufficient HDL cholesterol values:
men less than 40 mg / dl,
women less than 50 mg / dl,
ongoing specific drug therapy,
High blood pressure, above 130/85 or pharmacological treatment in progress,
High blood sugar (fasting values   above 100 mg / dl, specific drug therapy or previous diagnosis of type 2 diabetes mellitus).

Care and diet

   Treating one of the risk factors of the metabolic syndrome is already difficult, but dealing with each of them may seem impossible; however, a drastic change in lifestyle and, in some cases, the prescription of drugs are interventions that can affect and improve all the factors of the metabolic syndrome.

The cornerstones on which to set the therapy are:

   Exercise. Doctors recommend taking 30 to 60 minutes of moderate intensity exercise a day, such as walking briskly.

    Lose weight. Losing even just 5 percent to 10 percent of body weight can reduce insulin levels and blood pressure.

    Eat healthy. The Mediterranean diet, like many dietary regimes for healthy eating, limits unhealthy fats to fruit, vegetables, fish and whole grains.

    Stop smoking. Smoking cigarettes increases insulin resistance and worsens the health consequences of the metabolic syndrome. Talk to your doctor if you need help overcoming this habit.


   It is possible to prevent or delay the metabolic syndrome, especially with lifestyle changes: a healthy lifestyle is a permanent commitment, and successful control of the metabolic syndrome therefore requires long-term effort and teamwork with your doctor.

    Engage in a healthy diet, eat lots of fruits and vegetables, choose lean cuts of white meat or fish instead of red meat, avoid foods stored or fried in plenty of oil, eliminate table salt and experiment with other herbs and spices.

    Move, do a lot of regular and moderate physical activity, obviously compatible with your state of health.

    Schedule regular checkups, check blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose levels at regular intervals. Make further lifestyle changes if the numbers are going in the wrong direction.

When to call the doctor

    If you know you have at least one risk factor for the metabolic syndrome, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol or a high waist circumference, it is possible that others are also present without your knowledge: it is worth checking with your doctor.

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