Metabolic Syndrome
Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic Syndrome What Is Metabolic Syndrome?

An older woman taking a walk on a sunny day and smilingMetabolic syndrome is a group of conditions that together raise your risk of coronary heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and other serious health problems. Metabolic syndrome is also called insulin resistance syndrome.

You may have metabolic syndrome if you have three or more of the following conditions.

  • A large waistline: This is also called abdominal obesity or "having an apple shape." Extra fat in your stomach area is a bigger risk factor for heart disease than extra fat in other parts of your body.
  • High blood pressure: If your blood pressure rises and stays high for a long time, it can damage your heart and blood vessels. High blood pressure can also cause plaque, a waxy substance, to build up in your arteries. Plaque can cause heart and blood vessel diseases such as heart attack or stroke.
  • High blood sugar levels: This can damage your blood vessels and raise your risk of getting blood clots . Blood clots can cause heart and blood vessel diseases.
  • High blood triglycerides: Triglycerides are a type of fat found in your blood. High levels of triglycerides can raise your levels of LDL cholesterol , sometimes called bad cholesterol. This raises your risk of heart disease.
  • Low HDL cholesterol , sometimes called good cholesterol: Blood cholesterol levels are important for heart health. “Good” HDL cholesterol can help remove “bad” LDL cholesterol from your blood vessels. “Bad” LDL cholesterol can cause plaque buildup in your blood vessels.

Metabolic syndrome is common in the United States. About 1 in 3 adults have metabolic syndrome. The good news is that it is largely preventable. Knowing the risk factors and making healthy lifestyle changes can help you lower your chances of developing metabolic syndrome or the health problems it can cause.

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