Metabolic Syndrome Living With
What health problems can metabolic syndrome cause?
Metabolic syndrome can cause plaque buildup (atherosclerosis) and blood clots in your blood vessels. This can slow down or block blood flow to your organs. Also, high blood sugar levels can damage your blood vessels. Having damaged or blocked blood vessels raises your risk of the following heart and blood vessel diseases and other serious conditions:
- Coronary heart disease
- Erectile dysfunction
- Heart failure
- Long-term inflammation and problems with your immune system, which can raise your risk of having serious complications from infections such as COVID-19
- Organ damage, especially damage to your pancreas, liver, gall bladder, and kidneys
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Pregnancy complications such as preeclampsia, eclampsia, and gestational diabetes
- Problems with thinking and memory
- Sleep apnea
- Type 2 diabetes
Sometimes, the link between two health conditions can be complex. For example, polycystic ovary syndrome and sleep apnea can raise your risk of metabolic syndrome, and metabolic syndrome also raises your risk of sleep apnea and polycystic ovary syndrome. Current and future research will help doctors better understand the connections between metabolic syndrome and these two conditions.
Learn about how the NHLBI leads and supports sleep apnea research to improve health.
Make healthy lifestyle changes
When you begin to make healthy lifestyle changes, make realistic short- and long-term goals for yourself. Work closely with your provider and seek regular medical care. Seeing a counselor also can help you make long-term changes to your lifestyle habits.
Get routine medical care
If you have metabolic syndrome, it's important to get ongoing care.
- Monitor your condition. You may need to check your weight and measure your blood pressure regularly. You may also need routine blood tests to monitor your triglyceride and cholesterol levels.
- Keep all your healthcare appointments. Your provider may use heart and blood tests to check for complications, and you may need treatment for your complications.
- Get ongoing care after weight-loss surgery. If you have weight-loss surgery, you will need regular follow-up care to help prevent complications. You may also need counseling to help you learn and stick to new eating habits.
- Take your medicines as directed. Tell your provider if you have side effects from your medicines.