Metabolic Syndrome
Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic Syndrome Treatment

The main goals of treating metabolic syndrome are to lower your risk of heart disease and to prevent type 2 diabetes if it hasn’t already developed. If you already have type 2 diabetes, treatment can lower your risk of heart disease by controlling all your risk factors.

Heart-healthy lifestyle changes are the first line of treatment for metabolic syndrome. You may have to see a dietitian and a physical therapist to help find a diet and exercise plan that works for you. If healthy lifestyle changes do not work, you may need medicines or weight loss surgery.

You may also need treatment for other health conditions that caused your metabolic syndrome or can make it worse.

Healthy lifestyle changes

The heart-healthy lifestyle changes listed below can help you control your risk factors and prevent complications. Learn more about each of these lifestyle changes on our Heart-Healthy Living page.

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Choose heart-healthy foods

Heart-healthy eating may include the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) eating plan. A heart-healthy eating plan includes fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and limits saturated fats, sodium (salt), added sugars, and alcohol.

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Aim for a healthy weight

Overweight and obesity can make your heart work harder. If you are overweight, losing just 3% to 5% of your current weight can help manage some risk factors, such as high blood cholesterol and diabetes, that raise your risk of heart disease.   

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Get regular physical activity

Regular physical activity can help manage risk factors for heart disease such as high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, and overweight and obesity. Before starting any exercise program, ask about what level of physical activity is right for you. 

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Manage stress

Learning how to manage stress, relax, and cope with problems can improve your emotional and physical health. 

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Get enough good quality sleep

Not getting enough good quality sleep over time can lead to serious physical and mental health problems. The recommended amount of sleep for adults is 7 to 9 hours a day. 

healthy eating, proven results

Healthy Eating, Proven Results 

Learn about the DASH eating plan and how it can help prevent heart disease.


If healthy lifestyle changes alone do not work for you, you may need certain types of medicines. These medicines are often used together with healthy lifestyle changes.

  • Medicines to lower your blood pressure: These include ACE inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers, diuretics, and beta blockers. Some diuretics and beta blockers can raise the risk of type 2 diabetes in people who have metabolic syndrome. Learn more about treating high blood pressure.
  • Medicines to control blood triglyceride and “good” HDL cholesterol levels: Medicines such as statins and niacin can help lower triglyceride and “bad” LDL cholesterol levels. They can also help raise your levels of “good” HDL cholesterol. You may need to take more than one of these medicines. These medicines can cause digestive problems. Some statins can raise the risk of type 2 diabetes in people who have metabolic syndrome. Omega fatty acids, which are commonly found in fish oils, also can help lower blood triglycerides. Learn more about controlling your blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
  • Medicines to lower blood sugar levels: Insulin sensitizers such as thiazolidinediones can help treat high blood sugar levels. These medicines can cause liver damage, anemia, heart failure, and blood sugar levels that are too low or too high.

You may also need medicines to prevent or treat complications such as diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, or stroke.

Weight-loss medicines or surgery

If you have obesity and complications from metabolic syndrome, you may need weight-loss medicines or surgery to help you lose weight.

  • Weight-loss medicines can help you lose weight by making you feel less hungry. They can also reduce how much fat your body absorbs from your food.
  • Weight-loss surgery reduces the size of your stomach to help you eat less. Complications from this surgery include damage to your stomach or intestines and problems absorbing nutrients from your food.

Weight loss surgery is not often used to treat metabolic syndrome in children and teens. Learn more about weight-loss medicines and surgeries at our Overweight and Obesity page.

Join a clinical trial 

We lead or sponsor many studies on the conditions that make up metabolic syndrome. Find clinical trials and observational studies for you or your loved one.

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