Many of us live with the knowledge that when you have one medical condition, it usually isn’t the only one you have. The more conditions you have, the better chance for complications down the road and more serious conditions.
One group of conditions is responsible for the majority of medical complications there are. If you have a few or all of these conditions, you are at higher risk for heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. The set of conditions is called metabolic syndrome. You may not have heard of this before, but I assure you have heard of all these conditions doctors warn you about.
The first one is what people refer to as the silent killer, hypertension, or high blood pressure. It’s no secret this can cause a slew of problems when it goes untreated. Since it is the silent killer, it is important to have regular doctor visits so they can check your vital signs to make sure you don’t need to correct any blood pressure issues.
High blood sugar
The second condition is high blood sugar. This doesn’t necessarily mean diabetes. You can have elevated blood sugar without being diabetic. There is a chance you can catch it while prediabetic and turn it around before you develop diabetes. Diabetes can cause so many life-changing, and sometimes life-ending complications. Thankfully, as all the conditions mentioned, they can be controlled fairly easily for a lot of people.
Thirdly is excessive body fat around the waist. This is a good indicator you have something going on inside you that will turn into something more. While many people think this is caused by a poor diet and laziness, there is a lot more to it. Usually, there are other factors that cause this. Yes, poor diet and exercise is one, but when you have a poor diet and no exercise, you generally have other issues as well that contribute to fat storage in the mid-section.
Cholesterol and triglyceride levels
The last one is abnormal or high cholesterol or triglyceride levels. This, along with your vitals and A1C, should be checked every 6 months to a year. Even if you don’t think you need it, do it anyways. There is no harm in checking to keep yourself safe. This is another one that you can’t feel you have and working with these other conditions can really cause havoc on your body.
Now you know what metabolic syndrome is. While these are a lot of different conditions, they can all usually be kept in check with diet, exercise, and medications. A diet with lots of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains along with limiting saturated fats and salt will help make a big difference in managing or preventing these conditions.
You should also try to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity most days, or as much activity as your doctor allows you to have if it’s less than 30 minutes. If you do, you should also quit smoking. Changing these habits could be the key to keeping away metabolic syndrome and getting to a healthier you.
What type of heart failure have you been diagnosed with?