What even is metabolic syndrome?
It’s a cluster of conditions that puts you at higher risk of life threatening conditions such as heart attack and stroke but even if it doesn’t do that it generally makes you feel and function very poorly and can predispose you to other conditions such as polycystic ovarian syndrome and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, premature coronary artery disease and some rheumatic diseases. If you don’t already have type 2 diabetes it increases the risk five-fold.
Having three or more of the following defines metabolic syndrome:
- Overweight and obesity, particularly abdominally (waist circumference of more than 40in in men and more than 35in in women)
- High blood sugar, insulin resistance (pre-diabetes and diabetes)
- High levels of blood fats
- High blood pressure
- Low level of good cholesterol (HDL) and high level of bad cholesterol (LDL), or a poor ratio between the two.
Contributing lifestyle factors are:
- Sustained overeating and/or poor quality food
- Drinking lots of sweet drinks
- Being overweight or obese
- Being sedentary or having a low level of physical activity
- Being chronically stressed
- Drinking excess alcohol
- Chronic disrupted sleep