Metabolic Syndrome: What Is It And What’s The Connection To Diabetes?

Sometimes, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. In the case of the serious health condition called metabolic syndrome, the whole of the many risk factors involved combine to make each of them more dangerous and more likely to lead to other problems, including type 2 diabetes. Metabolic syndrome affects the body in a host of negative ways, including insulin resistance. Fortunately, simple lifestyle changes, including weight loss, can often reduce the risk of developing metabolic syndrome and its sometimes fatal consequences.

What Is Metabolic Syndrome?

Metabolic syndrome refers to a cluster of risk factors primarily related to cardiovascular disease. According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), a person likely has metabolic syndrome if they have three or more of the following factors:

  • Abdominal obesity. This means a waist circumference of more than 35 inches for women and more than 40 inches for men.
  • High blood pressure of 130/80 mm or higher.
  • Impaired fasting blood glucose. This means a blood glucose level equal to or greater than 100 mg/dL
  • High triglyceride levels of greater than 150 mg/dL.
  • Low HDL (good) cholesterol levels of less than 40 mg/dL for men and less than 50 mg/dL for women.

Risk Factors For Metabolic Syndrome

Obesity and a sedentary lifestyle make someone far more likely to develop metabolic syndrome. Other issues that may put you at greater risk include:

  • Age. The chances of metabolic syndrome increase as you get older.
  • Ethnicity. African Americans and Mexican Americans are more likely to get metabolic syndrome.
  • Body mass index (BMI) greater than 25.
  • Personal or family history of diabetes.
  • Smoking
  • History of heavy drinking
  • Stress

Metabolic Syndrome and Diabetes

Metabolic syndrome increases the risk of heart disease and stroke and contributes to type 2 diabetes by affecting the body’s resistance to insulin.

Most people who have metabolic syndrome also have insulin resistance. Obesity, which is commonly found in people with metabolic syndrome, makes it more difficult for cells in the body to respond to insulin. If the body can’t make enough insulin to override the resistance, blood sugar levels increase, causing type 2 diabetes. Metabolic syndrome is often the beginning of type 2 diabetes.

Take Control of Your Diabetes and Your Life With CGM

As noted, since obesity and a sedentary lifestyle are significant contributors to metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes, weight loss, a healthy and balanced diet, and regular exercise can all reduce the chances of developing these conditions. Even if you do develop type 2 diabetes, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can keep diabetes symptoms at bay, and vigilant monitoring of glucose levels is an indispensable element of diabetes maintenance.

Traditional glucose monitoring involved pricking a finger multiple times a day to get and test blood samples, an inconvenient and uncomfortable burden. Now, however, technology has provided those with diabetes a more accurate and easier way to keep track of their blood sugar levels. Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) is a tested, approved, and easy-to-use transceiver device that helps those with diabetes stay in control of their condition and their life.

Whether you’ve been living with diabetes for years or if you’ve recently received a diagnosis, CGM may be an excellent glucose monitoring solution. Contact us today to see if you qualify for CGM and access our guide to continuous glucose monitoring.


If you are not insured, or have a high deductible health insurance plan, you can still purchase the Freestyle Libre Reader and Sensors at extremely competitive prices. Prices starting as low as $99 per month

*Fingersticks are required for treatment decisions when you see Check Blood Glucose symbol, when symptoms do not match system readings when you suspect readings may be in accurate, or when you experience symptoms that may be due to high or low blood glucose.

Reference 1: Data on file. Abbott Diabetes Care. 2, FreeStyle Libre 14 day User’s Manual

Indications and Important Safety Information

FreeStyle Libre and FreeStyle Libre 14 day Flash Glucose Monitoring systems are continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) devices indicated for replacing blood glucose testing and detecting trends and tracking patterns aiding in the detection of episodes of hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia, facilitating both acute and long-term therapy adjustments in persons (age 18 and older) with diabetes. The systems are intended for single patient use and require a prescription.

CONTRAINDICATIONS: Remove the sensor before MRI, CT scan, X-ray, or diathermy treatment.

WARNINGS/LIMITATIONS: Do not ignore symptoms that may be due to low or high blood glucose, hypoglycemic unawareness, or dehydration. Check sensor glucose readings with a blood glucose meter when Check Blood Glucose symbol appears, when symptoms do not match system readings, or when readings are suspected to be inaccurate. The system does not have alarms unless the sensor is scanned, and the system contains small parts that may be dangerous if swallowed. The system is not approved for pregnant women, persons on dialysis, or critically-ill population. Sensor placement is not approved for sites other than the back of the arm and standard precautions for transmission of blood borne pathogens should be taken. The built-in blood glucose meter is not for use on dehydrated, hypotensive, in shock, hyperglycemic-hyperosmolar state, with or without ketosis, neonates, critically-ill patients, or for diagnosis or screening of diabetes. When using FreeStyle LibreLink app, access to a blood glucose monitoring system is required as the app does not provide one. Review all product information before use or contact Abbott Toll Free (855-632-8658) or visit for detailed indications for use and safety information.html. . FreeStyle, Libre, and related brand marks are trademarks of Abbott Diabetes Care Inc. in various jurisdictions. Other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. ©2018 Abbott. ADC-09691 vLO 10/18

*The FreeStyle LibreLink app and the FreeStyle Libre 14 day reader have similar but not identical features. Fingersticks are required for treatment decisions when you see Check Blood Glucose symbol, when symptoms do not match system readings, when you suspect readings may be inaccurate, or when you experience symptoms that may be due to high or low blood glucose.

The FreeStyle Libre 2 app and the FreeStyle Libre 2 reader have similar but not identical features. Fingersticks are required for treatment decisions when you see Check Blood Glucose symbol and when your glucose alarms and readings from the system do not match symptoms or expectations

‡‡‡Based on the sensor being replaced once every 14 days, and scanned at least once every 8 hours.

§§§Glucose readings are not available during 1-hour warm-up, when sensor is too hot or too cold, when you see an error or "LO" or "HI" message, or no current glucose reading