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.
- History of heavy drinking
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.