Metabolic Syndrome: Symptoms, Causes and Risk Factors
Metabolism and Calories
What is metabolism? Basically, metabolism is how the body converts food into energy and how efficiently it uses that energy. Daily food, fat stores and glucose provide the fuel we need for daily energy. The rate of metabolism can vary and is based on a variety of factors.
What is a calorie? A calorie is a unit of energy - heat energy. One calorie has the heat energy required to raise the temperature of water by one degree celsius.
Metabolism is the rate that the body burns calories.
Factors that Affect Metabolism
Although the rate of metabolism is unique for each individual, it does have a general healthy range. This is why there is a recommended calorie range for men and women. Most organizations agree that the average daily intake should be in the ballpark of 2,000 calories for women and 2,500 for men. The average male burns about 500 more calories per day than women. A man's metabolism is almost always higher than that of a woman. Men naturally have a higher muscle mass than the average woman - thus increasing their metabolism. This is one of the reasons men lose weight and get fit quicker than women.
Foods That Lower Metabolism
What population is at greatest risk of developing metabolic syndrome?
The US Department of Health and The National Institute of Health have determined the following populations to be commonly affected by metabolic syndrome.
- African American Women are at higher risk than African American Men.
- Mexican American Women are at higher risk than Mexican American Men.
- White men and women tend to be affected equally.
The United States:
- Mexican Americans are at a higher risk than African Americans and White Americans.
- South Asians show the greatest risk.
Metabolic Syndrome IndicatorsClick thumbnail to view full-size
How is metabolic syndrome determined?
According to the American Heart Association, three of any of the following factors will be cause to meet the criteria for a diagnosis of metabolic syndrome:
- Waist measurement: a waist that measures over 40" in men or over 35" in women.
- Triglycerides: a serum triglyceride reading above 150 mg/dl.
- HDL Cholesterol: a reading below 40 mg/dl in men or below 50 mg/dl in women.
- Blood Pressure: a reading above 130/85.
- Fasting Blood Glucose: a reading above 100 mg/dl.
What are the risk factors of metabolic syndrome?
As mentioned earlier, metabolic syndrome increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Other concerns and risks include the development of:
- Fatty liver, which increases the risk of cirrhosis.
- Kidney damage: symptom includes protein in the urine (microalbuminuria).
- Sleep apnea.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome.
Are there any treatments for metabolic syndrome?
Weight loss, a healthy diet and exercise will keep metabolic syndrome and many health issues at bay.
Although you cannot control aging and genetics, you can control your diet, and how active your lifestyle is. The primary treatment is to lose weight through diet and exercise. Reduction of waist measurement is important and a heart healthy diet is the strongest suggestion. Although there are some medications available, weight loss and diet supersede most other treatments. Regardless, blood glucose, blood pressure and lipid levels need to be brought under control.
Note: Aside from treatments, the best course of action would be to lead a preventative and proactive lifestyle. Eating right, sleeping well and maintaining an active lifestyle play an important role in improving our overall health. Consider a diet of foods that lower blood pressure. Supplements such as, fish oil or flax seed oil are also known to keep metabolic syndrome indicators under control.
Do you have metabolic syndrome?
Interesting Clinical Studies and Findings about Metabolic Syndrome
It was found that a Mediterranean diet with Omega-3 supplements was beneficial to women diagnosed with metabolic syndrome. Correction of the Omega-3 Index in women with metabolic syndrome by adding omega-3 supplements to a Mediterranean-style diet: June 2012
Women (including postmenopausal women) who lose more fat are more likely to lower blood pressure, glucose, and triglyceride levels to resolve metabolic syndrome. Weight Loss and Low-Intensity Exercise for the Treatment of Metabolic Syndrome in Obese Postmenopausal Women: June 2011
Emerging science supports therapeutic roles of strawberries, blueberries, and cranberries in metabolic syndrome; a prediabetic state characterized by several cardiovascular risk factors. Strawberries, Blueberries, and Cranberries in the Metabolic Syndrome: Clinical Perspectives: November 2011
Disclaimer: The author is not a physician and does not diagnose or treat health issues. The information provided in this hub should not be construed as personal medical advice or instruction. Please consult a physician for medical and dietary advice and treatment. High blood pressure should not be treated without the supervision of a medical professional.
© 2012 Marisa Hammond Olivares