Metabolic Syndrome X

Metabolic Syndrome X is a collection or cluster of several well known disease conditions. When these specific conditions are present together...not singly...a person is said to have this syndrome.

It is important to be aware of metabolic syndrome X if you have difficulty controlling your weight and especially if you have concerns about your heart health. The presence of this syndrome is common among people who are overweight, have coronary heart disease or diabetes type 2.

Medical researchers believe that if you have syndrome X it can significantly increase your chances of developing coronary heart disease and diabetes. Weight gain will also be an issue for you as it is part of the syndrome.

Metabolic Syndrome X reads like a who's who of heart disease risk


It is characterized by the presence of...

  • High blood pressure
  • High triglycerides
  • Decreased HDL cholesterol level
  • Central obesity or abdominal obesity
  • Diabetes type 2 or an impaired tolerance to blood glucose or insulin resistance
  • Insulin resistance in people with metabolic syndrome X is very common. In fact, some researchers believe that insulin resistance is the cause of metabolic syndrome X. If this is correct, then this would put insulin resistance at the top of a very important list along with more well known risk factors for coronary heart disease such as high blood pressure, abnormal blood lipids, weight gain and type 2 diabetes that have developed as a direct result of having insulin resistance.

    Metabolic Syndrome X can also be referred to as...

  • metabolic syndrome
  • syndrome x
  • insulin resistance syndrome
  • How do you know if you have metabolic syndrome?

    There are different country specific government health agency's, global health agency's and medical boards representing certain medical disciplines...for example the American Heart Association or AHA that recommend criteria to help determine whether or not you might have metabolic syndrome X...and they're not all identical...but they do share similarities.

    "It is simply a reality that interpreting scientific data can be quite a subjective thing...if this wasn't so, all scientists and researchers would be in agreement about each others findings all the time. So, we get variations in best practice, diagnostic criteria and treatment recommendations. This is well worth keeping in mind when you're mapping out a course for your optimal life long health. Look for important trends when you're making important decisions about your health...and always apply maximum common sense"

    Let's take a look at the American Heart Association's Metabolic Syndrome check list.

    Central Obesity: Measure your waist circumference;

  • Men - Greater than 40 inches or 100 centimeters
  • Women - Greater than 35 inches or 89 centimeters
  • Fasting High Triglycerides:

  • greater than or equal to 150 mg/dL or 1.68mmol/l
  • Low HDL Cholesterol Level:

  • Men - Less than 40 mg/dL or 1mmol/l
  • Women - Less than 50 mg/dL or 1.28mmol/l
  • High Blood Pressure:

  • greater than or equal to 130/85 mmHg
  • Fasting Elevated Blood Glucose Level:

  • greater than or equal to 100 mg/dL or 6mmol/l

  • Additionally blood tests may reveal a higher than usual...

    Prothrombotic state: Increased tendency for blood to clot

    Proinflammatory state: C-reactive protein concentration in the blood may be elevated, indicating inflammatory processes going on somewhere in the body.

    The presence of prothrombotic and proinflammatory states are implicated in coronary heart disease.

    How can metabolic syndrome be treated?

    As you can see, many of the separate conditions that make up this syndrome are well known and individually are important risk factors for the development of coronary heart disease. There are lifestyle recommendations such as dietary modifications and regular physical activity that can impact all of these factors and hence metabolic syndrome X significantly if you are committed to making the change.

    One of the single most important changes you could make is to reduce your over reliance on carbohydrate and drink that contains lots of sugar and starch. Don't make the mistake of thinking that this is only junk food. Some vegetables are very starchy and fruit contains lots of naturally occurring sugar.

    Now I'm not saying that you should eliminate these foods from your diet...healthy carbohydrate foods are a very important part of a well balanced and optimal diet...but...carbohydrate rich foods cause your blood insulin level to rise. If the kind of food that you eat is always causing your insulin level to stay high this can lead to insulin resistance and insulin resistance syndrome.

    Remember that I said that some scientists and researchers believe that insulin resistance syndrome is the cause of metabolic syndrome X...the other risk factors, weight gain, high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol etc...are believed to cascade from this insulin imbalance in people that cannot process continually high levels of dietary carbohydrates.

    If you are unable to commit to lifestyle modification then your doctor would very likely insist that you start drug therapy to control many of the factors that make up metabolic syndrome X.

    "While drug therapy is sometimes needed in many cases of disease care management there is certainly an over reliance on them to treat symptoms that can definitely be managed if you were to make better choices"...

    "If a specific condition that you have is not life threatening and you do not require pain management of any sort then talk to your doctor about other ways of managing your condition that don't involve drug therapy"

    Click here to go from Metabolic Syndrome X to Coronary Heart Health Home Page

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