Scientists have identified a group of specific factors that increase your risk for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, all of which are severe health threats. Think of them as a wake-up call for getting healthier.
The name for these risk factors:
The risk factors include
- Large Waistline – Excess fat in the belly area is the only visible sign, according to the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
- High Triglycerides – Triglycerides are a type of fat found in your blood.
- Low Level of HDL -HDL stands for high-density lipoprotein. It is the so-called good cholesterol.
- High Blood Pressure – High blood pressure usually has no signs or symptoms. However, some people may have dull headaches, dizzy spells, or more nosebleeds than usual.
- High Glucose Level – Glucose refers to the amount of sugar in your blood.
Any three of these risk factors can lead to a diagnosis of metabolic syndrome. The diagnosis means you’re twice as likely to develop heart disease. Also, you’re five times more likely to get type 2 diabetes, aka pre-diabetes.
The best way to prevent metabolic syndrome is to get to and maintain a healthy weight, improve your diet, and stay physically active. Goals for both preventing and treating metabolic syndrome are a BMI — or body mass index — of less than 25 and a waist measurement below 35 inches for women or 40 inches for men.
Regular doctor visits will help you keep track of your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels. These are considered important indicators of improving health. If lifestyle changes aren’t enough to bring these readings in line, you may need medication.
Learn more about metabolic syndrome from the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.