TargetWoman - Portal for Women

Metabolic Syndrome X

TargetWoman is a portal dedicated to Women - Pages of lasting value on issues women care about.


Print   Book mark this   Read this later   Send this   Browse by Topic  

Metabolic syndrome or metabolic syndrome x is a medical disorder or a group of conditions that results from insulin resistance. The term metabolic refers to the biochemical process involved in the body's normal functioning. People with metabolic syndrome are at the increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and premature death.


Metabolic syndrome symptoms

The presence of metabolic syndrome indicates that you have several disorders related to your metabolism including:


Fasting hyperglycemia or diabetes mellitus type 2 or impaired fasting glucose, or insulin resistance


High blood pressure

Central obesity - Large amount of fat around the waist or visceral, male-pattern or apple-shaped adiposity.


Increased levels of triglycerides

Low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol or good cholesterol.

Hyperuricemia, high levels of uric acid in blood

Fatty Liver, especially in concurrent obesity

Polycystic ovarian syndrome especially in women

Acanthosis Nigricans, hyper-pigmentation of the skin.


Metabolic Syndrome Diagnosis

There are two major schools of thought or definition on metabolic syndrome. It includes the definitions from International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP). However, difference lies in the way the central obesity is calculated. According to IDF if BMI>30kg/ m2, central obesity can be assumed and need not be measured. While NCEP uses other criteria to measure the same.


Several other organizations have guidelines for diagnosing metabolic syndrome. All of them have minor differences and the doctors diagnose metabolic syndrome using any one of these guidelines. According to these guidelines, you have metabolic syndrome if you have three or more of these traits:


Traits IDF NCEP AHA WHO
Elevated waist circumference If BMI is >30kg/m², no need to measure waist circumference Waist circumference = 102 cm or 40 inches for male, and = 88 cm or 36inches(female) Waist circumference = 102 cm or 40 inches for male, and = 88 cm or 36inches(female) central obesity: waist:hip ratio > 0.90 (male); > 0.85 (female), and/or body mass index > 30 kg/m2
High levels of triglycerides TG >150 mg/dL (1.7 mmol/L) TG = 1.695 mmol/L (150 mg/dl) TG = 1.695 mmol/L (150 mg/dl) (TG): = 1.695 mmol/L
Reduced HDL HDL-C< 40 mg/dL (1.03 mmol/L) in males, and < 50 mg/dL (1.29 mmol/L) in females HDL-C < 40 mg/dL in males, and < 50 mg/dL in females HDL-C < 40 mg/dL in males, < 50 mg/dL in females HDL-C = 0.9 mmol/L in males, = 1.0 mmol/L in female
High Blood Pressure Systolic BP = 130 or Diastolic BP = 85 mmHg Systolic BP = 130 or Diastolic BP = 85 mmHg Systolic BP = 130 or Diastolic BP = 85 mmHg Systolic BP = 140 or Diastolic BP = 90 mmHg =
Elevated fasting blood sugar FPG>100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L) FPG>= 6.1 mmol/L (110 mg/dl) FPG>100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L) albumin:creatinine ratio = 30 mg/g

IDF - International Diabetes Federation
NCEP - National Cholesterol Education Program
AHA - American Heart Association
WHO - World Health Organization


Metabolic syndrome risk factors


Insulin resistance is the major factor in metabolic syndrome. In an attempt to compensate the insulin resistance, the body produces extra insulin that leads directly or indirectly to the metabolic abnormalities.


Obesity metabolic syndrome: A large waistline or abdominal obesity is a key indicator of metabolic syndrome. The prevalence of the syndrome is calculated based on the waist circumference, which generally is 40 inches or more for men and 35 inches or more for women. Having excess fat in the abdominal area is a greater risk factor for heart disease than excess fat in other parts of the body like hips. Despite obesity, people with normal weight may also be insulin resistant and can have metabolic syndrome.


Physically inactivity: Physical inactivity is the major cause of any cardiovascular disease and mortality. Metabolic syndrome is associated with sedentary lifestyles like adipose tissue, reduced HDL cholesterol, increased triglycerides (fat found in blood), blood pressure and glucose in the genetically susceptible. According to a study, people who watched televisions, videos or used their computers for more than 4 hours daily are at increased risk of developing metabolic syndrome.


Aging: The prevalence of metabolic syndrome increases with age. The syndrome affects 44% of the American population older than age 50. Women older than 50 years of age have the syndrome compared to men.


Diabetes Mellitus: Metabolic syndrome is found in large majority of patients with Type-2 diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance (IGT). Patients belonging to these groups have a higher prevalence of developing cardiovascular disease compared to patients with Type-2 diabetes or IGT without the syndrome.


Coronary Heart Disease: Patients with coronary heart disease are at higher risk of developing metabolic syndrome. Especially women who are aged 45 and more and have premature coronary artery disease are at the increased risk of metabolic syndrome. Doctors opine that appropriate cardiac rehabilitation coupled with changes in lifestyle like physical activity, weight reduction, and nutritious diet can reduce the prevalence of metabolic syndrome in these patients.


Lipodystrophy: Metabolic syndrome is high in people with lipodystrophy, a medical condition characterized by abnormal or degenerative condition of the body's adipose tissue. Both genetic and acquired form of lipodystrophy can increase the severity of insulin resistance thus leading to metabolic syndrome.


Metabolic Syndrome Treatment

There is no one single treatment to relieve metabolic syndrome. Doctors generally prescribe treatments that would aim at coping with the conditions associated with metabolic syndrome. These include:


Exercise: Physical activity for at least 30 to 60 minutes a day is generally recommended. This includes walking, working out and sports.


Weight Loss: This is recommended to reduce the insulin levels in your body.


Healthy Diet: A nutritious diet taken at regular intervals is the best cure to any ailment. Doctors might put you on a diet chart to reduce hypertension. These diet patterns demand you to limit unhealthy fats and emphasize the intake of fruits, vegetables, fruits and whole grains.


Quit Smoking: Insulin resistance is increased by smoking cigarettes. Above all, it worsens the health consequences of metabolic syndrome.


Drug therapy: Apart from weight loss and exercise, few drugs are also prescribed to reduce the LDL cholesterol levels. Drugs prescribed for this kind of treatment include statin, a fibrate drug or a combination of a statin with either niacin or a fibrate.


Clotting disorder is common with metabolic syndrome. Blood clots within blood vessels are treated using drugs like Aspirin. High blood pressure plays a critical role in metabolic syndrome. Hence, doctors recommend few medications based on your health to keep elevated blood pressure under control.


Metabolic Syndrome Diet

Apart from exercise and drugs, diet remains the key in treating metabolic syndrome. Be careful with your diet, especially if you have a family history of metabolic syndrome or type 2 diabetes mellitus. If you suffer metabolic syndrome, try low-fat and reduced-calorie diet. Eat nutrient-rich foods and avoid foods that are rich in fat and carbohydrates.


  • Eat fewer calories. Try fruit instead of cake
  • Consume very little saturated fat.
  • Consume more fish especially salmon, tuna or mackerel
  • Stick to minimally-dressed vegetables and fresh fruit
  • Eat plenty of whole grains
  • Get in the habit of using olive, canola and sesame oil when cooking
  • Stay away from soda
  • Eat low fat diary products
  • Do not skip your meals

Top of the Page: Metabolic Syndrome X
Metabolic Syndrome X
General Women Health Women Health Healthy Habits for Women - Simple ready reckoner ...
Obesity indicator - ABSI Calculator - Alternative to BMI ...
Fighting Diabesity - Diet and lifestyle modification ...
Depleted Immune System - Your defender and protector ...
Gonzalez Regimen for Cancer - Nutritional therapy for cancer ...
Irritable Bowel Syndrome - Watch what you eat ...
Inflammatory Bowel Disease - Swollen intestines or colon ...
Healthy Eating Habits - Eat right, feel good ...
Diabetes Prevention Tips - Understand pre diabetes risks ...
Ankle Edema - Fluid buildup ...
Deep Vein Thrombosis - Hamper the blood flow ...
Colon Cleansing - Getting rid of toxins ...
Women and Substance Abuse - Reclaim joys of life ...
Water Retention Causes - Excess fluids in body ...
Improving Blood Circulation - Maintaining blood flow ...
More on Women Health Shortness of Breath Shortness of Breath - Not getting enough air ...
Eosinophilic Esophagitis - Damaged esophagus ...
Feminine Hygiene - Personal care ...
Nail Fungus - Brittleness, crumbling, discoloration ...
Antidepressants and Weight Gain - Psychiatric medications ...
Iron deficiency Anemia - 20% women and 50% of pregnant women suffer iron deficiency anemia ...
Avian Flu Pandemic - Possible Asian flu epidemic in the near future ...
Mood swings and women - Not going crazy ...
Medical Alert Devices - Medical help on time ...
Hypokalemia - Reduced serum potassium levels ...
Metabolic Syndrome X - Beware of a larger waist ...
Heat Stroke - Heat-related conditions ...
Altitude Sickness - Decreasing air pressure ...
Body Sculpting - Non-surgical ways to sculpt the figure ...
Gout Symptoms - Higher levels of uric acid ...
Polymyalgia Rheumatica - Pain in the muscles ...
Systemic Lupus - Autoimmune disorder ...
Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy - Regional pain syndrome ...
Carcinoid - Often noticed in the GI tract ...
Chronic Sciatica - Pain down the leg ...
Diet and Kidney Disease - Control sodium and water ...
Loss of Appetite - Indicative of an underlying cause ...
Suppress Appetite - Gain control over your appetite ...
How to Improve your Memory - Aid easy retrieval of information ...
Short Term Memory Loss - Degree of forgetfulness ...
Leg Cramps at Night - Twitching in the legs ...

Top of the Page: Metabolic Syndrome X