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WHAT IS METABOLIC SYNDROME?Back to top
Metabolic syndrome, otherwise known as syndrome X, occurs when a number of conditions happen simultaneously, increasing your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. These are:
- High blood pressure
- High blood sugar levels or insulin resistance
- Body fat accumulating around the waist
- Irregular cholesterol level
WHY IS METABOLIC SYNDROME DANGEROUS?Back to top
According to a recent statement by the World Health Organisation (WHO), heart disease and strokes are identified as leading causes of fatalities in South Africa.
WHAT ARE THE CONTRIBUTING FACTORS?Back to top
- High intake of sugar and refined carbohydrates
- Excessive alcohol consumption
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMSBack to top
THE HEALTH IMPACTS OF EACH CONDITIONBack to top
Obesity is thought to trigger changes to the chemical processes of the body. These changes cause fat tissue to release fat molecules into the blood, which can affect the cells that respond to insulin, thereby reducing the body’s reaction to insulin (insulin sensitivity).
INSULIN RESISTANCEBack to top
Insulin resistance is the precursor to type II diabetes, whereby the beta cells of the pancreas can no longer produce enough insulin to overcome insulin resistance, spiking blood sugar levels.
HYPERTENSIONBack to top
CHOLESTEROLBack to top
Cholesterol is an important waxy substance that originates from the liver and diet in humans and animals, which forms a structural part of many hormones and cells. An excess of bad cholesterol (LDL and triglycerides) and a lack of good cholesterol (HDL) may, however, lead to heart disease in the following ways:
Hardening of the arteries: Too much LDL cholesterol in your body can accumulate in your arteries, clogging them and making them less flexible.
Increased risk of heart failure: Due to the hardened arteries, the heart has to work harder to pump blood through the body.
Heart attack: The build-up of plaque in the coronary arteries can disrupt the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle.
A piece of plaque can also block blood flow to the brain, or dislodge and form a clot, leading to a stroke.
IMPACT OF STRESSBack to top
- Increased blood sugar levels and insulin resistance
- Weight gain
- An impaired immune system
- Elevated blood pressure
- Abnormal cholesterol levels
MANAGING METABOLIC SYNDROMEBack to top
Appropriate and aggressive therapy is essential for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Lifestyle changes should be implemented – exercise, healthy diet, no smoking, low alcohol intake and stress management.
Prescribed medication should aid in combating insulin resistance, obesity, hypertension and abnormal cholesterol levels.
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WHAT IS CHOLESTEROL? A fat molecule that is white, insoluble and waxy. Furthermore, it is essential for many metabolic processes. There are different types of cholesterol. For instance: HDL is the ‘good’ type LDL is the ‘bad’ type Triglycerides, a type of fat, also form part of the lipid profile Eating foods rich in saturated…
High Blood Pressure – Hypertension
High blood pressure is known as the ‘silent killer’ because there are usually no warning signs and no obvious symptoms. As a result, many people are unaware they have it and many people who are diagnosed often find it difficult to accept. Was this helpful? Submit Cancel Thanks for your feedback!