Metabolic syndrome is a collection of metabolic risk factors that naturally cluster and may predict the future development of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Although metabolic syndrome is not a disease, it is important to emphasize that treatment is directed at both its root causes and the individual metabolic risk factors.
The root causes of metabolic syndrome are prevalent in our society, including poor diet, sedentary lifestyle and progressive weight gain, especially weight around the middle section of the abdomen. Improved lifestyle habits that lead to reducing excess weight improve all the risk factors of metabolic syndrome.
Metabolic syndrome is defined as the presence of three or more metabolic risk factors, including:
- A waist circumference of 40 or more inches in men; 35 or more inches in women1
- HDL cholesterol of less than 40 in men; less than 50 in women2
- Triglyceride levels of 150 or greater2
- Blood pressure of 130/85 or greater2
- Blood sugar of 100 or greater2