Metabolic Syndrome – could you be affected?

Metabolic Syndrome – could you be affected?

In England, more than 25% of adults are found to have high blood pressure. Within the UK, 5% of the population have either diagnosed or undiagnosed diabetes, and around 1 in 4 adults are affected by obesity.

Metabolic syndrome encompasses all 3 of these conditions, and results in an increased risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, kidney disease, fatty liver, peripheral artery disease and many other medical conditions for that affected individual. These complications are often serious and long-lasting, so identifying your risk factors and addressing them early can be extremely important. 

How common is metabolic syndrome?

It is estimated that 1 in 3 adults aged 50 and above are affected.

Am I at risk of developing metabolic syndrome?

There are 5 recognised risk factors which increase the chances of developing metabolic syndrome:

  1. High blood pressure 
  2. High blood sugar levels
  3. High waist circumference (indicating excess fat around the waist)
  4. High triglyceride levels (type of fat)
  5. Low HDL levels (type of good cholesterol)

Other factors that could increase your risk of metabolic syndrome include:

  • age
  • having family members who have metabolic syndrome
  • undertaking insufficient exercise
  • other health-related conditions eg women with polycystic ovarian syndrome, established heart disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

How do I know if I’m obese?

The Body Mass Index (BMI) calculation is a method that can help assess whether your weight is within the healthy range for your height.

Click here to access the NHS BMI healthy weight calculator to find out
what your score is and the information below to interpret it:

18.5 – 24.9 = healthy weight

25 – 29/9 = overweight

30 – 39.9 = obese

40 or more = severely obese

Measuring waist circumference is a more appropriate measure of excess fat, because BMI has limitations in diagnosing obesity in individuals who are very muscular and do not have much fat.

Men with a waist circumference of 94cm or more and women with a waist circumference of 80cm or more are at increased risk of developing obesity-related health problems. 

How do I get checked for metabolic syndrome?

Book a GP appointment / Health Check assessment at London City Healthcare and have the opportunity to discuss your health, undergo a thorough examination and blood tests. 

Metabolic syndrome can be detected by abnormalities in 3 or more of the following:

  • waist circumference (European men 94cm or more, South Asian men 90cm or more; European and South Asian women 80cm or more)
  • blood triglycerides
  • cholesterol levels
  • blood pressure (consistently 140/90 or more)
  • glucose levels
  • increased risk of developing blood clots
  • predisposition to develop swelling or irritation of body tissue

Can I stop or reverse metabolic syndrome? 

Making healthy lifestyle changes can certainly prevent or reverse metabolic syndrome.

Undertaking regular exercise, adopting a healthy balanced diet, keeping active, stopping smoking and reducing alcohol can have significant health benefits.

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