Metabolic syndrome is a group of conditions which can lead to life-threading complications. Proper management of these conditions through various treatment approaches is the prerequisite for reduced the mortality risk. These approaches may include medicines or change in lifestyle. Some of the conditions require immediate management for instance the conditions related to heart or cardiovascular system. Some conditions are chronic and requires lifelong treatment for e.g. diabetes. The seriousness of the metabolic syndrome depends upon the stage at which its components are diagnosed.1 Diagnosis of the condition at the initial stage may lead to the simple treatment strategy such as changing lifestyle or exercise. However, diagnosing at the later stage requires more aggressive and complex treatment which may include medicines, lifestyle changes and sometimes surgery.2
Is Metabolic Syndrome A Serious Condition?
Metabolic syndrome is the composition of various interrelated conditions, which have their own impact on the body. If these conditions remain unmanaged or untreated, it seriously affects the heath and may lead to fatal consequences. Following are the conditions associated with metabolic syndrome, which makes metabolic syndrome, a serious condition:
Abdominal Obesity: Abdominal obesity is also known as central obesity. This obesity is characterizing by the presence of fatty tissue on the abdomen. There are various methods of calculating the abdominal obesity including waist circumference, waist-hip ratio, waist to height ratio and sagittal abdominal diameter. If the absolute waist circumference of male is >102 cm and female is >88 cm or if the wait-hip ratio of male is >0.9 and female is >0.85, the metabolic syndrome patient is suffering from central obesity.3 The health risk of abdominal obesity includes diabetes, asthma and Alzheimer’s risk.
Insulin Resistance: Insulin resistance is defined as the condition in which the cells do not able to recognize the presence of insulin in the blood and thus more and more insulin being transported to blood leading to hyperinsulinemia. Insulin resistance may increase the risk of diabetes, heart attack, stroke, cancer and polycystic ovary syndrome. Insulin resistance and type two diabetes are different conditions and the treatment of both these conditions may overlap.
Blood Pressure: High Blood pressure or hypertension is defined as the condition wherein the pressure increases greater the 140/90 mm Hg. In most of the cases, the high blood pressure is due to sedentary life style and unhealthy food habits. The condition also involves the genetic factors. Lifestyle factors include intake of salt in diet, smoking, obesity and excess intake of alcohol. If left untreated, the hypertension may lead to serious or fatal consequences. Various conditions associated with unmanaged hypertension includes stroke, dementia, kidney damage including chronic kidney disease, cardiac complications including atrial fibrillation, peripheral vascular disease and coronary artery syndrome, vision loss and risk of vessel rupture. Every year, lakhs of people die due to complications associated with high blood pressure.
High Triglycerides: Hypertriglyceridemia is defined as the condition with increased levels of triglycerides in the blood. The level of triglyceride in these patients is consistently high above 150mg/dl. High triglyceride is an independent factor for atherosclerosis as even in the absence of high cholesterol, it may cause this condition.
Atherosclerosis may lead to cardiovascular disease. Very high level of triglyceride increases the risk of pancreatitis, which is a life-threatening condition. It has been found that almost 1-4% of all the pancreatitis is caused due to high level of triglycerides.4
Low HDL and High LDL: Metabolic syndrome also includes the level of HDL and LDL for diagnosis. It indicates that the abnormal level of HDL and LDL may lead to serious health issues. Low level of HDL increases the risk of heart disease while high level of LDL increases the risk. The general level of HDL is 60mg/dl in blood. Low levels of HDL also increase the risk of atherosclerosis.5, 6
Metabolic syndrome is a serious condition as it involves the diseases, which are directly impacting the metabolic conditions of the body. Metabolic syndrome may lead to coronary artery disease, stroke, diabetes, organ amputation, vision loss and cognitive impairment.
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