Metabolic Syndrome and its involvement with diabetes

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Metabolic Syndrome and its involvement with diabetes

Postby dlcnurse » Wed Sep 05, 2007 11:06 pm

When discussing diabetes and the many different aspects of watching sugar intake, using proper diets, watching cholesterol levels, our activity level, and our state of health, one other syndrome comes to mind.

That syndrome is called Metabolic Syndrome or Syndrome X, and another name for it is Insulin Resistance Syndrome.

Today many new studies have been done to define just exactly what is these so called syndromes. The name currently used is Metabolic Syndrome. And just what is Metabolic syndrome?

This syndrome is characterized by a group of metabolic risk factors in one person. These risk factors are something that many people have. They just don't tie it together and realize the risks.

These risk factors, what are they?
First, is abdominal obesity- that so called love handles that we have around our middle section. It is defined as "excessive fat tissue in and around the abdomen".
Many women develop this after menopause because of hormonal changes, men also have a tendency to have abdominal girth has they age.

Secondly is blood fat disorders that foster plague buildup in the arteries. Such as triglycerides, low desity lipids, high density lipids.

Third is insulin resistance and glucose intolerance. Many persons have what their doctor calls "pre-diabetes" or "hyperglycemia". Insuin is a hormone produced in the pancreas, an organ near the stomach, this insulin is needed to turn sugar and other food into energy.

Pre diabetes is a condition in which blood sugars are higher than normal but not quite high enough to call it diabetes. pre-diabetes and subsequent Type II diabetes results from insulin resistance. Some doctors refer this to Glucose intolerance.

Fourth is a prothrombotic state. Prothrombotic state is where you have a change in blood clotting factors, which I won't cover extensively here.

Fifth is a pro-inflammatory state. This is measured by checking a C-reactive protein in the blood. Many other aspects plays a part in this also, such as persons who have arthritis in its many forms, and this also can be elevated in viral illnesses and in heart disease.

What they are stating is that persons who have at least 3 of these risk factors can be diagnosed with metabolic syndrome.
Having at least three of these factors increases your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. The dominant factors in this syndrome appears to be insulin resistance and abdominal obesity. Other factors associated with it are physical activity, hormonal imbalance, and genetic predisposition.

The American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute recommend that it be identified in the presence of 3 or more of these components:
1) Increase in waist circumference:
Men- Equal to or greater than 40 inches
Women- Equal to or greater than 35 inches
2) Blood lipid levels
Triglycerides equal or greater than 150 mg/dl
HDL (high density lipids) levels lower than 40 in men, and lower than
50 in women.
3) Blood Pressure greater than 130/85
4) Elevated Blood Glucose levels greater than 100 (fasting)

How are Insulin resistance, diabetes and cardiovascular disease related?
Pre-diabetes and subsequent Type II diabetes result from insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is associated with atherosclerosis and blood vessel disease (fatty buildup of plague) even before diabetes is diagnosed. That is why it is so important to prevent and control insulin resistance and diabetes.

The goals are to decrease the risk for cardiovascular disease and type II diabetes. So, how do you do that?

Here are some tips on how to decrease your risks:
1) Don't smoke. If you don't that is great! If you do smoke, try to quit.

2) Decrease your LDL, HDL, Triglycerides, lower your blood pressure, and glucose levels. Look for tips on these and more in our other section about living healthy without drugs!

3) Follow a weight loss program if you are overweight, exercise, increase your activity, just walking daily increases your metabolism to burn off calories.

4) Maintain healthy eating habits to include a decreased intake of saturated fats, transfats and cholesterol.

5) Talk to your doctor about your risk factors and see if there is something you can do to prevent the incidence of pre-diabetes, glucose intolorance, and your risk of cardiovascular disease.

6) And don't forget to be vigilant about having your blood sugar checked periodically so that you will know when you are at an increased risk for this type of syndrome and other illnesses involving diabetes.
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