Metabolic syndrome What is it and how is it diagnosed?

Metabolic syndrome is a name used to refer to all of the risk factors for heart disease and other health problems. For a doctor to diagnose it, they must identify at least three risk factors.

“To prove metabolic syndrome, the doctor will ask you if you or other family members have any symptoms or risk factors. It is likely that they will also ask you questions about your diet and if you exercise regularly, ”explains the National Institutes of Health of the United States (NIH, for its acronym in English).

Risk factors for the professional to diagnose metabolic syndrome include the following:

  • Have abdominal obesity, that is, too much fat around the waist. In the case of women, it must be less than 89 centimeters, and in the case of men – 102 centimeters.
  • Have high triglyceride levels: 150 (mg/dl) or higher.
  • Have a low level of good cholesterol (HDL): less than 40 mg/dl (1.04 mmol/l) in men or less than 50 mg/dl (1.3 mmol/l) in women.
  • Have high blood pressure: 130/85 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or higher.
  • Have high fasting blood sugar. 100 mg/dl (5.6 mmol/l) or more.

The Mayo Clinic, a nonprofit organization dedicated to clinical practice, education, and research, explains that “having just one of these disorders does not mean you have metabolic syndrome. But it does mean you have a higher risk of getting a serious illness. And if you develop more of these disorders, your risk of complications, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease, increases even more.”

It is important to regularly visit a doctor to perform routine examinations and check the state of health of the human body. Periodic examinations contribute to the prevention and detection of risk factors and diseases.

“Metabolic syndrome is increasingly common, with up to one-third of American adults living with it. If you have metabolic syndrome or one of its components, drastic lifestyle changes can delay or even prevent the onset of serious health problems,” adds the Mayo Clinic.


According to Medline Plus, the website of the US National Library of Medicine, treating metabolic syndrome involves making changes to a healthy lifestyle. Some of these modifications may include:

  1. Balanced diet for the heart, where the consumption of saturated and trans fats is limited.
  2. Achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
  3. Stress control.
  4. Practice regular physical activity.
  5. Don’t smoke or seek help to quit smoking.

How to take care of the heart?

To keep a healthy heart too It is important to be physically active and to have healthy habits. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA, for its acronym in English) makes some recommendations for heart health.

  • Have a healthy diet: foods low in salt and sodium should be consumed. Limit the consumption of foods containing trans fats, as they can cause a heart attack. Also moderate your sugar intake.
  • Beware of health conditions: You should be aware of diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, and high cholesterol, as these conditions increase the risk of developing heart disease. For this, periodic examinations should be carried out and if the doctor diagnoses any of these conditions, follow the recommendations and take the medicine in time.
  • Beware of aspirin consumption: daily use of this drug helps prevent heart attacks, but it is not healthy for everyone. Therefore, before doing it, you should consult your doctor about the effects and the proper dose.

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