Condition: Metabolic syndrome

Metabolic syndrome is the medical term for a condition made up of several other health conditions including insulin resistance, obesity and high blood pressure.

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What is metabolic syndrome?

Metabolic syndrome is the medical name for a collection of several health conditions that occur together; insulin resistance, high blood pressure, obesity, high triglyceride levels (fat in the blood) and low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels (“good” cholesterol).

These health factors can cause damage to your body individually, but when combined, they can greatly increase your risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other serious health problems.

It’s estimated that metabolic syndrome affects 1 in 3 older adults aged 50 or over in the UK, making it a very common condition.

What are the symptoms of metabolic syndrome?

Most of the factors associated with metabolic syndrome don’t present with any obvious symptoms, except for obesity which can be identified by a large waist circumference.

If you have metabolic syndrome, problems may develop over time, so it’s important to have regular checkups which will help identify if you already have or are likely to develop any of the risk factors.

What causes metabolic syndrome?

Type 2 DiabetesIt’s not fully understood what causes metabolic syndrome but a sedentary lifestyle and other risk factors are thought to significantly increase your chance of developing it.

Factors that may increase your risk of developing metabolic syndrome include:

  • Age – your risk of developing the condition increases with age

  • Inactivity and a diet high in fat and sugar– this can lead to obesity and type 2 diabetes

  • Ethnicity – Hispanic women seem to be at greatest risk of developing metabolic syndrome

  • Other diseases – having nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, polycystic ovary syndrome or sleep apnea can increase your risk

  • Smoking

  • Heavy drinking

  • A family history of diabetes

  • Stress

  • Being postmenopause

How is metabolic syndrome diagnosed?

Metabolic syndrome is diagnosed using a number of tests including blood pressure, lipid profile (triglycerides and HDL) and blood glucose.

In most cases, metabolic syndrome will be diagnosed if you have three or more of the following:

  • A waistline of 40 inches or more (men) or 35 inches or more (women)

  • A blood pressure of 130/85 mm Hg or higher

  • A triglyceride level above 150 mg/dl

  • A fasting blood glucose level greater than 100 mg/dl

  • An HDL level less than 40 mg/dl (men) or 50 mg/dl (women)

What are the treatment options for metabolic syndrome?

Metabolic syndrome can be both prevented and reversed. Our specialists provide holistic advice and treatment to help you manage all factors that contribute to the condition. We recognise the importance of managing all your health problems together and not in isolation.

If you have metabolic syndrome you will have access to the latest and best medications to help manage different aspects of your condition at OneWelbeck. You will have the opportunity to discuss the pros and cons of different medications for all your health issues as well as the option to discuss weight loss surgery, if needed. You may also benefit from spending time with our expert dietitian who will provide advice around your diet and how small changes can make a difference to your health and condition.

Metabolic syndrome Specialists

We have brought together a group of leading Consultant Endocrinologists to form our Endocrinology team. With a huge depth of experience covering diabetes, adrenal disorders, metabolic syndrome and much more, these expert clinicians are the best in their field and are all focused on delivering the very best patient care.