Metabolic syndrome (MetSy) describes a collection of disorders that occur together and increase your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, stroke, heart disease and neurological complications and cancer, having three or more of the risk factors provides a diagnosis of MetSy.
The five risk factors associated with MetSy are:
- Waist circumference more than 94 cm in men and 80 cm in women.
- Elevated triglycerides ≥1.7 mmol/L.
- Reduced high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL) <1.0 mmol/L in men or <1.3 mmol/Lmg/dL in women.
- Elevated fasting glucose of >5.6 mmol/L.
- Blood pressure values of systolic 130 mmHg or higher and/or diastolic 85 mmHg or higher.
Metabolic Syndrome (MetSy) is increasingly common, both in Australia and overseas, with over 25% of the population thought to have it. A diagnosis of Metabolic Syndrome is useful because it identifies patients with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), diabetes and chronic kidney disease (CKD). The risk of having CVD, diabetes and CKD among people with the MetSy is 2–3 times that of people without the condition. It also increases the risk of complications in those with CVD and diabetes. Overall meta-analysis of some studies suggests that there is a 1.6–fold increase in mortality in patients with the MetSy compared to those without it.2
Patients with metabolic complications can develop a wide range of complications including heart dis-ease, aortic stenosis, atrial fibrillation, stroke, and even thromboembolic disease. Evidence seems to indicate that the risk of an ischemic stroke is much higher in patients with metabolic syndrome than previously thought. In addition, other problems include an increased risk for kidney, gallbladder, colon and even the prostate gland cancers. Further, the metabolic syndrome may also increase the risk of ec-lampsia in pregnancy and affect cognitive performance2.
A 2015 study4 determined that snacking between main meals was significantly associated with higher risk for developing metabolic syndrome. Participants in the study who were shown to adhere to an ‘unhealthy snacking pattern’ had an increased incidence of metabolic syndrome. Thus, participants with this eating habit had 68 % raised risk. The findings of the study suggested that when snacking is associated with a higher consumption of nutrient-poor and energy-dense foods (‘unhealthy snacking pattern’) is it related to a higher risk of MetS. This association also remained statistically significant af-ter adjusting for total energy intake.
How to avoid or repair from Metabolic Syndrome:
- Eat a balanced, nutrient dense diet with a broad array of vegetables.
- Eat 3 meals per day with no snacking in between, so your body is in a Para-Sympathetic Nervous sys-tem dominate state for longer rather than the ‘Flight or Flight’ Sympathetic Nervous System dominance that so many of us seem to be constantly in.
- Drink plenty of water – 35ml per kilogram of body weight..
- Maintain a weekly exercise regime that includes weight bearing and cardio exercise.
- Cut out (or least down) your sugar consumption