What Is Metabolic Syndrome & What Are Its Risk Factors and Complications

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As we get older, our body physically declines, leading to several age-related diseases. While illnesses are a part of aging, having more than one condition, precisely three separate but overlapping conditions, might be a severe problem for everyone. In this context, metabolic syndrome appears to impose high risks on other diseases among older people and people with obesity. This article reviews metabolic syndrome, its risk factors, and its complications.

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Learn About Metabolic Syndrome, Its Risk Factors, and Complications

Statistics show that metabolic syndrome is becoming more frequent, especially among older people, without proper reasoning behind its occurrence. Understanding what this syndrome is and what might be the causes can help you with the prevention. Please read on to learn how experts describe this syndrome.


What Is Metabolic Syndrome?

Metabolic syndrome is a medical term describing several conditions that occur simultaneously. These conditions include high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol. Metabolic syndrome is not a disease but a group of risk factors.

Please remember that having only one of the conditions above doesn’t always indicate you have metabolic syndrome. However, it might suggest that you have a high risk of complications. Suppose you have more than one condition simultaneously. In that case, your risk of developing complications, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease, is even higher.

Metabolic syndrome is becoming increasingly common, with up to one-third of U.S. adults suffering from it. In addition, metabolic syndrome is more common as people age, affecting more than 40 percent of people in their 60s and 70s.

Metabolic syndrome is present equally in both men and women. According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), the incidence of metabolic syndrome is 24 percent in men and 22 percent in women.


Metabolic Syndrome Symptoms

Many people with metabolic syndrome are asymptomatic. However, one visible sign is a large waist circumference. People with high blood sugar might have diabetes symptoms, such as increased thirst, frequent urination, tiredness, and blurry vision.

Please consult your doctor if you’re unsure whether you have metabolic syndrome. By conducting the necessary tests, your doctor will be able to make the diagnosis.


Metabolic Syndrome Causes

As mentioned above, metabolic syndrome is a group of risk factors rather than a single disease. Therefore, metabolic syndrome might be due to multiple causes. According to an article by NCBI, the underlying causes of metabolic syndrome include insulin resistance, obesity, unhealthy lifestyle with a lack of physical activity, and genetic predisposition.


Insulin Resistance

Insulin is a hormone that helps your body move glucose into cells to provide energy. In people with insulin resistance, the insulin fails to perform its normal function, leading to an increase in glucose and eventually diabetes.



People with obesity with unequally distributed body fat, particularly in the upper body, have a higher risk of metabolic syndrome. Specifically, these people might have fats accumulated in other parts of the body, such as the liver and muscle, exacerbating insulin resistance, which in turn leads to metabolic syndrome.


Unhealthy Lifestyle

Consuming unhealthy foods long-term and not getting sufficient physical activity can play a role in developing metabolic syndrome since they lead to extra weight, high amounts of glucose, and the accumulation of fats in the upper body.


Genetic Predisposition

Even though no known genetic group is predisposed to metabolic syndrome, genetic disorders may increase the risk of developing metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance.


Sleep Apnea and Sleep Deprivation

Besides the causes above, sleep apnea and sleep deprivation can also lead to metabolic syndrome. According to studies, patients with moderate to severe sleep apnea can improve metabolic syndrome after three months of treatment.


Metabolic Syndrome Risk Factors

Several factors increase the risk of having metabolic syndrome. The more factors you have, the higher your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. According to NCBI, these factors include:

  • Waist circumference larger than 40 inches in men and 35 inches in women
  • Triglycerides greater than 150 milligrams per deciliter of blood (mg/dL)
  • High-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL) less than 40 mg/dL in men or less than 50 mg/dL in women
  • Fasting glucose greater than 100 mg/dL
  • Blood pressure higher than systolic 130 mmHg or diastolic 85 mmHg.


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Metabolic Syndrome Complications

Patients with metabolic syndrome can develop multiple complications, including:


Evidence now suggests that the risk of ischemic stroke in people with metabolic syndrome is significantly higher than previously thought. Other problems linked to metabolic syndrome include a higher chance of malignancies of the kidney, gallbladder, colon, and even the prostate gland.


Metabolic Syndrome Prevention

Middle-aged of japanese men who exercise in the park-ss-Metabolic Syndrome Prevention | What Is Metabolic Syndrome & What Are Its Risk Factors and Complications

The most effective prevention is developing an active lifestyle with a healthy diet and high physical activity levels. It can simultaneously lower body weight, cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood glucose. This can, in turn, delay or even prevent the development of metabolic syndrome. Other ways of prevention include managing stress and quitting smoking.


The Metabolic Lifestyle and Fasting Program

If you’re unsure whether you have metabolic syndrome or have been diagnosed with metabolic syndrome and wish to improve your condition, please consider enrolling in our Metabolic Lifestyle and Fasting Program.

The Metabolic Lifestyle and Fasting Program includes medical doctors, naturopathic doctors, health coaches, clinical nutritionists, exercise therapists, and physiotherapists dedicated to improving metabolic syndrome.

We employ a science-backed approach integrating a low-carb ketogenic diet, fasting support, exercise, and mindfulness-based program. Our team members are pleased to assist you in making long-term lifestyle modifications to reverse metabolic syndrome.

It is normal to feel anxious after being diagnosed with metabolic syndrome. Nevertheless, please remember that there are ways to improve the condition. Most importantly, making simple changes to your lifestyle can prevent severe diseases in the future.


If you have questions about metabolic syndrome or any health problems discussed here, connect with us and learn more. 

At Peak Human, our team of healthcare professionals is dedicated to helping you reach your ‘peak’ health with a custom whole-person approach. Using the most cutting-edge, science-backed biohacking and aesthetic tools, technologies, and treatments available today, we help you achieve the highest physical/cognitive performance state, leading to an improved overall quality of life.

For questions or to book an appointment, don’t hesitate to contact us. Get personalized support and insight from expert physicians.


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