Metabolic Syndrome: Symptoms, Causes & Prevention

Metabolic syndrome describes a group of conditions that increases your risk for developing heart disease, diabetes, stroke and other health problems. Studies estimate that more than 30% of the US population has metabolic syndrome, and about 85% of people who have diabetes also have it. It is also becoming more common in Europe, Latin America and Asia. In the US, it has been found that Mexican Americans and people who are over 60 years old are most likely to be affected.

What Is Metabolic Syndrome?

A person who has metabolic syndrome has a combination of risk factors that make him prone to develop certain diseases. These factors include high blood pressure, insulin resistance, high cholesterol and a tendency for blood clotting abnormalities. These individuals are often obese or overweight. Metabolic syndrome is sometimes called Syndrome X, dysmetabolic syndrome, orinsulin resistance syndrome.

The association between cardiovascular disease and various metabolic disorders has long been studied. If you have metabolic syndrome, you have a high risk of developing cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.  

Symptoms of Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic syndrome manifests clinically as:

In patients with diabetes, signs may include hirsutism, retinopathy, acanthosis nigricans and peripheral neuropathy

In patients with severe dyslipidemia, signs may include xanthomas/ xanthelasmas (yellowish cholesterol plaques in the skin)

There is also a chance that complications may arise from metabolic syndrome, such as:

Causes and Risk Factors of Metabolic Syndrome

1. Causes of Metabolic Syndrome

Being diagnosed with metabolic syndrome is a wake-up call. Find out what causes this condition and try to improve on your health.

2. Risk Factors of Metabolic Syndrome

Experts have identified five major risk factors that can lead to metabolic syndrome. Having at least three of these risk factors will make you get a diagnosis of metabolic syndrome.

Diagnosis of Metabolic Syndrome

Experts from various organizations such as International Diabetes Federation, American Heart Association, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, and World Heart Federation use the following criteria to diagnose metabolic syndrome:


It is better to prevent metabolic syndrome than to treat it. Here are some preventive measures:

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