Connection Between Metabolic Syndrome and Diabetes

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Metabolic syndrome and diabetes

Metabolic syndrome consists of a cluster of conditions that occur together, increasing your risk of heart disease, stroke, and especially type 2 diabetes. These conditions include high blood glucose levels, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and excess body fat around the waist. All of these conditions interconnect metabolic syndrome and diabetes with each other. 

Having just one of these conditions doesn’t prove you have metabolic syndrome. But it surely means that you have a greater risk of some serious health issues. And if you face more of these conditions, your risk of complications, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease, rises five times higher. 

Nowadays, metabolic syndrome is increasingly common, as up to one-third of U.S. adults face it. If you have metabolic syndrome, healthy lifestyle changes can delay or even prevent the development of severe health diseases.

Metabolic Syndrome and Diabetes: Causes

Experts don’t fully understand what causes metabolic syndrome. Several factors are interconnected. Obesity plus an inactive lifestyle contributes to risk factors for metabolic syndrome. However, even if one is not obese, the risk of this syndrome multiplies if a close family member has had a history of or is currently suffering from type 2 diabetes.

Because metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance are closely tied, many healthcare providers believe that insulin resistance may be a cause of the metabolic syndrome. Due to insulin resistance, your cells cannot effectively work on the hormone that regulates normal sugar levels, and hence excessive sugar accumulates in your bloodstream. This causes the development of metabolic syndrome and increases the risk of diabetes.

Symptoms for Identifying Metabolic Syndrome for Effective Diabetes Management 

While the signs and symptoms are not visible directly, the following warning signs must be noted for better diabetes management and to maintain readings within the blood sugar range:

  • Feeling of being extremely tired after having a meal.
  • Inability to focus properly.
  • Acanthosis nigricans- a condition of browning (hyperpigmentation) on the folds of skin that is near the neck, armpits, groin, or between the buttocks.
  • Abdominal obesity– waist measuring more than 88 cm if you are a female, and more than 102 cm in case of a male.
  • Insulin resistance.

How is Metabolic Syndrome diagnosed?

Just as with the glucose test, the following points highlight the conditions which give rise to metabolic syndrome and are used as warning signs to diagnose it. At least three out of five symptoms must be met to know if the person is diagnosed with the condition or not.

  • Abdominal obesity: waist circumference should be less than 102 cm in men and whereas 88 cm in women.
  • Hypertriglyceridemia: ≥150 mg/dl (1.695 mmol/L)
  • Low HDL-C: < 40 mg/dL (1.04 mmol/dL) in men and < 50 mg/dL (1.30 mmol/dL) in women
  • High blood pressure (BP): >130/85 mmHg
  • High fasting glucose: >110 mg/dl (6.1 mmol/L)

Read More: Connection between Heart Attacks and Diabetes

What Triggers Metabolic Syndrome?

Metabolic syndrome and diabetes

While the causes may vary, certain underlying risk factors naturally increase your risk of developing metabolic syndrome:

  • Age- Your risk of metabolic syndrome increases with growing age.
  • Obesity- Carrying too much weight, particularly around the abdomen, increases your risk of developing metabolic syndrome.
  • Diabetes- A history of gestational diabetes increases the risk of developing metabolic syndrome. Along with this, a family history of type 2 diabetes also increases the risk.
  • Other diseases-  Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and polycystic ovary syndrome directly contribute to the onset of metabolic syndrome.

Living with metabolic syndrome requires various diet and lifestyle changes. Being a diabetic, it is important to be in constant touch with your diabetes educator or doctor before adopting any change. 

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