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What is Metabolic Syndrome? And Its Link with Diabetes

Diabetes management requires taking account of all lifestyle and diet factors along with other living conditions. A combination of conditions linked to type 2 diabetes and the associated heart problems, metabolic syndrome include high blood pressure, high blood glucose, high cholesterol and excess abdominal fat. Metabolic syndrome increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by five times as compared to those who do not have this condition. This term is also known as syndrome X, Reaven’s syndrome and in Australia, CHAOS.

Causes of Metabolic Syndrome

Being overweight or obese increases the risk of developing metabolic syndrome as the body is unable to function properly. 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.

Suffering from insulin resistance also leads to the onset of these combinations of health conditions. Due to insulin resistance, your cells are unable to utilize the hormone which regulates normal sugar level and hence excessive sugar accumulates in your blood stream. This causes development of metabolic syndrome, and in fact increases the risk of pre-diabetes as well as type 2 diabetes.

Management of Diabetes and Identifying Metabolic Syndrome – Symptoms

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) of the folds of skin 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 male.
  • Resistance to insulin.

Diagnosing Metabolic Syndrome to Control Diabetes

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 syndromes must be met in order to properly diagnose a person with having this condition.

  • Abdominal obesity: waist circumference of ≥102 cm in men and ≥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)

What Triggers Metabolic Syndrome

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 age.
  • Obesity – carrying too much weight, particularly around the abdomen, again 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 like cardio vascular disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease or polycystic ovary syndrome directly contribute to onset of this syndrome.

Living with metabolic syndrome requires various diet and lifestyle changes as suggested in the diabetes management app. Being a diabetic, it is important to be in constant touch with your diabetes educator or doctor before adopting any change. Monitoring blood glucose levels regularly requires taking readings using a glucometer. The results obtained using the glucometer are recorded in diabetes management app as reference for diabetes doctor.

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