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Metabolic syndrome

Metabolic syndrome or metabolic syndrome x is a medical disorder or a group of conditions that results from insulin resistance. People with metabolic syndrome are at the increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and premature death.


Metabolic syndrome symptoms

Fasting hyperglycemia or diabetes mellitus type 2 or impaired fasting glucose, or insulin resistance is a major symptom of metabolic syndrome. Other symptoms indicating metabolic syndrome include high triglycerides, PCOS, fatty liver and hypertension.

Insulin resistance is the major factor in metabolic syndrome. In an attempt to compensate the insulin resistance, the body produces extra insulin that leads directly or indirectly to the metabolic abnormalities. The prevalence of the syndrome is calculated based on the waist circumference, which generally is 40 inches or more for men and 35 inches or more for women. Having excess fat in the abdominal area is a greater risk factor for heart disease than excess fat in other parts of the body like hips. Despite obesity, people with normal weight may also be insulin resistant and can have metabolic syndrome.

Physical inactivity is the major cause of any cardiovascular disease and mortality. The prevalence of metabolic syndrome increases with age. Metabolic syndrome is noticed in large majority of patients with Type-2 diabetes. Patients with coronary heart disease are at higher risk of developing metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is high in people with lipodystrophy, a medical condition characterized by abnormal or degenerative condition of the body's adipose tissue. Both genetic and acquired form of lipodystrophy can increase the severity of insulin resistance thus leading to metabolic syndrome.


Metabolic Syndrome Treatment

There is no one single treatment to relieve metabolic syndrome. Physical activity for at least 30 to 60 minutes a day is generally recommended. Weight Loss is recommended to reduce the insulin levels in your body. Eat wisely.

Insulin resistance

Insulin resistance or Metabolic syndrome is a condition where the body's insulin is not properly utilized. This condition also called Syndrome X is often called impaired fasting glucose (IFG) or Pre-diabetes. In an attempt to compensate the insulin resistance, the body produces extra insulin that leads directly or indirectly to the metabolic abnormalities.


Causes for Syndrome X

Obesity metabolic syndrome: A large waistline or abdominal obesity, which generally is 40 inches or more for men and 35 inches or more for women.

Physical inactivity: Metabolic syndrome is associated with sedentary lifestyles like adipose tissue, reduced HDL cholesterol, increased triglycerides (fat found in blood), blood pressure and glucose in the genetically susceptible.

Aging: The prevalence of metabolic syndrome increases with age.

Diabetes Mellitus: Metabolic syndrome is found in large majority of patients with Type-2 diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance (IGT).

Coronary Heart Disease: Patients with coronary heart disease are at higher risk of developing metabolic syndrome.

Tackling Metabolic Resistance

Physical activity for at least 30 to 60 minutes a day is generally recommended. Losing weight is imperative to dealing with metabolic syndrome. Follow a healthy diet. Insulin resistance is increased by smoking cigarettes. part from weight loss and exercise, few drugs are also prescribed to reduce the LDL cholesterol levels. Drugs prescribed for this kind of treatment include statin, a fibrate drug or a combination of a statin with either niacin or a fibrate.


Cardiometabolic Syndrome

Cardiometabolic syndrome occurs from metabolic dysfunctions like hypertension, impaired glucose tolerance, insulin resistance, dyslipidemia and central adiposity. It is a group of risk factors that increase the risk towards a serious illness. This syndrome is also known as insulin resistance syndrome.


The condition is a combination of metabolic disorders and/or risk factors that include a combination of diabetes mellitus, obesity, Hyperlipidemia and systemic hypertension. If any one of the risk factors is present in the body, then it is a major concern but when a combination of these risk factors are present in the body then they lead to severe health issues like cardio metabolic disease. The components of this syndrome either independently or interdependently are risk factors for high cardiovascular diseases.

Affected people are mostly overweight or obese. People suffering from this syndrome are more likely to suffer from coronary heart disease and heart attack. Central adiposity is a major contributor that increases cardiometabolic risks.


This syndrome is now recognized as a disease by WHO and is sometimes referred to as Metabolic Syndrome X. Most people with type 2 diabetes are likely to suffer from cardiometabolic disease. People above the age of 60 are also most likely to suffer from this syndrome.


Bringing the risk factors under control can be highly challenging. However exercise, diet, therapy and cardio-metabolic programs can help deal with the condition. Therapy includes assessing behavior and habits both in the cognitive and psychological level.

It is understood that 25% of the world population suffers from this syndrome. Rise in obesity in the world population and aging are identified as key contributors this syndrome.


Identifying Cardiometabolic disease

Though there is no visible symptom, a large waistline, elevated diabetic level, fatigue etc could be symptoms that may collectively indicate presence of the disorder. The condition cannot be diagnosed without a lab test or a health care provider because this syndrome is a cluster of conditions. To diagnose the condition, the health care provider may look for the presence of three or more of the following conditions:


  • Fasting glucose greater than 100mg/dL

  • Central or abdominal obesity (measure of waist circumference)

  • Men - greater than 40 inches, women - greater than 35 inches

  • Blood pressure greater than or equal to 130/85 mmHg

  • HDL Cholesterol

  • Men - less than 40mg/dL, Women - less than 50mg/dL

  • Triglycerides greater than or equal to 150mg/dL

Cause and Risk factors

Genetics and environment play a major role in the cause of this syndrome. Genetic factors influence each component of the syndrome. Progressive weight gain, sedentary lifestyle and low activity levels are equal contributors towards this condition. This condition is present in 5% of people with normal body weight, 22% of people who are overweight and 60% of people who are obese. Smoking, high carbohydrate diet, sedentary lifestyle and post-menopause also cause this syndrome.


Cardio metabolic disease risks


  • People with fat accumulation in the liver, fatty liver which leads to inflammation and most probably to cirrhosis.

  • Kidneys may also get affected as there is protein leak into the urine.

  • Sleep apnea

  • Polycystic ovary syndrome

  • Increased risk of dementia with the aged

Treating this syndrome requires addressing several risk factors together. The focus lies on reducing the person's risk of diabetes and heart disease. Lifestyle modification is the best possible way to handle this syndrome. Weight reduction, reducing smoking, reducing alcohol, getting more active physically, etc helps in handling the condition.


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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: December 13, 2017