What is metabolic syndrome?

Metabolic syndrome refers to an array of health disorders that collectively represent an unhealthy shift of metabolic function. Metabolic syndrome is a health crisis that affects people everywhere, regardless of geographic location, ethnicity, or gender. Approximately 1 in 5 people in the world have metabolic syndrome, and the prevalence of this disease is growing at an alarming rate. Obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, which are all related to metabolic syndrome, are spreading across the world at never-before-seen rates. 

Scientists have agreed on a definition for metabolic syndrome using the five criteria shown below. If a person meets at least three of the five criteria, they have metabolic syndrome.

1. Elevated waist circumference greater than 40” in men and greater than 35” in women.

2. Triglycerides above 150 mg/dL.

3. HDL-C below 40 mg/dL in men and 50 mg/dL in women.

4. Elevated pressure: systolic greater than 130 mmHg and/or diastolic greater than 85 mmHg.

5. Fasting blood glucose levels greater than 100 mg/dL

Factors that may contribute to metabolic syndrome include:

●      Poor diet

●      Inadequate phytochemical intake

●      Lack of exercise

●      Lack of sleep

●      Pollution

●      Stress

●      Soil depletion

●      Impure drinking water 

Common manifestations of metabolic syndrome include:

●      Obesity

●      Cardiovascular disease

●      Pre-diabetes or diabetes

●      Chronic inflammatory diseases like arthritis

●      Auto-immune disorders

●      Alzheimer’s

●      Fatty liver disease

●      Certain forms of cancer

●      Gout

●      Thyroid disorders

Though the array of disorders seems diverse, they all share one common variable—they’re all caused by insulin resistance. In fact, metabolic syndrome used to be known as the “insulin resistance syndrome.”

Was this article helpful?