Insulin resistance syndrome

Definition

Metabolic syndrome refers to a group of symptoms that occur together and promote the development of coronary artery disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.

Metabolic syndrome is also called insulin resistance syndrome.

Alternative Names

Insulin resistance syndrome; Syndrome X

Causes

Metabolic syndrome is becoming more and more common in the United States. More than 50 million Americans are estimated to have the condition.

Metabolic syndrome it is associated with many underlying conditions and risk factors. The two most important risk factors are:

Researchers are not sure whether the syndrome is due to one single cause. But many experts believe that insulin resistance is the underlying cause. Insulin helps blood sugar (glucose) enter cells. If you have insulin resistance, your body doesn't respond to insulin, and blood sugar can't get into cells. As a result, the body produces more and more insulin. Insulin and blood sugar levels rise, affecting kidney function and raising the level of blood fats, such as triglycerides.

Other risk factors include:

Symptoms

Alone, the symptoms can cause medical issues. Combined, they can present severe health problems.

Symptoms include:

Exams and Tests

Tests that may be done to diagnose metabolic syndrome include:

According to the American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute metabolic syndrome is present if you have three or more of the following:

Treatment

The goal of treatment is to reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes. Your doctor will recommend lifestyle changes or medicines to help reduce your blood pressure, LDL cholesterol, and blood sugar.

Smoking should be avoided.

Outlook (Prognosis)

Persons with metabolic syndrome have an increased long-term risk for developing cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes.

Possible Complications

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call your health care provider if you have signs or symptoms of this condition.

Prevention

Preventing (and managing) the condition involves:

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