Metabolic Syndrome

Treating Cardiovascular Diseases in Wisconsin and Northern Illinois

Metabolic syndrome is a condition that involves disturbances in the body’s metabolism of energy. The underlying causes of metabolic syndromestem from excesscaloric intake and a sedentary lifestyle.

If left untreated, metabolic syndrome can lead to serious complications, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke, among others. In fact, studies show that those who have metabolic syndrome have more than twice the risk of having a heart attack or developing diabetes than those who do not have this condition.

Metabolic syndrome has become more prevalent with the rise in obesity. Today, more than one in three Americans has this condition. African American and Hispanic females have a greater likelihood of developing it. The risk also increases with age.

Metabolic Syndrome Symptoms and Signs

To be diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, you must have at least three of the following five features:

  1. A large waistline, defined as 40 inches or more for men and 35 inches or more women (These measurements apply to most of the men and women living in the U.S. There are other defined measurements for ethnic groups from countries around the world.)
  2. Triglyceride levels of 150 mg/dl or more, or being treated for this condition
  3. HDL cholesterol levels below 40 mg/dl for men and below 50 mg/dl for women
  4. Blood pressure of 130 mm of Hg systolic or 85 mm of Hg diastolic or higher or being treated for high blood pressure
  5. Fasting blood sugar level of 110 mg/dl or more, or being treated for diabetes

Diagnosing Metabolic Syndrome

Other than a large waistline, the features of metabolic syndrome are not outwardly apparent. If you are overweight or obese, or have a large waistline, it is helpful to talk with your health care provider about checking for the other features for this condition, such as high blood pressure, high triglycerides and high fasting blood sugar levels and a low HDL cholesterol level.

The earlier you identify metabolic syndrome, the sooner you may be able to treat the underlying causes and avoid the potential complications.

Treating Metabolic Syndrome

Adapting a healthier lifestyle is the first step toward treating metabolic syndrome and the features associated with it. Your health care provider can guide you toward a healthier lifestyle, which includes:

  • Eating healthier foods
  • Increasing your daily physical activity
  • Quitting smoking

In addition, your health care provider may prescribe medications to control your blood sugar, blood pressure or cholesterol levels.

Support for Managing Metabolic Syndrome 

For help treating metabolic syndrome, we have a Clinic for Preventive Cardiology(link tbd) that offers a special lifestyle modification program. We can assess your risks for metabolic syndrome and provide personal coaching on how to live a healthier lifestyle. The clinic is at Aurora Sinai Medical Center and Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call (414) 219-7653.

Aurora offers a coordinated care experience that includes access to personalized health information and services for preventing and treating metabolic syndrome. By working with our dietitians, you can learn how to follow a heart healthy diet to help control or avoid metabolic syndrome risk factors.

Our coordinated care also includes access to outstanding doctors and services for preventing, diagnosing and treating other cardiovascular conditions and disorders. Aurora doctors are conveniently located throughout eastern Wisconsin and northeastern Illinois.  Find a doctor or heart specialist near you. To get a second opinion or if you need assistance finding a provider, please call 888-649-6892.

This page was written by V. Shrinivas Murthy, MD, PhD, an Aurora doctor practicing at Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center and Aurora Sinai Medical Center.