Metabolic Syndrome

Overview

What Is Metabolic Syndrome?

When someone has a cluster of related metabolic conditions, we say the person has metabolic syndrome, sometimes called metabolic disease. Metabolic conditions are connected to your body’s ability to metabolize, or take in, food and water and use those substances to heal, move and grow.

Metabolic syndrome is a very serious health issue. People with the condition are usually overweight and pre-diabetic, meaning they may be close to developing diabetes, a blood-sugar disorder that requires insulin injections. People with metabolic syndrome risk eventually having a heart attack or stroke.

Causes of Metabolic Disease

People who are overweight and physically inactive face a high risk of developing metabolic syndrome. Your chances of developing the condition also increase as you age and are higher if you have a family history of metabolic syndrome.

World-Class Care

Aurora’s Specialized Care For Metabolic Syndrome

Because metabolic syndrome can lead to very serious heart and vascular problems, Aurora Health Care is diligent about screening for the condition and treating it. When we work with you on controlling metabolic syndrome, you’ll benefit from our:

  • Dedicated coaching: Our specialized Clinic for Preventive Cardiology assesses your risk for metabolic syndrome and coaches you on making individualized lifestyle changes to improve your health. These services are available at Aurora Sinai Medical Center and Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center in Milwaukee. Learn more about the Clinic for Preventive Cardiology.
  • Compassionate care: We understand that dealing with weight-related issues can be uncomfortable. However, Aurora’s focus is on you, not your weight. Every team member you see, from our support staff to our specialists, will treat you with care and respect.
  • Heart and vascular expertise: Aurora is home to internationally renowned heart and vascular experts. If we suspect you have metabolic syndrome connected to another serious heart or vascular disorder, we can quickly refer you to one of our specialists.

Signs

Signs of Metabolic Syndrome

You have metabolic syndrome if you have three or more of these measurements:

  • Large waistline: An unhealthy waist measurement is defined as 40 inches or more for men and 35 inches or more for women. These measurements apply to most men and women living in the United States. However, the medical community has defined measurements for people of other nationalities, whose typical body measurements might be different.
  • High blood glucose (blood sugar): If you already have diabetes, or your fasting blood sugar measures 110 mg/dl or higher on a lab test, this condition applies to you.
  • High blood pressure (hypertension): If your systolic pressure (the first blood pressure number) is 130 mm or higher and your diastolic pressure (the second number) is 85 mm or higher – meaning 130/85 or above – you have this condition. You’re also considered to have this factor if your doctor is already treating you for high blood pressure.
  • High triglyceride levels: If you’re already being treated for high blood triglycerides (a type of fat in your blood) or your triglycerides measure 150 mg/dl or higher on a lab test, you’re positive for this factor.
  • Low HDL “good” cholesterol levels: Anything below 40 mg/dl for men or below 50 mg/dl for women is considered a risk factor.

Diagnosis & Treatment

Thorough Evaluation & Treatment for Metabolic Syndrome

Your doctor may talk to you about metabolic syndrome during an office visit, or suggest additional tests if you appear to be developing contributing factors such as a large waistline.

Diagnostic Tests

If you show signs of metabolic syndrome, we might:

  • Order blood tests: We’ll check your glucose, triglyceride and cholesterol levels, as well as other measurements.
  • Refer you for an assessment: Our Clinic for Preventive Cardiology at Aurora Sinai Medical Center or Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center in Milwaukee specializes in helping people with metabolic syndrome.

Learn more about heart and vascular testing and diagnosis at Aurora.

Treatment Options

The good news is that you can reverse metabolic syndrome and significantly reduce your risks of developing related heart and vascular problems:

  • Health and lifestyle changes: The first place to start addressing metabolic syndrome is to look at how your habits affect your:
    • Eat healthier foods.
    • Increase your daily physical activity.
    • Quit smoking.
    • Lose weight.
    • Monitor your body weight and waist circumference.
  • Advanced coaching: Our Clinic for Preventive Cardiology offers a special lifestyle modification program. We provide personal coaching for people combatting metabolic syndrome.
  • Medication: If necessary, your doctor might prescribe medications to control your blood sugar, blood pressure or cholesterol levels.

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