It's estimated that nearly one out of every three Americans has this condition. A condition that can lead to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or an early death. Most people probably have never heard of Metabolic Syndrome but it's a condition that needs to be addressed.
Chances are you, someone you know, or the stranger you pass on the street has Metabolic Syndrome. While it's a recognized medical condition, it's really more of a combination of symptoms that put you at risk for health problems down the road.
"It really relates to all these different things that you can get, people that have high blood pressure, high triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol which is your good cholesterol, increased belly fat in other words they're overweight but it tends to be around the stomach, that usually means if you have those features you have this Metabolic Syndrome." Said cardiologist Dr. David Nagelhout with the North Central Heart Institute.
The condition is easily diagnosed by your physician during a routine exam and lab work. But a diagnosis of Metabolic Syndrome is not a life sentence rather a wake up call. It's your body saying don't let things like high-blood pressure spiral out of control and turn into diabetes or heart disease.
"If people would catch it early by diet, exercise, lose weight, and really cut out the carbs and some of that stuff you can really change that profile and if not eliminate the metabolic syndrome or limit the risk of diabetes at least you'll prevent it for a much longer period time." Said Dr. Nagelhout.
Metabolic Syndrome usually shows up in 30 and 40-year-olds, meaning there is plenty of time to hit the treadmill and get that body weight under control.
"If you want to avoid all these problems you really need to work on it. Is it going to make you feel better instantly? Not really, it's kind of like high blood pressure you don't necessarily know you have it and it doesn't necessarily make you feel bad until you have a heart attack or stroke!" Said Dr. Nagelhout.
Don't carry the false hope of "out of sight, out of mind." If you have any of the risk factors, get them check out. If you don't know where to turn, the Avera Heart Hospital's outpatient nutrition clinic and dietitians are a great place to start.
"When you talk to your doctor, you're not going to have time to sit there for an hour and go through all the different things where as a dietitian will spend that time with you and there's a lot of books in the library and bookstore on pre-diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome and there are things there that can be very helpful." Said Dr. Nagelhout.
The saying goes "You'll miss every shot you don't take," so what's stopping you from getting your health on track? Step up to the line, let her fly, and send Metabolic Syndrome to the bench.
An easy way to fight Metabolic Syndrome is by walking for 30 minutes everyday and eating a reduced calorie diet. Studies have also shown that a daily glass of milk helped cut people's risk nearly in half. For more information about Metabolic Syndrome just call 877-AT-AVERA.