Leyla Weighs In: Do you have Metabolic Syndrome?

| By Leyla Muedin MS, RD, CDN

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Do you have Metabolic Syndrome?

Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of cardiovascular risk factors associated with increased risk for chronic disease such as heart disease and cancer. According to the CDC, more than a third of all US adults met the definition and criteria for metabolic syndrome agreed to jointly by several international organizations. That’s an estimated 76 million Americans with Metabolic Syndrome, also known as Syndrome X and insulin resistance syndrome.

On your own, this is what you can do to find out if you meet the criteria for metabolic syndrome: First, measure your waist. Is it 35” or greater (women), or 40” or greater (men)? If it is, you can tick this box. Abdominal obesity is definitely a component. It may be time to reinvigorate those New Year’s resolutions to drop some pounds. 

With your doctor, find out the following: Do you have high blood pressure? How about your triglycerides? Are they above 150mg/dL? What about your HDL cholesterol? Is it less than 50mg/dL (women) or 40mg/dL (men)? 

More with your doctor: Is your fasting blood sugar 99mg/dl or higher? Actually, even 90-95 is questionable since this is already the high end of normal. 

If you answer yes to any three of these five criteria, you have the metabolic syndrome. 

While not part of the criterion to diagnose metabolic syndrome, another important feature is insulin resistance. Ask your doctor for a fasting insulin or C-peptide test (a reasonable proxy). 

If you’re given the diagnosis of metabolic syndrome, the good news is it’s completely reversible with diet and lifestyle changes! Frankly, the condition itself is a lifestyle choice. 

Now, tell your doctor to put away the prescription pad and send you to a qualified nutritionist who can help you REVERSE ALL OF THESE RISK FACTORS without the side effects of drugs. 

To your health! 

Leyla Muedin, MS, RD, CDN 


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