Metabolic Syndrome - Medical Malpractice Lawyers

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Metabolic Syndrome - Medical Malpractice

Metabolic syndrome used to be called syndrome X or dysmetabolic syndrome and has been known since around 1940. It is a cluster of metabolic risk factors that can lead to diabetes and heart disease. Its main features include having high blood pressure, high cholesterol, insulin resistance and increased clotting risk along with insulin resistance, which can go on to develop diabetes. Obesity is a common feature of the disease.

Insulin resistance means that the cells cannot respond to insulin as well and sugar does not go into the cells but remains in the bloodstream. This leads to diabetes and high blood sugar levels.

The definition of this syndrome depends on who is making up the definition. The National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel or ATP III in the US has defined metabolic syndrome as having a abdominal obesity with a waist circumference greater than 40 inches in men and 35 inches in women. The serum triglyceride level is 150 mg/dl or more without treatment with anti-triglyceride medications. The HDL cholesterol is lower than 50 in women and lower than 40 in men and the blood pressure is greater than 130 over 85 or higher. The fasting blood glucose is greater than 110 mg/dL.

The Word Health Organization or WHO has defined metabolic syndrome slightly differently. It defines the syndrome as having high insulin levels, abdominal obesity, cholesterol elevations or a blood pressure of 140/90 or more or being on treatment for high blood pressure.

Metabolic syndrome is very common with about 20-30 percent of the population in developed countries having metabolic syndrome. The rate of metabolic syndrome is increasing as obesity is increasing over time.

No one knows the exact cause of metabolic syndrome but it is considered both a genetic and environmental disease. If you have a family history of early heart disease, type II diabetes and high blood pressure, you are more likely to have metabolic syndrome. If you have a low activity level and live a sedentary lifestyle with obesity as a result, you have a higher risk of developing metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome occurs in about 60 percent of those people considered obese. If you gain up to five pounds of excess weight per year, you increase your rate of developing metabolic syndrome by around 45 percent.

The condition is made worse by being post-menopausal, eating a high carbohydrate diet, smoking, and leading a life with little activity. Not drinking alcohol to a moderate degree can increase the rate of metabolic syndrome. The risk of diabetes type II is 9 to 30 times higher in those who have metabolic syndrome when compared to those who do not have metabolic syndrome. Heart disease risk goes up about 2-4 times with those who have metabolic syndrome. You can also get a fatty liver disease and liver cirrhosis with metabolic syndrome.

Related diseases to metabolic syndrome include sleep apnoea, dementia in older years and polycystic ovarian disease.

The treatment of metabolic syndrome is difficult because there are a number of things wrong with the body in this disease. The best treatment is to lower the weight and increase the activity on a daily basis. Lifestyle modification is the best way to treat the disease and it includes changes in both diet and exercise. The Mediterranean diet has been found to be helpful in this disorder. A low calorie diet is preferred. Thirty minutes of exercise practiced at least five days per week is preferred, providing the doctor says it is okay. Blood pressure and cholesterol can be reduced with exercise and medications can also affect these body problems. There is no benefit with liposuction on lowering risk in metabolic syndrome.

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The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here