It is called “Metabolic Syndrome” and if you have it then your risk of heart attacks, strokes, and diabetes are HIGH
Has your waist size increased – is it a bit embarrassing? You may have metabolic syndrome. But there are other factors, and if you have three of these factors than you have Metabolic syndrome. How much risk? It depends upon your age, and other factors but as much as two times the risk of heart attacks and up to 12 times the risk of heart attacks!
- A waist size of 40 inches for men or 34 inches for women (measured at its largest point)
- Triglyceride level of over 150, or on medication for triglycerides
- Blood pressure of 130/85 or greater, or taking medicine for high blood pressure
- Fasting glucose of 100 or greater, or taking medication for glucose control
- HDL of less than 40 for men or less than 50 for women (the good cholesterol)
Metabolic syndrome is mainly increasing because of obesity.
The danger is that as we age – this becomes more likely. It turns out 47% of the population who are 60 years old and older have this. This is probably the increase in sedentary lifestyle, combined with eating more, and aging.
Four Changes You Can Make To Decrease Your Risk
Maybe you can. A part of it involves taking care of yourself. Think of taking care of your body the way you would take care of your teeth – you need to think prevention.
- Begin a regular exercise program – get out and move more
- Incorporate more fruits and vegetables in your diet – consider the Mediterranean Diet or DASH diet as a permanent change
- Eat fish twice a week – this will help raise the HDL – or “good” cholesterol
- Drink Hibiscus Tea to help lower blood pressure naturally.
As we learn more about the underlying causes of metabolic syndrome we will develop better strategies, but for now, those are the best strategies we have.
Effect of sour tea (Hibiscus sabdariffa L.) on arterial hypertension: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.
Serban C1, Sahebkar A, Ursoniu S, Andrica F, Banach M. J Hypertens. 2015 Jun;33(6):1119-27. PMID: 25875025
Association of Fish Consumption-Derived Ratio of Serum n-3 to n-6 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Cardiovascular Risk With the Prevalence of Coronary Artery Disease.Tani S, Takahashi A, Nagao K, Hirayama A. Int Heart J. 2015 May 13;56(3):260-8.PMID: 25902881
Dietary fats and coronary heart disease.Willett WC. J Intern Med. 2012 Jul;272(1):13-24.PMID:22583051
Effect of mediterranean diet in diabetes control and cardiovascular risk modification: a systematic review.
Sleiman D, Al-Badri MR, Azar ST.Front Public Health. 2015 Apr 28;3:69.PMID: 25973415
Effects of a long-term lifestyle intervention program with Mediterranean diet and exercise for the management of patients with metabolic syndrome in a primary care setting. Gomez-Huelgas R, Jansen-Chaparro S, Baca-Osorio AJ, Mancera-Romero J, Tinahones FJ, Bernal-López MR. Eur J Intern Med. 2015 Jun;26(5):317-23.PMID: 25907985
The effects of the DASH diet education program with omega-3 fatty acid supplementation on metabolic syndrome parameters in elderly women with abdominal obesity. Choi SH, Choi-Kwon S.Nutr Res Pract. 2015 Apr;9(2):150-7.PMID: 25861421
Dr. Terry Simpson
Dr. Terry Simpson received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Chicago where he spent several years in the Kovler Viral Oncology laboratories doing genetic engineering. He found he liked people more than petri dishes, and received his MD. Dr. Simpson, then became a renowned weight loss surgeon, and a leading advocate of culinary medicine. The first surgeon to become certified in Culinary Medicine, he advocates teaching people to improve their health through their food. On the other side of the world, he has been a leading advocate of changing health care to make it more "relationship based," and his efforts awarded his team the Malcom Baldrige award for healthcare in 2011 for the NUKA system of care in Alaska. A frequent contributor to media outlets discussing health related topics and advances in medicine, he is also a proud dad, husband, author, cook, and surgeon “in that order.” For media inquiries, please visit www.terrysimpson.com.