5 Myths and Facts About Metabolic Syndrome - Fitterfly
Diabetes Management

5 Myths and Facts About Metabolic Syndrome

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October 2022
Metabolic syndrome

Introduction

The word “metabolism” gets thrown around when discussing lifestyle or chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease, or obesity – for a good reason! After all, our metabolism plays a starring role in our overall health! “Metabolic syndrome” is not just a new buzzword in the wellness field. 

There are many myths about metabolic syndrome or MetS; things can get confusing with the overflow of information. Don’t worry! We have you covered! 

This article will break down five common myths about metabolic syndrome and bust them wide open. 

Myth 1: Metabolic Syndrome is a single disease 

Fact: Metabolic Syndrome is a cluster of medical conditions that occur together 

Metabolic syndrome, also called insulin resistance syndrome, MetS, dysmetabolic syndrome. 

 Or syndrome X is not a single disease but a group of characteristics, like obesity, high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar levels, and high triglycerides.

The metabolic syndrome causes an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. The condition can be diagnosed by looking for metabolic syndrome symptoms like high blood pressure, high blood sugar, increased body fat around the waist, and high levels of cholesterol or triglyceride. 

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If you have just one of these conditions, it doesn’t mean you have metabolic syndrome, but it does increase your risk of severe disease. 

Myth 2: Metabolic syndrome is rare in India

Fact: 1 in 3 Indians suffer from metabolic syndrome 

Metabolic syndrome is considered a lifestyle disease, so many people assume that people in Westen countries, who are more prone to obesity and overweight, are naturally more at risk for metabolic syndrome. However, recent studies show that almost one in three adults in India suffers from metabolic syndrome. 

More women tend to get diagnosed with MetS compared to men, while people in urban areas are more at risk. MetS affects more than 40% of people in their sixties and seventies, showing that the risk of metabolic syndrome increases with age; but, surprisingly, in  2020, scientists discovered that about 3% of children and 5% of adolescents had metabolic syndrome, showing that people are being diagnosed with the condition even earlier.

Myth 3: Metabolic syndrome is a genetic disease 

Fact: A combination of genetic and lifestyle factors causes metabolic syndrome 

While we haven’t determined the exact causes of metabolic syndrome, we know that most of the features we see in MetS are associated with insulin resistance. 

You can learn more about insulin resistance by checking out – https://www.fitterfly.com/blog/what-is-insulin-resistance-causes-symptoms-and-solutions/

If you have insulin resistance, your body cannot use insulin efficiently to lower your blood glucose and cholesterol levels. The condition can be associated with your genes or a family’s tendency to suffer from diabetes and high cholesterol levels. Overweight and obese adults were five times more likely to get metabolic syndrome than adults with average or low body mass index. 

But, your lifestyle habits also play a significant role. These include diet, nutrition, exercise, sleeping habits, and uncontrolled stress levels. 

Myth 4: Metabolic Syndrome can be diagnosed with a single blood test. 

Fact: Metabolic syndrome diagnosis is made after many blood tests 

Metabolic syndrome diagnosis can be tricky. But research shows that you could be suffering from metabolic syndrome if you have three or more of the following:

  • A waistline of 40 inches or more for men and 35 inches or more for women (measured across the belly)
  • A blood pressure of 130/85 mm Hg or higher or are taking blood pressure medications
  • A triglyceride level above 150 mg/dl
  • A fasting blood glucose (sugar) level greater than 100 mg/dl or if you are already taking glucose-lowering medications.
  • A high-density lipoprotein level (HDL) less than 40 mg/dl (men) or under 50 mg/dl (women) 

Your doctor could ask you to do the following tests to support the diagnosis: 

  • Hemoglobin A1C to screen for insulin resistance and diabetes mellitus type 2
  • Lipid panel for abnormally elevated triglyceride levels, low HDL levels, and elevated low-density lipoprotein levels
  • Renal function and liver function tests 
  • C-reactive protein to check for signs of chronic inflammation. 

Additional tests may be required if your doctor suspects any other complications of metabolic syndrome. For example, people having atherosclerotic coronary artery disease should have an electrocardiogram (ECG) to look for signs of cardiac ischemia, infarct, and arrhythmias.

Myth 5: Metabolic syndrome can be treated only with medications 

Fact: Metabolic syndrome can be prevented and treated with lifestyle changes

Healthy eating habits and regular physical activity can help you prevent, regulate, and reverse metabolic abnormalities. Keeping your weight, blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels under control can help you live longer, decrease your risk of heart attack and stroke, and serve as an effective treatment for metabolic syndrome

Here are a few steps to keep in mind: 

  1. Maintain Healthy Eating Habits: Eat a well-balanced diet full of vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, and complex carbohydrates, with low-fat milk or dairy products. Replace solid fats with vegetable oils, such as olive or canola oil, and limit your intake of junk foods. 
  2. Stay Active: Run, jog, walk, and play for at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week. Try to avoid a sedentary lifestyle. 
  3. Reduce Stress:  Practice yoga, meditation, and other relaxation and deep breathing techniques to cope with stress. Ensure an excellent work-life balance, and don’t hesitate to reach out for help when you need it. 
  4. Quit Smoking: Nicotine and tar increase your risk of high blood pressure, blood clots, and heart attacks. 

Fittertake

Metabolic syndrome treatment can be difficult but not impossible with the right help and support. Seek medical help if your symptoms are getting out of control.

The earlier you tackle metabolic syndrome, the earlier you can reverse its effects on your body. This is where Fitterfly comes in! Our programs help you make behavioral changes that last a lifetime to break free from the chains of metabolic syndrome. 

According to research, corporate India is on the brink of a METs epidemic, with about 30 mn people existing or a risk of heart disease, 75 mn of corporate Indians are at risk of diabetes, 30% of them suffer from hypertension, and 1 in 4 of them are overweight.

This is why Fitterfly has launched India’s 1st Metabolic Health Challenge called Metamorphosis. You can nominate your employees for our smart, personalized, clinically validated & digitally led 90-day programs. You can check out the details here or call us at: 

Check out our program details, linked here – https://www.fitterfly.com/ 

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