What is Metabolic Syndrome?

Metabolic syndrome is a pre-pathological state associated with a sedentary lifestyle. Here, we'll explain what it is and how to treat it.
What is Metabolic Syndrome?

Last update: 09 May, 2020

Living a sedentary lifestyle isn’t good for your health. Although we tend to think the way a person looks determines if they’re healthy or not, it might be a reflection of what’s happening inside the body. Metabolic syndrome is a problem that can affect this.

One of the most important things to keep in mind to lead a healthy lifestyle is hormones. Metabolic syndrome can seriously alter the hormonal system–common in sedentary people.

What is metabolic syndrome?

Metabolic syndrome is a set of biochemical, physiological, and clinical factors. They determine a much higher risk of heart disease and diabetes and even death can be a consequence of these diseases.

This syndrome is common in those with poor diets and lacking physical activity. In other words, it’s common in sedentary people. These are some of the signs and symptoms:

A man living a sedentary lifestyle.

What causes metabolic syndrome?

In general, a sedentary lifestyle causes metabolic syndrome. Here, we’ll delve a little deeper into its main causes:

High fat intake

Following a diet rich in fats, especially saturated fat, causes this fat to build up in fat reserves. Also, it’ll raise blood triglyceride levels.

If the fat remains high in circulation, it deposits in tissues, such as the heart or liver. In addition, it changes the hormones in your body and slows down your metabolism. Then, it causes obesity and a vicious cycle that’s hard to break.

Also, foods are high in cholesterol, especially LDL cholesterol, which is bad cholesterol. This can build up in the arteries and cause problems such as a heart attack or stroke.

Eating too much sugar

Eating foods rich in simple carbohydrates, such as candy, processed pastries, or junk food- foods also very high in saturated fats- will raise your blood sugar.

This stimulates pancreatic insulin secretion. If you continue doing this, your body can become insensitive to these glucose levels. Then, it’ll be harder for your pancreas to make insulin, which could lead to type II diabetes.

Lack of physical activity

The habits we just mentioned aren’t healthy at all. However, you could improve this by exercising frequently at a high intensity.

This is because exercise gives energy to the body to burn glucose and fat in the bloodstream. This way, it prevents them from building up in tissues and helps the pancreas secrete insulin.

However, if you don’t exercise, which is usually the case in these patients, it makes the problem worse. Then, it ends in complications we mentioned, such as obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.

A woman running on a treadmill.

Metabolic syndrome treatment

You can usually treat this condition with your diet and habits. In other words, there’s no need to take drugs or have surgery. Here are some useful steps:

  1. Change your diet. Prioritize fresh, plant-based foods and add lean meats such as turkey, chicken, and fish.
  2. Start exercising. At first, you can start with low-intensity exercises, then gradually increase it.
  3. Get enough rest. Your body needs enough sleep to maintain healthy hormones.

These are the general tips that are recommended to lose weight. In this case, we want to emphasize the importance of speaking to an expert food professional, such as an endocrinologist or nutritionist, to assess each case.

This is essential since sometimes you’re on the border between developing diabetes or not developing it. Professional guidance will help prevent relapses or possible risks in the process. This way, you can stay healthy in a balanced way.

It might interest you...
Can You Increase Your Metabolism? What You Should Know
Fit People
Read it in Fit People
Can You Increase Your Metabolism? What You Should Know

Can you really increase metabolism? This is a complex question. Keep reading to know what our experts have to say about this!

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Shin JA, Lee JH, Lim SY, Ha HS, Kwon HS, Park YM, et al. Metabolic syndrome as a predictor of type 2 diabetes, and its clinical interpretations and usefulness. Vol. 4, Journal of Diabetes Investigation. 2013. p. 334–43.
  • Park YW, Zhu S, Palaniappan L, Heshka S, Carnethon MR, Heymsfield SB. The metabolic syndrome: Prevalence and associated risk factor findings in the US population from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1988-1994. Arch Intern Med. 2003 Feb 24;163(4):427–36.
  • Paley CA, Johnson MI. Abdominal obesity and metabolic syndrome: Exercise as medicine? Vol. 10, BMC Sports Science, Medicine and Rehabilitation. BioMed Central Ltd.; 2018.

The contents of this publication are written for informational purposes. At no time do they facilitate or replace the diagnoses, treatments, or recommendations of a professional. Consult your trusted specialist if you have any doubts and seek their approval before beginning any procedure.