Causes of Metabolic Syndrome
Metabolic syndrome is believed to develop due to insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone that is produced by the pancreas (an organ located near stomach). It helps blood sugar enter cells, where it is used for energy. With insulin resistance, the body fails to recognize the insulin that is produced, causing the sugar to accumulate in the blood instead of being absorbed into other cells. Because blood sugar levels remain high, the pancreas keeps producing more and more insulin, leading to high insulin levels. While blood sugar levels are not high enough to be classified as diabetes, they do increase the risk of developing serious health problems
Scientists know that being overweight and inactive has a significantly contributed to persons developing metabolic syndrome. They are not certain why insulin resistance develops but they believe it may be partly inherited.
In an article written by Liaw (2008), on 14th January, 2008, he said that Native Americans are 2 to 3 times more likely than Chinese to contract Type II diabetes, and Asians on the whole are about twice as likely as Caucasians to get it.
Symptoms and Complications of Metabolic Syndrome
A person has metabolic syndrome when they have a combination of three or more certain health risks which include:
* high blood pressure
* high blood sugar levels
* excess body weight
* low levels of “good” cholesterol (HDL)
* high levels of triglycerides (a type of fat found in the blood)
The risk increases dramatically when a person has a combination of theses symptoms. The risk is of developing diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
Other major risk factors that may lead to the development of metabolic syndrome include:
* age (the risk of metabolic syndrome increases as you get older)
* a family history of type 2 diabetes
* other medical conditions including high blood pressure, heart or blood vessel disease, and polycystic ovarian syndrome (a condition where a woman’s body produces too much male hormones)
A Global Health Crisis
Approximately one-quarter of Canadians have this condition, although the rate is higher for certain groups of people. For example, people of First Nations and South Asian descent have higher rates of metabolic syndrome than Caucasians.
Metabolic syndrome has reached near epidemic proportions in the U.S.
In China, obesity—which has become the nation’s newest health risk —is the principal reason for the increased prevalence of the metabolic syndrome . Statistically, being underweight is one of the major causes of death in rural China , however, paradoxically, being overweight is one of the major concerns in urban China .
The Silent Killer
Although you may not notice any changes in the way you feel, having metabolic syndrome dramatically increases the risk of serious health problems including diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. In fact, the more health risks you have, the more likely you are to develop these conditions.
ref: Medi Resource,Liaw, W. C. (2008). S’pore And NZ Researches To Study Diabetes, Obesity In Asian. The Straits Times, Singapore,
DISCLAIMER: The publisher does not claim to be a health care professional of any sort. This blog is intended for informational purposes only and should not be used as a guide for diagnosis and/or treatment of any disease. If you have ay health problems, it is advisable to seek the advice of a health care professional.