Insulin resistance syndrome; Syndrome X
Metabolic syndrome is very common in the United States. About one fourth of Americans are affected. Doctors are not sure whether the syndrome is due to one single cause. But many of the risks for the syndrome are related to obesity. Many people with metabolic syndrome used to be told they had pre-diabetes, early hypertension (high blood pressure) or mild hyperlipidemia (high fats in the blood).
The two most important risk factors for metabolic syndrome are:
Other risk factors include:
People who have metabolic syndrome often have one or more other factors that may be linked with the condition, including:
Your health care provider will examine you. You'll be asked about your overall health and any symptoms you're having. Blood tests may be ordered to check your blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels.
You'll likely be diagnosed with metabolic syndrome if you have three or more of the following signs:
The goal of treatment is to reduce your risk for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
Your provider will recommend lifestyle changes or medicines:
Your provider may recommend daily low-dose aspirin.
If you smoke, now is the time to quit. Ask your provider for help quitting. There are medicines and programs that can help you quit.
People with metabolic syndrome have an increased long-term risk of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, kidney disease, and poor blood supply to the legs.
Call your provider if you have signs or symptoms of this condition.
American Heart Association website. About metabolic syndrome. www.heart.org/en/health-topics/metabolic-syndrome/about-metabolic-syndrome. Updated July 31, 2016. Accessed August 18, 2020.
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Metabolic syndrome. www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/metabolic-syndrome. Accessed August 18, 2020.
Raynor HA, Champagne CM. Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: interventions for the treatment of overweight and obesity in adults. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2016;116(1):129-147. PMID: 26718656 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26718656/.
Ruderman NB, Shulman GI. Metabolic syndrome. In: Jameson JL, De Groot LJ, de Kretser DM, et al, eds. Endocrinology: Adult and Pediatric. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 43.BACK TO TOP
Review Date: 5/13/2020
Reviewed By: Brent Wisse, MD, board certified in Metabolism/Endocrinology, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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