Consequences of the Metabolic Syndrome and how to treat it

Written by: Dra. Aurelia Villar Bonet
Published: | Updated: 20/10/2018
Edited by: Alicia Arévalo Bernal

Cardiovascular disease is one of the leading causes of death in the Western world and continues to increase. Cholesterol and circulating fats are deposited in the interior of the arteries producing an inflammation of the vessel wall, which results in the atheroma plaque and atherosclerosis. These plaques can partially or totally block the light from these vessels and lead to an ischemia or infarction of irrigated territory, such as the heart or brain.

There are so-called cardiovascular risk factors; Are those that favor the formation of these arteriosclerosis plaques. Those who have them are more susceptible or prone to develop this type of diseases related to cardiovascular disease. Metabolic syndrome is called the set of risk factors that are present in an individual and predispose them to develop type 2 DM and cardiovascular disease.

Currently, the major risk factors are:

  • Altered basal glucose or prediabetes (by more than 100 mg / dl)
  • Abdominal or central obesity , as measured by waist circumference (greater than 102 cm in males and 88 cm in females)
  • High blood pressure (more than 130/80)
  • Triglycerides (more than 150 mg / dl)
  • Low HDL (this is known as good cholesterol )


Diagnosis of Metabolic Syndrome

To make the diagnosis requires the coexistence of three or more of these factors in a person.

What is the cause?

The fundamental cause of this occurrence is due to insulin resistance. There is a peripheral resistance to insulin (insulin can not act correctly in cells), so it increases in blood leading to hyperinsulinemia, which is the cause of most of the syndrome. In turn, hyperinsulinemia can lead to dyslipidemia, weight gain, fatty liver, polycystic ovary, sleep apnea and sexual dysfunction. In women, the incidence of breast and endometrial cancer increases. This happens mostly in obese people .

There are other factors also involved in the origin of the syndrome as the elevation of fatty acids and the alteration of adipokines.

Symptoms of Metabolic Syndrome

Many times this situation goes unnoticed by the patient, until he develops a diabetes or suffers a myocardial or cerebral infarction, being diagnosed at that moment. Others, however, may manifest as any complication of the syndrome such as obesity, fatty liver, or polycystic ovary.

What is the solution?

The important thing is prevention. Those people who are very likely to have it should go to the specialist in Endocrinology. Overweight subjects, hypertension, increased uric acid, first-degree relatives affected by vascular problems and diabetes mellitus make up the main group of at-risk patients.

Treatment for Metabolic Syndrome

Obesity and insulin resistance are the basis of the syndrome, so the first step is the change in lifestyle. You have to make a healthy diet and exercise to achieve an adequate weight. Physical exercise should be moderate and regular, at least 3 times a week along with a healthy diet, which should be rich in fruits and vegetables and low in saturated fats. The balanced diet is the one that has the right amount of carbohydrates, proteins and fat that each one must take, spread over five shots. Quitting smoking and avoiding alcohol. You have to take the calories you need, both to lose weight and to prevent it from increasing. Comorbidities should also be treated separately: dyslipidemia, hypertension, and fatty liver.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

By Dra. Aurelia Villar Bonet
Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism

Dr. Villar Bonet has a degree in Medicine and Surgery from the Faculty of Medicine of Santander (University of Cantabria) and specialist in Endocrinology in the area of Obesity , thyroid diseases , hormonal problems , metabolic syndrome and diabetes mellitus.

He has developed his work experience in several hospitals in Cantabria and at the Cruces Hospital in Bilbao . She is also an associate professor in the Department of Medicine in the Faculty of Medicine of Valladolid and tutor of support for residents in training in the specialty.

He has participated as a speaker in various forums, training courses and doctorate courses; in addition to several clinical trials at the national level in different areas of Endocrinology. She has participated as a researcher in the genetic study of familial hypercholesterolemia in the Family Hypercholesterolemia Foundation and Association of patients with familial hypercholesterolemia .

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

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