Do you have metabolic syndrome? Because most people who do…don’t know.

Six steps to managing metabolic syndrome

Research suggests that 20-25% of adults worldwide have this cluster of risk factors and a whopping 35% of US adults. Undetected and un-managed it is a sure-track to diabetes, heart disease and other cardio-vascular illness.

So what is it?

Not an illness in itself, Metabolic Syndrome is a cluster of symptoms, which in combination are a warning sign of later ill-health. The symptoms include:

  • Low good (HDH) cholesterol levels

  • High triglyceride levels

  • High blood-pressure

  • Obesity – notably with weight gain around the waist

There is a definite link to obesity, age and ethnicity. If you have a waist circumference higher than 80cm, if you are over 50 and/or are an Asian or Afro-Caribbean Sassista, you are more at risk. But you are increasing that risk of you are inactive, drink, smoke and eat rubbish. 

Often called Insulin Resistance, people with Metabolic Syndrome find they are tired, tend to get inflammation and cannot lose weight. This is because their bodies have stopped reacting effectively to insulin release and so glucose is building in their bodies. The problem then is that your body releases more insulin, signalling your body to store fat and the cycle becomes self-perpetuating.

So what do you do if you suspect you are living with metabolic syndrome?

Step one – get tested. A simple blood test and blood pressure tests will quickly tell your GP exactly what is going on in your body. You can then get the right medical advice.

Step two – lose the weight. This will not be easy as your body has tipped over into fat retention. You will need to follow a diet with eliminates sugar, reduces fats and is made up of fresh veg and lean protein. Some high sugar fruits, such as banana, mango, papaya will have to be avoided as fructose is just sugar. Also, don’t think low calorie drinks are the answer – your brain cannot discern between saccharine and sugar. Alcohol needs to be avoided.

Step three – get moving. No matter how fat and tired you feel, you need to get that body moving. Sitting like a slug will only help that artery clogging cholesterol settle. Start with walking, move to something more energetic and never give up.

Step four – kick out your cigarettes. They are killing you, make you smell and turn your skin grey. Not Sassy. Not sensible.

Step five – keep getting data. A good GP will support your health regime with regular blood-testing and advice. In extreme circumstances there is medication for all symptoms – but self-help is better than pushing chemicals into your system.

Step six – never give up. Metabolic syndrome is not like flu. It doesn’t make you feel rubbish then go away. It is a life-long threat to your Sassiness. So gear up for a healthy long life and keep to the plan.

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