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With some questionable health advice being posted by your friends on Facebook, politicians arguing about the state of the American healthcare system and a new medical study being summarized in just a sentence or two on TV---that seems to contradict the study you heard summarized yesterday---it can be overwhelming to navigate the ever changing landscape of health news.Every Thursday at 5:42 a.m., 7:42 a.m. and 5:18 p.m., Dr. Brooke Hildebrand Clubbs provides health information you can trust. With trustworthy sources, she explores the fact and fiction surrounding various medical conditions and treatments, makes you aware of upcoming screenings, gives you prevention strategies and more…all to your health.

To Your Health: Metabolic Syndrome Is Diagnosed By A Combination Of Factors

Aranami/Flickr, License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode

When you can’t decide which entree sounds best to you at a restaurant, you may order a combo platter. When doctors couldn’t decide which risk factor was the deadliest, they created a name for this combo platter: metabolic syndrome.

While no universally accepted definition of the metabolic syndrome, or Met Syn, exists, various organizations agree, according to the Encyclopedia of Lifestyle, Medicine and Health, that Met Syn is diagnosed by a combination of 3 or more of the following factors:

First: visceral obesity, which is excess fat around the abdominal area
Second:  hypertension, which is high blood pressure
Third:  dyslipidemia: which is elevated  bad LDL cholesterol levels and low levels of the good HDL cholesterol
Fourth:  altered glucose/insulin metabolism.

This combination greatly increases risks of morbidity and mortality, particularly related to type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attack and stroke.

Controllable risk factors leading to development of Met Syn include the accumulation of excess fat, a sedentary lifestyle, and a diet high in the fats that cause plaque to build in arteries. Therefore, weight loss through healthy eating and increased exercise is recommended as first-line therapy for Met Syn. The International Journal of Obesity found that losing weight not only has an impact on the individual components of metabolic syndrome, but that people diagnosed with Met Syn who lose 10% of their body weight improve to the point that they no longer fit the diagnosis.

Lundgren, J. D., Malcolm, R., Binks, M., & O'Neil, P. M. (2009). Remission of metabolic syndrome following a 15-week low-calorie lifestyle change program for weight loss. International Journal Of Obesity, 33(1), 144-150. doi:10.1038/ijo.2008.225

Melanson, K. J., & Melanson. (2012). Metabolic syndrome and diet. In J. M. Rippe, Encyclopedia of lifestyle medicine and health. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Retrieved from https://library.semo.edu:2443/login?url=https://search.credoreference.com/content/entry/sagehm/metabolic_syndrome_and_diet/0?institutionId=1804


Dr. Brooke Hildebrand Clubbs is an assistant professor in the Department of Leadership, Middle & Secondary Education. She writes for special publications of The Southeast Missourian and is a certified Community Health Worker.
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