Obesity and your health—Could you be at risk of metabolic syndrome?

Excess weight can lead to a variety of health problems. When someone has a body mass index of 30 or higher, they are considered obese. One of the health problems obesity is closely linked to is metabolic syndrome, which is defined as a cluster of conditions that can increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

What is metabolic syndrome?

Metabolic syndrome is a group of conditions such as high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat, and high cholesterol that occur at the same time. This combination of conditions can greatly increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

Risk factors of metabolic syndrome

  • Age
  • Race
  • Excess weight or obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Other diseases: cardiovascular disease, polycystic ovary syndrome

A good place to start to determine if you have metabolic syndrome is with your healthcare provider. There are a series of tests he or she can perform to see if you have the criteria for a metabolic syndrome diagnosis. However, it is important to monitor all of these numbers, even if you don’t have metabolic syndrome.

Treatment

  • Lifestyle changes: diet and exercise
  • Losing weight
  • Routine monitoring of numbers
  • Medications to help control blood pressure and cholesterol