Metabolic Syndrome and Hormones
A Mounting Health Crisis
According to a CDC study, 42.4% of all adult Americans suffer from obesity. Many patients struggling with obesity are at increased risk of serious health complications. Obesity, especially visceral obesity (around the mid-section), is closely associated with Metabolic Syndrome, a cluster of cardio-metabolic characteristics that increases the risk of abnormal heart conditions, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. This syndrome is often related to insulin resistance. When cells become resistant to insulin, blood sugar levels continue to rise, even while the body continues to produce more and more insulin and can place patients at increased risk of Type 2 Diabetes.
By 2012 over 1/3 of all U.S. adults met the definition and criteria for Metabolic Syndrome. Symptoms include obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, and abnormal triglycerides. Just one of these conditions does not indicate Metabolic Syndrome but does increase the risk of chronic health problems. To qualify as having Metabolic Syndrome, a patient must display at least three of these symptoms.
Addressing Underlying Causes
It may be necessary to make immediate and drastic lifestyle changes to address the compounded health risks of Metabolic Syndrome, including getting at least 30 minutes of exercise daily, eliminating processed foods with saturated fats and salt, and adopting a diet that centers around vegetables and lean proteins. This can also involve placing a serious focus on losing and maintaining a healthy weight and body mass index and eliminating any tobacco use.
It is also important to talk to your doctor about the underlying relationship between Metabolic Syndrome and hormone imbalance.
In both men and women, there is a relationship between hormone imbalance and Metabolic Syndrome.
The Hormone-Metabolism Link
For women, the associated risks of Metabolic Syndrome are more common following menopause. Imbalanced estrogen and testosterone levels can lead to excess visceral fat and increase the risk of insulin resistance.
In men, a reduction of testosterone and a change in the levels of sex-hormone binding globulin can occur during andropause and put patients at increased risk of obesity and insulin resistance associated with Metabolic Syndrome.