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Metabolic Syndrome: Definition

You’ve probably heard the term “Metabolic Syndrome” tossed around, but what does it really mean?

Metabolic Risk Factors: The five conditions described below are metabolic risk factors. You can have any one of these risk factors by itself, but they tend to occur together. You must have at least three metabolic risk factors to be diagnosed with metabolic syndrome.

A large waistline. This also is called abdominal obesity or “having an apple shape.” Excess fat in the abdominal area is a greater risk factor for heart disease than excess fat in other parts of the body, such as on the hips.

A high triglyceride level. Triglycerides are a type of fat found in the blood.

A low HDL cholesterol level. HDL sometimes is called “good” cholesterol. This is because it helps remove cholesterol from your arteries. A low HDL cholesterol level raises your risk for heart disease.

High blood pressure

. Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of your arteries as your heart pumps blood. If this pressure rises and stays high over time, it can damage your heart and lead to plaque buildup.

High fasting blood sugar. Mildly high blood sugar may be an early sign of diabetes.”

(source: National Heart Lung and Blood Institute)

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