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How do I know if I have metabolic syndrome?

blog metabolic syndrome Apr 29, 2021

You know the term ‘tough love’? How it might hurt initially but it comes from a good place? Well, as I’m writing this blog, I’m conscious that I may offend a few people. If you’re one of them, I apologise. But sooner or later we all have to face up to reality.

Are you ready? I’m about to rip the plaster off.

Metabolic syndrome refers to a combination of health conditions, obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure that increase your risk of heart disease, stroke and atherosclerosis (a narrowing and hardening of the arteries).

Individually, diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity can cause problems. But a combination of the three can be very dangerous.

One in 4 adults under the age of 50 and 1 in 3 over the age of 50 have metabolic syndrome and it’s becoming increasingly common.

There are a few signs that you may have it.

Here’s the first:

Abdominal obesity
If you’re overweight, especially around the abdomen, chances are you’re a candidate.

Stand up and take a look down toward your feet. Can you see them? If you can’t, what’s in the way? Is it your stomach?

Sit down. Now look down. What do you see? Are your boobs sitting on your belly? Could you rest your dinner plate on it? If you can, there’s a chance you may have metabolic syndrome.

Now grab a tape measure. Your risk of developing metabolic syndrome is linked to the size of your tummy area. Measure the area around your abdomen (the widest part) and check the table below:

Increased risk 
Women: 80cm/32in 
Men: 94cm/37in 

Serious risk 
Women: 88cm/35in 
Men: 102cm/40in 

Hypertension

Normal blood pressure is 120/80mmHg. If yours is 140/90mmHg or higher, your heart is under strain trying to pump blood around the body.

Alcohol, MSG, being overweight and underactive can all trigger high blood pressure.

Insulin resistance

Your digestive system breaks food down into glucose for fuel and insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas, controls your blood sugar levels by helping glucose enter your cells.

Insulin resistance occurs when the body resists the effects of insulin and glucose doesn’t enter cells quite so easily. As a result, your blood sugar levels rise and your pancreas works overtime to produce more and more insulin. Over time the strain on the pancreas means it stops producing insulin and your blood sugar levels stay high.

Symptoms include being constantly thirsty, needing to pee more frequently, blurred vision and being tired all the time.

High triglyceride levels and low HDL

If the levels of fat in your blood (triglycerides) are high and the levels of HDL or ‘good cholesterol’ are low you’re a greater risk of developing atherosclerosis and heart disease. Smoking, refined carbohydrates and alcohol all have a part to play in raising triglycerides and lowering HDL.

High triglyceride levels also put you at increased risk of developing fatty liver disease which damages the liver cells and can result in cirrhosis, fibrosis or liver cancer.

And now for the good news…

I’m aware we’ve just covered a lot of science and I know it may have been a lot to take in but if you recognise any of those factors in yourself the alarm bells must surely be ringing?

Remember I mentioned tough love? Well that’s the tough bit over with.

Now it’s time for some love. Any of those factors are reversible if you’re prepared to put the work in. But you have to want to change and you have to do it now.

It’s time to clean up your diet. Ditch the junk, quit the carbage, go organic, cook from scratch.

It’s time to move. Get walking, aim for 10,000 steps a day. Take the stairs. Walk the dog. Dance around the kitchen.

It’s time to stop what you’ve been doing, listen to me and change your lifestyle.

You have one life and you deserve to live it healthily, happily and purposefully. I can show you how.

Every month my Feel Look Be Formula changes the lives of thousands of women just like you. It’s enrolling now. Why not join us?

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