Are You at Risk for Metabolic Syndrome?
You may be diagnosed with metabolic syndrome if you have three of the following health problems:
- High blood sugar levels: Your doctor may order a fasting blood glucose test. This measures the amount of sugar in your blood after you haven’t eaten for at least eight hours. Blood sugar levels are considered abnormally high when they are above 100 mg/dL.
- High blood pressure: A blood pressure reading above 130/85 puts you at increased risk for metabolic syndrome.
- High triglycerides: Too much of this type of fat in your blood can raise your risk of heart disease. A normal triglyceride level is below 150 mg/dL.
- Low HDL cholesterol: Doctors call HDL cholesterol “good” cholesterol because it helps protect you against heart disease. If you are a woman, your HDL number should be 50 or higher. If you are a man, it should be more than 40.
- Abdominal obesity: Abdominal obesity, or belly fat, refers to excessive fat around your waist. If you are a woman, your waistline should be no more than 35 inches. For men, waist circumference should be less than 40 inches.
Metabolic Syndrome Treatment at Rush
The good news about metabolic syndrome is that you may be able to reverse it — and prevent the development of serious illness — by working with specialists at Rush to make healthy changes to your lifestyle.
- Eat a heart-healthy diet.
- Increase your activity level. Try for 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week.
- Lose weight. Your goal should be a body mass index, or BMI, of less than 25. If you have a lot of weight to lose, it may help to start with short-term goals. Losing as little as 5% of your body weight can make a big difference in your health.
- If your symptoms don’t get better after a few months, your doctor may recommend medications. These may include medicine to control your blood pressure and manage the level of fats — or lipids — in your blood.
Rush Excellence in Metabolic Syndrome Care
- Comprehensive metabolic syndrome services: Your primary care doctor at Rush is an important partner in treating your metabolic syndrome. If you need extra help with lifestyle change or your symptoms don't improve, your primary care doctor may refer you to one of our weight loss services specialists.
- Specialty care: Our metabolic syndrome specialists have programs to help you control your blood pressure and make the behavior changes necessary for successful weight loss. You may meet with a registered dietitian to help you modify your diet to achieve your goals.
- Innovative research: Physicians at Rush look at factors that lead to metabolic syndrome and apply that knowledge to improve treatment plans and your quality of life. Participating in one of our clinical trials might give you access to new treatments before they're widely available.