Metabolic Syndrome

Tempo de Leitura: 2 minutos

What is it?

Metabolic syndrome is a set of risk factors that increase the chances of developing heart disease, strokes and diabetes. It is based on insulin resistance, i.e., insulin acts less on tissues, forcing the pancreas to produce more insulin and raising its level in the blood. Some factors contribute to its appearance: genetic, overweight (especially in the abdominal region) and the absence of physical activity.

How to diagnose metabolic syndrome?

For diagnosis, the patient must have 3 or more of the risk factors below (evaluated with anthropometry and biochemical tests):

– Large amount of abdominal fat: in men, waist circumference greater than 102 cm and in women, greater than 88 cm;

– Low HDL (“good cholesterol”): in men, less than 40mg/dl and in women less than 50mg/dl;

– High triglycerides (blood fat level): 150mg/dl or higher;

– High blood pressure: 135/85 mmHg or higher or the fact of using some medicine to reduce pressure;

– High glucose: 110mg/dl or higher.

How to do the treatment for metabolic syndrome?

The main thing in the case of a patient with metabolic syndrome is to treat risk factors: the most effective ways are lifestyle changes, increasing physical activity and helping the patient to lose weight via diet. Weight loss improves lipid profile and insulin sensitivity, and reduces blood pressure and blood glucose. It is interesting to encourage the consumption of complex and whole carbohydrates, the reduction of saturated and trans fat from the diet, in addition to sodium control, which has a great impact on blood pressure.

When do you need to supplement?

If non-pharmacological treatment has no effect, the prescribed drugs may be used to improve risk factors, such as statins in dyslipidemias and low-dose ASA for patients in prethrombotic state, guided by the physician. Omega 3 supplementation may also be useful for patients with severe hypertriglyceridemia (above 500mg/dL), with evidence of reduction of this marker.


Reading suggestion: What
is the role of omega 3 in obesity and metabolic syndrome?

PENALVA, Daniele Q. Fucciolo. Metabolic syndrome: diagnosis and treatment. Revista de Medicina, v. 87, n. 4, p. 245-250, 2008.

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