India is projected to become the world’s most populous country in the near future. While India’s health system is already grappling with the growing population, the continuous change in lifestyles can lead to the possibility of metabolic disorders among people. Other than infections, metabolic disorders are not a rarity in India. Rather many people are unaware of the risk factors that can lead to these disorders and further escalate them to become chronic diseases.
What is a metabolic syndrome?
Metabolic syndrome usually occurs due to a cluster of conditions that can lead to an increase in the risk of heart diseases, stroke or Type 2 diabetes. There are several conditions such as increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels that are associated with this condition.
It doesn’t necessarily mean that having one of these disorders can lead to metabolic syndrome but a combination of three of these can put you at a greater risk of developing metabolic syndrome.
In most of the cases, one might not notice symptoms or any obvious signs of the disorder. However, signs like visible large waist circumference, high blood pressure, increase in thirst and urination, constant fatigue and blurred vision are some of the common symptoms of metabolic disorder.
Possible causes of metabolic syndrome
Research suggests that metabolic syndrome is closely linked to being overweight, genetic history, obesity or inactivity. The disorder is also linked to a condition called insulin resistance where cells don’t respond normally to the insulin and glucose can’t enter the cells easily. This leads to a rise in blood sugar levels as the body tries to churn out more and more insulin and try to lower blood sugar. Hormones may play a role, too. For instance, the polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a condition that affects fertility, is related to hormonal imbalance and metabolic syndrome.
Risk factors that lead to a metabolic syndrome
One of the most prominent factors that can lead to metabolic syndrome is age. In fact, the risk of this syndrome increases with age. Other than this, geographical conditions, environmental conditions, genetics and even ethnicities are some triggers.
Carrying too much weight in the abdomen, obesity, diabetes, and non-alcoholic fatty liver can lead to metabolic syndrome. And once you develop the condition, it can lead to several complications such as Type 2 Diabetes and other health and blood vessel diseases that are instigated by high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Such a situation also contributes to the building up of plaque in the arteries that can lead to the possibility of heart attack or even a stroke.
An aggressive change and a long-time commitment to adapt to a healthier lifestyle are some of the major tactics to prevent metabolic syndrome. Other than this one must focus on:
· At least 30 minutes of exercise every day
· Staying away from junk food and eating plenty of nutritious fruits, green leafy vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains
· Avoiding/ limiting saturated fat and too much salt in the diet
· Monitoring and maintaining a healthy weight as per your body structure
· Avoiding excessive drinking and smoking
· Adequate sleep