medicine contraindications

Diabetes, Are You At Risk?

What is Metabolic Syndrome?

You probably have heard about diabetes, but most likely haven’t heard the term “metabolic syndrome.” This is an important term to understand as it can be an indicator of potential diabetes risk. Keep reading to learn more.

We are all concerned about metabolism. It refers to the way that the body burns nutrients for fuel. The body uses sugars as its primary source of energy. Table sugar is not the type of sugar we are discussing here.

Carbohydrates that we eat are digested and broken down into glucose, a simple sugar. The glucose travels throughout the bloodstream waiting to be picked up by insulin and transported to the cells of the body for energy.

With metabolic syndrome, something goes wrong. The insulin is either not available to pick up its passengers or, when the glucose and insulin reaches the cells, they are not welcomed in. Either way, this results in too much sugar in the blood and potential damage to the rest of the body.

If you are insulin resistant, you are at risk for diabetes Type 2, heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease. Combine insulin resistance with other risk factors and you may develop metabolic syndrome. Without proper treatment and care, metabolic syndrome may lead to diabetes Type 2.

So what are those other risk factors? One is obesity. Carrying too much body fat can lead to the other risk factors: high blood pressure, high cholesterol and high blood sugar.

Metabolic syndrome is used by doctors as an indicator for diabetes Type 2. Several simple tests can be done by your health care professional to determine your risk. Your BMI (body mass index) calculation is used to determine if you are overweight, obese, or morbidly obese. Chronic high blood pressure can be diagnosed by taking your blood pressure. High cholesterol and high blood sugar levels is determined by lab work done on your blood.

A complete medical assessment will let you know if metabolic syndrome is at risk. If it is, your health care provider will advise you of your degree of risk for diabetes Type 2. It’s important to be aware of your risk factors to avoid serious illness caused by diabetes; issues like eye problems, nerve damage, slow healing of wounds, amputations, and peripheral artery disease, to name a few.

Metabolic syndrome is not an actual disease, per se. It is a condition that your doctor will use to assess your risk for certain diseases, beginning with diabetes. If you are at risk of developing metabolic syndrome, be sure to take heed to your doctor’s advise so you can avoid the serious complications of diabetes.

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