Metabolic Syndrome: The Silent Killer

Meta­bolic syn­drome is a group of risk fac­tors that increase the prob­a­bil­ity of heart prob­lems, such as stroke or heart dis­ease. It is also known as Syn­drome X, insulin-resistant syn­drome, obe­sity syn­drome, and the silent killer. Know­ing about this par­tic­u­lar group of risk fac­tors can help you pre­vent prob­lems later on in life.

Although researchers have found what con­di­tions meta­bolic syn­drome is rooted in, no one knows what the actual cause of it is. Some con­di­tions that they can have are:

  • A hor­monal imbalance.
  • Sleep apnea.
  • A poor diet.
  • A seden­tary lifestyle.
  • An over­weight or obese weight.
  • A fam­ily his­tory of dia­betes, heart dis­ease, and high blood pressure.
  • Com­ing from Asian, African-Caribbean, or Latin-American backgrounds.
  • Older in age.

Risk fac­tors

There are 6 risk fac­tors that make up meta­bolic syn­drome, and you will have at least 3 of them to be diag­nosed with it.

  • Abdom­i­nal obe­sity. This means hav­ing extra fat on your stom­ach, or hav­ing an “apple” body shape.
  • A high triglyc­eride level.
  • A low HDL (or good) cho­les­terol level.
  • High blood sugar.
  • Insulin resis­tance.
  • High blood pressure.

Signs and Symptoms

So how do you find out if you have it? You need to check with your doc­tor and run some blood tests and have a phys­i­cal exam. Based on the results, your doc­tor can decide if you have meta­bolic syndrome.


What can you do to avoid increas­ing these risks or treat this silent killer? Most reports will tell you that you can lower or pre­vent the risks by hav­ing a healthy lifestyle. This includes these 5 tips:

  • Eat healthy food, such as whole grains, pro­duce, lean meats, low-fat dairy, and avoid­ing processed food. Make sure the food is heart-healthy.
  • Exer­cise and main­tain­ing an active lifestyle. The Amer­i­can Heart Asso­ci­a­tion sug­gests exer­cis­ing at least 150 min­utes a week.
  • Lose weight and keep it off.
  • Take med­ica­tions. This is nec­es­sary only if it is pre­scribed by your doc­tor and the other lifestyle changes are not working.
  • Quit smok­ing. Smok­ing can increase plaque buildup, high blood pres­sure, and insulin resistance.