What is it?
Metabolic syndrome is not a disease in itself, but a collection of risk factors for that often occur together. A person is diagnosed as having metabolic syndrome when they have any three or more of the following:
- Central (abdominal) obesity – excess fat in and around the stomach (abdomen).
- Increased blood pressure (hypertension).
- High blood triglycerides (type of fat found in the blood).
- Low levels of high density lipoproteins (HDL) – the ‘good’ cholesterol.
- Impaired Fasting Glucose (IFG) or diabetes. IFG occurs when blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes.
What are the symptoms?
Most of the disorders associated with metabolic syndrome have no symptoms, although a large waist circumference is a visible sign. If your blood sugar is very high, you might have signs and symptoms of diabetes — including increased thirst and urination, fatigue, and blurred vision.
What to expect?
If you are diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, you can consider discussing the following subjects with your doctor:
- What necessary investigations do you need to assess your condition?
- Do you need a stricter control of other medical conditions you may have, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol?
- Some patients with metabolic syndrome are prescribed medication they will need to use lifelong. Is this the case for you as well? What adverse effects should you anticipate with these medications?
- A healthy diet, quitting smoking and an active lifestyle can help improve symptoms and overall health and well-being. Which changes can you make in your lifestyle?
- Often, patients with metabolic syndrome are referred to specialists such as endocrinologist, diabetologist or cardiologist. Is this the case for you as well?
- Patients with metabolic syndrome are followed-up regularly. How often should you visit your doctor for follow-up?