What You Need To Know About “The Silent Killer” Metabolic Syndrome
Increased blood pressure…
Higher than normal insulin or blood sugar levels…
Excess body fat, particularly around your waist…
Abnormal cholesterol levels – and that means both “good” and “bad” cholesterol…
If you have not just one but all of these conditions, you may have Metabolic Syndrome. And that increases your risk for heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
If you know you have one of these symptoms, you may have others and not know it. Do any of these sound familiar?
1. Obesity – Are you carrying excess weight, particularly around your waist? Do you have an “apple shape”?
2. Elevated Blood Pressure – If your systolic (the top number) blood pressure is higher than 120 or your diastolic (the bottom number) is higher than 80, you have blood pressure issues that you need to talk to your doctor about.
3. Abnormal Cholesterol Levels – If you have high triglycerides (blood fat) and low “good” or HDL cholesterol, you need to ask your doctor about treatment.
4. Insulin Resistance – If your body doesn’t properly regulate the amount of sugar in your blood, you could be on your way to becoming diabetic.
If you have any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor about testing to make sure you don’t have others. With the exception of obesity, any of these could be silent symptoms that remain undetected without proper medical testing.
What Causes Metabolic Syndrome?
As the name implies, Metabolic Syndrome is linked to your body’s metabolism and could be caused by your body’s inability to properly regulate the amount of insulin in your bloodstream. Insulin is a hormone made by your pancreas and it helps control the amount of sugar in your blood.
If your body is operating normally, your digestive system breaks down the food you eat into sugar (what doctors normally refer to as glucose). Your blood then carries the glucose to your tissues where the cells use it as fuel. Insulin helps the glucose enter the cells. If you’re insulin resistant, your cells don’t respond normally to insulin and glucose can’t enter the cells as it should.
The body reacts by producing more and more insulin thinking that will help the glucose get into the cells, sort of like pumping the gas pedal in your car to get more fuel to the carburetor. Just as that can flood the engine in your car, the result is higher than normal levels of insulin in your blood. And that can, and often does, lead to diabetes.
Even if you don’t develop diabetes, elevated glucose levels can raise your triglyceride levels or interfere with how your kidneys work. All of which puts you at higher risk for heart disease, stroke and a host of other conditions.
Think You May Have Metabolic Syndrome?
If any of these symptoms or conditions applies to you, talk to your doctor about testing to make sure you don’t have the others before they cause serious health problems.
If you’re not sure what to ask your doctor, here are some basic questions:
• Are the symptoms I’m experiencing now related to metabolic syndrome or some other condition?
• What kinds of tests do I need to best manage my conditions?
• What else can I do to improve my health?
• What other options do I have to manage the conditions that cause metabolic syndrome?
• How do best manage all of these conditions together?
• What restrictions do I need to follow?
• Where can I get more information on metabolic syndrome or any of the conditions I currently have?
One More Thing to Think About
We’re seeing more and more metabolic syndrome in younger patient populations. And one of the first symptoms they experience is peripheral neuropathy. Because nerve tissues are especially vulnerable to damage from diseases that affect the body’s ability to transform nutrients into energy or produce some of the components of cell repair (think diabetes), nerve damage and the resulting peripheral neuropathy is very common.
Classic symptoms of peripheral neuropathy are:
• Tingling and/or burning in hands and feet
• Neuralgic-like pains
• Loss of the sense of touch or an inability to feel vibration
• Temperature changes in the flesh – do your extremities feel excessively warm or cold?
• Serious sleep disturbances with resultant depression or side effects from pain medication
If you have a confirmed diagnosis of metabolic syndrome and are now experiencing any of these symptoms, you don’t have to just live with it. Contact us today for information on how peripheral neuropathy can be treated, your suffering lessened and exactly how to find a NeuropathyDR Treatment Center in your area.