Metabolic syndrome is characterized by a group of five risk factors, where a number of these risk factors together increase your chances of developing diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, and can increase the likelihood of suffering from a stroke. Fortunately, many of these factors can be minimized by knowing the right lifestyle decisions to make. Can Lumen’s metabolic measurement technology make a difference? Here’s what you need to know:

  1. High levels of triglycerides (fat – higher than 150 mg/dL)
  2. High blood pressure (higher than 130/85 mmHg)
  3. High blood sugar levels (resistance to insulin)
  4. Low levels of HDL (high-density lipoprotein — the “good” cholesterol) (lower than 40 mg/dL for men and 50 mg/dL for women).
  5. Midsection obesity (excess fat around the waistline — greater than 40 inches for men and 35 inches for women

One of these risk factors alone may increase your risk of heart disease, but it does not qualify as metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is diagnosed when you have 3 or more of these risk factors together. And how common is metabolic syndrome today? According to the American Heart Association (AHA), 23% of adults in the USA are diagnosed with metabolic syndrome. 

The risk factors for metabolic syndrome

All of the risk factors for metabolic syndrome are connected to obesity. However, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the two main risk factors are:

  1. Excess fat in the mid-upper region of the body
  2. High blood sugar levels (insulin resistance, your body having difficulty in using sugar in your blood) 

There are also other factors which increase your risk for metabolic syndrome that include: age, lack of exercise, a family history of metabolic syndrome, or being a woman with POC (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome).

Diagnosing metabolic syndrome 

A number of tests are performed to diagnose metabolic syndrome. Your medical practitioner is looking for 3 or more risk factors listed above. Some of these tests include:

  • Testing cholesterol levels (trygleciredes, cholesterol, HDL col) and blood fat levels (during a fast)
  • Measuring your waist circumference
  • Measuring blood pressure
  • Testing blood sugar levels (during a fast) 

As a result of metabolic syndrome, there are a number of complications that can present themselves. Often these complications are chronic (long term and serious). Among others, some of these complications include: diabetes, heart attack, kidney disease, stroke, heart disease, and atherosclerosis (the hardening of the arteries). In the case of the development of diabetes, comorbidity of additional health complications can develop. But 

Treating metabolic syndrome?

The goal of treating metabolic syndrome is to reduce the risk of more complications. Physicians recommend lifestyle changes such as exercises and losing weight, but of course improving your metabolic health is key. By doing so, you significantly decrease your risk of further complications. Some medications such as those to reduce blood pressure or Aspirin may be also prescribed, to decrease your chances of a stroke or heart attack. 

Instead of weight loss by unsustainable diets, Lumen helps you optimize your workouts, and provides you with a personalized nutrition plan based on your metabolism. It goes beyond weight loss, and It allows you to improve your metabolic flexibility over time. (Your metabolism, ability to respond and adapt to changes in the demand for your metabolism).

By accurately measuring your metabolism, you can keep on top of your weight, control blood sugar and fat levels, all the while reducing your waistline fat percentage.    

Lumen helps you implement the balance and behavioural changes you need to maximize your metabolism. This is precisely what helps to keep metabolic syndrome at bay.

The prognosis of metabolic syndrome

With tools like Lumen, the prognosis of metabolic syndrome can be improved. By integrating exercise, proper nutrition, and understanding your metabolism better – as well as losing weight if needed, your chances of developing a serious disease and/or heart attack or stroke, significantly decreases.

The management of symptoms may reduce the chances of complications. However, those with metabolic syndrome often have a long-term risk of heart disease which requires monitoring.

The take home message

Metabolic syndrome is the presence of 3 or more of the 5 risk factors that define the syndrome. Treating it is often about making changes in your lifestyle, such as keeping fit and eating well and losing weight. This does not however always mean you are in the all clear. Therefore the best treatment is prevention.

You can certainly prevent metabolic syndrome by maintaining a healthy BMI, blood pressure and controlling your weight, blood sugar levels and exercising often. All these elements are part of a healthy lifestyle and making the right choices. In particular eating well and keeping your weight down before developing metabolic syndrome. 

How Lumen can help

Lumen accurately measures your metabolism and gives you recommendations based on your personal reading. The results lets you understand your metabolism and have a clear and accurate picture if you are burning fat or carbs as an energy source. The metabolic tracking that Lumen provides helps you train your metabolism to convert the food that you consume into energy in the most efficient way possible. Based on your metabolic state, Lumen then provides you with personalized nutrition recommendations that have an impact on your metabolism. Logging your breath pre and post workout you can track your metabolism response to the food you eat. The behavioural changes that it encourages can be especially useful to push you to living a healthier lifestyle and preventing health conditions such as metabolic syndrome.

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References

Beilby J. (2004). Definition of Metabolic Syndrome: Report of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute/American Heart Association Conference on Scientific Issues Related to Definition. The Clinical Biochemist Reviews, 25(3), 195–198.

Kaur J. (2014). A comprehensive review on metabolic syndrome. DOI:
10.1155/2014/943162

Metabolic syndrome. (2016, March 19)
mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/metabolic-syndrome/home/ovc-20197517

Metabolic syndrome. (n.d.)
ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0004546/

About metabolic syndrome. (2016, September 15)
heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/More/MetabolicSyndrome/About-Metabolic-Syndrome_UCM_301920_Article.jsp

Metabolic syndrome (n.d.)
my.clevelandclinic.org/disorders/metabolic_syndrome/hic_metabolic_syndrome.aspx

Wu Y, et al. (2015). Association between dietary fiber intake and risk of coronary heart disease: A meta-analysis. DOI:
10.1016/j.clnu.2014.05.009

Zhu B, et al. (2015). Association between eating speed and metabolic syndrome. DOI:
10.2188/jea.JE20140131

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