What Is Metabolic Syndrome? Effects on Seniors Health

By Charles Hopkins Published 11/2/2006 | Health

Have you ever heard of these diseases----syndrome X, the deadly quartet or insulin resistance syndrome? Well, they are just the other names of metabolic syndrome. According to certain researchers, some 25% of adult population in the U.S. may be living with this syndrome presently.

What is metabolic syndrome all about? Metabolic syndrome refers to the combination of risk factors leading to heart diseases. These risk factors include high blood pressure (130/85 or more), high level of sugar in the blood, abdominal obesity, inadequate amount of good cholesterol, and high levels of cholesterol and triglyceride fat deposit in the blood.

A sedentary lifestyle and obesity contribute to the development of metabolic syndromes in the most people. It has been found that these risk factors become more prominent with increasing age, and as the senior people reach their 60s, the occurrence of metabolic syndromes increase by some 40 to 60%. According to an estimate, in the USA, 40% of adults over the age of 60 have metabolic syndrome.

Metabolic syndrome is dangerous because in most of the cases these syndromes are the precursor of development of type 2 diabetes, a silent killer. If you have a family history of type 2 diabetes, then you are more likely to develop these metabolic syndromes. The women with a history of gestational diabetes due to delivering a baby weighing over eight pounds at birth are also at higher risk of developing metabolic syndromes.

If you happen to be senior citizen, if your weight is at the wrong end of the scale or you have a family history of type 2 diabetes, you should take necessary precautions to prevent or reverse the effects of metabolic syndrome. This is important because it is the only way to prevent type 2 Diabetes from penetrating your life. Here are a few steps that may help alleviate the conditions that account for metabolic syndrome.

l     The using up of calories is key to an effective management of metabolic syndromes. You need to work out to get rid of the extra calories. These physical activities will help to lower blood pressure and reduce the levels of harmful fat in the blood. The exercises will also help you to get increased level of good cholesterol.

l     For senior citizens it is impossible to take up vigorous exercise. Moderate-intensity exercise like brisk walking, cycling or jogging is also effective. Even normal household work, such as vacuuming your entire house can yield very good results.

l     No matter what kind of physical activity you choose for dealing with your metabolic syndromes, you have to stick to it with dedication to see permanent results.

l     In certain cases, exercise may not do away with all the syndromes. In such cases, you may need to take medications, along with a healthy diet and daily exercises.

l     Follow a low-fat, low calorie diet in consultation with your physician. The diet should be rich in fiber as the fiber has the capacity to lower the insulin levels and levels of bad cholesterol.

If you are a senior person who has been diagnosed with metabolic syndromes, switch to a healthier lifestyle to enjoy your retirement years in perfect health.