Metabolic syndrome refers to the presence of several conditions, including high blood pressure, high blood sugar levels, abdominal fat, and elevated cholesterol levels, which increases the risk for heart disease and stroke. The risk of serious diseases increases considerably with any of the above-mentioned conditions. Treatment options for metabolic syndrome generally focuses on specific risk factors combined, to bring an individual back to normal.
Lifestyle changes are the best options for controlling the negative effects of this syndrome, including:
- Regular exercise – Getting regular exercise not only helps to bring down body weight, but also to reduce cholesterol and blood sugar levels. It is one of the best methods to improve insulin resistance in the body. An individual should try to increase physical activity gradually. According to experts, one should perform 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily. Moreover, losing some extra pounds helps to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of diabetes.
- Healthy diet – Having a healthy diet is also key to improve the different conditions of this syndrome. A healthy diet can help to lower cholesterol levels, regulate blood pressure, and also improve insulin resistance. All of these instances can occur without losing weight. Opt for a diet that is low in saturated fats, cholesterol, and salt. Have more fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, beans, low-fat dairy, and whole grains. A good balance of carbohydrates and proteins, with adequate amounts of healthy fats is ideal.
- Quit smoking – Smoking may not increase the risk of metabolic syndrome, but may increase the risk of heart disease.
- Lose body weight – Losing body weight is the best bet to lower blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Following regular exercise and healthy diets will help in achieving this aim.
If lifestyle changes are not enough to manage this syndrome, drugs may be recommended, such as:
- Medications like ACE inhibitors, angiotensin II receptor blockers, diuretics, and beta-blockers to reduce blood pressure.
- Statins, niacin, bile acid resins, and other cholesterol-lowering drugs, to lower cholesterol levels.
- Glucose intolerance is reduced using diabetes medications.
- Low-dose aspirin is often recommended to reduce the risk of heart disease.
In any case, one should have a detailed discussion with a doctor to determine an individual plan for reducing the different risks.