Metabolic syndrome

Metabolic syndrome (syndrome X) is the name given to a combination of conditions that increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, i.e. obesity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar and abnormal blood fat levels.

Overview

Metabolic syndrome (syndrome X) is the name given to a combination of conditions that increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, i.e. obesity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar and abnormal blood fat levels. It is caused by an unhealthy lifestyle. Lifestyle changes such as a change in diet and regular exercise can reduce the risk of secondary diseases.

Symptoms

Main criteria

  • Central obesity (abdominal obesity, apple-shaped body)

Other criteria

Metabolic syndrome diagnosis: main criterion + at least 2 other criteria

Possible consequences

Causes and treatment

Causes

  • Unhealthy lifestyle
    • Lack of sleep
    • Stress
  • Lack of exercise
    • Sitting down for extended periods
    • No sport
  • Malnutrition and overnutrition
    • Fast food
    • No vegetables/fruit
    • High-fat diet
    • High-sugar diet
  • Alcohol and tobacco consumption

Further treatment by your doctor / in hospital

Possible tests
  • Physical examination
  • Blood test
  • Measurement of blood pressure/weight
  • ECG (electrocardiogram)
  • Ultrasound (sonography)
Possible therapies
  • General measures
    • Losing weight (under supervision)
    • Change in diet and nutritional counselling
    • Movement coaching
    • Reducing stress
    • Behavioural therapy
    • Stopping smoking and drinking alcohol, if necessary
  • Medication
  • Obesity surgery (bariatric surgery), if necessary

What can I do myself?

Change in lifestyle

  • Healthy and balanced diet
  • Lose weight (carefully and not too fast)
  • Sufficient sleep
  • Sufficient exercise
    • Improved physical feeling and joy of movement
    • Regularly (30 minutes per day)
    • Find an active hobby
    • Gentle endurance training is particularly good
  • Reduce stress (yoga, autogenic training)
  • Avoid/reduce alcohol and tobacco consumption

When to see a doctor?

  • Regularly for obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and lipid metabolism disorder
  • To determine whether metabolic syndrome is present
  • Taking up exercise for the first time or starting to exercise again
  • Desire to lose weight
  • Desire to stop smoking and/or reduce alcohol intake
  • Frequent thirst, vision problems
  • Fainting fits
  • Changes to urination and bowel habits (colour, volume, frequency, etc.)

Further information

Schweizerische Adipositas-Stiftung SAPS (Swiss Obesity Foundation)
www.saps.ch

Synonyms

metabolic syndrome, syndrome X, insulin resistance syndrome, IRS, deadly quartet

Exclusion of liability

CSS offers no guarantee for the accuracy and completeness of the information. The information published is no substitute for professional advice from a doctor or pharmacist.

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