Obesity and morbid obesity, health conditions diagnosed according to Body Mass Index (BMI), are increasing health issues that affect 35% of the population in the United States alone. Alongside obesity, there are a series of other related health complications, called comorbidities, which may result in early death for obese patients. Among these diseases is metabolic syndrome, also known as syndrome X or insulin resistance syndrome, a disease characterized by a large waist circumference.
Development of Metabolic Syndrome by Obese Patients
Older patients are more likely to suffer from metabolic syndrome, with 40% of the US population older than 50 years currently suffering from it, but children and adolescents can also develop the disease. The development of metabolic syndrome is related to a series of factors, such as the accumulation of fat in the abdominal area. Excess fat in the abdomen, which is known as the “apple” body shape, is the result of the low ratio between muscle and fat and causes a high waist-to-hip ratio.
The excess of fat in the abdominal area causes the accumulation of free fatty acids in the portal vein, which causes damages to the liver and muscle cells. Due to the disease, patients may also develop glucose metabolism impairment, dyslipidemias, hypertension, hyperinsulinemia, or insulin resistance, one of the triggers for type 2 diabetes.
Obesity-Related Metabolic Syndrome Prevention
Screening is crucial to preventing the development of metabolic syndrome or to catch it early. Screening will determine the family history and propensity for the disease, which may be combined with regular waist perimeter measurements, particularly in patients older than 40. Having diabetes in the family or as comorbidity, in addition to diabetes, are also factors to consider.
Other indicators that should be taken into consideration, since they can indicate early signs of metabolic syndrome, are excess abdominal fat, high fasting plasma glucose level, hypertension, high triglyceride level, and low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol level. A healthy diet and exercise are important ways to enhance wait loss and decrease the probability of metabolic syndrome.
Metabolic Syndrome Treatment by Obese Patients
The treatment of metabolic syndrome is mainly based on a healthy diet and regular physical activity, which help both manage or even reverse the condition and lose weight. If diet and exercise are not effective, there is drug treatment available, such as insulin stabilizers and sensitizers.
The study “Prevalence and Trends of Metabolic Syndrome in the Adult U.S. Population, 1999–2010” focused on the prevalence of disease, its five components, and their pharmacological treatment in U.S. adults by sex and race or ethnicity over time, and researchers concluded that the use of therapies for metabolic syndrome components aligns with favorable trends in their prevalence. The conclusions of the study were based on the increasing prevalence of abdominal obesity, particularly among female adults, and the investigators believe that addressing abdominal obesity is a healthcare priority.