If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with metabolic syndrome.  Know you are not alone. More than one-third of all American adults have the condition.  And in a study published in DIABETES CARE, it was reported that more than half of those participating who were older than 65 had it.

    There are five different factors that together make metabolic syndrome.  They include high blood glucose level, high blood pressure, high triglyceride levels, low HDL (the good) cholesterol and a large apple shaped waist circumference.  You are likely to be diagnosed with metabolic syndrome if you have three of these factors.

   If your blood sugar is 100 mg/dL or higher, your blood pressure is 130/85 or higher,  your triglycerides (blood fats) are 150 mg/dL or higher, your good HDL cholesterol is less than 40 mg.DL for men and less than 50 mg/dL for women and if you are a woman with a waist larger than 35 inches or a man with a waist larger than 40 inches, you have increased risk.  The DIABETES CARE study reported one in ten adults age 65 or older had all five of these factors.  Since the only one you can see is your waist size, it is important that you have regular physicals including blood work to monitor those numbers.

    It is important to know if you have or are at risk for metabolic syndrome.  If you are diagnosed with this condition you are at five times as much risk to develop diabetes and twice as likely to develop heart disease, have a heart attack or a stroke.

     The good news is that even if you are diagnosed with this syndrome, there are things you can do to lower your risk.  Your doctor will likely prescribe medications to treat each of the risk factors.   But there is a lot you can do as well. In many cases, by changing your life style you can reduce or even prevent metabolic syndrome.  

     One of the best ways to care for your heart is by exercising.  Think about when you were a kid.  If you liked to get outside to run and play, get outside and take a walk.  Ride a bicycle, Buy some roller blades, fly a kite.  If you liked to swim, got to the Y or local Rec Center.  If you liked team sports, join an adult group your own age.  Or take a class - a yoga class a Pilates class, a dance class.  Get up and move and reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome and its complications. 

    It's also a great time to improve what you eat.  Cut out fast foods and highly processed foods which often are high in sugar and salt. Change the old bad eating habits by increasing good foods into your meals.  Add more fresh vegetables and fruits and whole grains.  

    If you are exercising and improving your eating habits, you may also choose to watch and cut calorie intake so you can lose that belly fat which is so dangerous to your heart.  If you need help to make those changes and avoid metabolic syndrome, hypnotherapy can be a valuable help to get you motivated.  Lower the risk of metabolic syndrome and BE WELL,