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Metabolic Syndrome

Seniors At Risk


Updated July 11, 2005

Are you one of the 40 million Americans who is affected by metabolic syndrome? Chances are if you are a senior citizen you or someone you know has it. An estimated 40 % of adults over the age of 60 have metabolic syndrome. While not a disease it is a group of disorders that include high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar, excess body weight abnormal lipid (cholesterol and tryglycerides) levels. If you have a family history of Type 2 diabetes or a history of gestational diabetes (having a baby with a birth weight over 9 pounds) you are also at higher risk of developing metabolic syndrome.You may have heard of this syndrome referred to in the past as Syndrome X or insulin resistance. It is a precursor to Type 2 Diabetes, a disease that makes you more at risk for heart attack and stroke.

Can you prevent or reverse the effects of metabolic syndrome and prevent the development of Type 2 Diabetes? The good new is yes, you can take steps that will help treat the conditions that cause metabolic syndrome.

  • Lose WeightObesity is the number one cause of Metabolic Syndrome and Type 2 Dilates. Follow a low-fat, low calorie diet recommended by your physician. Even a 10% decrease in your body weight can have a dramatic effect on your health.
  • Exercise (brisk walking or bike riding are excellent for seniors) at least 30 minutes daily. Exercise burns calories, helps improve insulin resistance and can increase HDL (good cholesterol).
  • Stop SmokingSmoking not only puts you at higher risk for lung cancer and heart disease it can increase your insulin resistance. If you go on to develop Type 2 Diabetes smoking increase the risk of serious health conditions.
  • MedicationsYour doctor may prescribe medication to treat metabolic syndrome including those that improve the body response to insulin and those that treat high blood pressure. Follow your doctor's treatment plan and take medications as ordered.
  • FiberA fiber rich diet can lower insulin levels and lower levels of bad cholesterol.

If your doctor says you have Metabolic Syndrome use this a wake-up call to get your lifestyle back on track to ensure your senior years are as healthy as they can be.

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