Society has made great strides since the days we had to hunt down wild bison for food and spend our spare time building primitive shelters. But all that technological and developmental advancement has come at a cost. It has led many of us towards increasingly sedentary lifestyles and made hyper-caloric food available at the press of a button or walk to the fridge.

Modern humans are not living the lifestyle our ancestors did, and so, too often, our bodies pay the price. Often, part of this price is Metabolic Syndrome, a collection of symptoms once known as Syndrome X that is now thought to affect between 20-30% of people in America and Australia.

Metabolic syndrome can be diagnosed in a patient who exhibits between 3 and 5 of the following signs:

  1. Central Obesity (excessive fat specifically clustered in the abdomen)

2. High Blood Pressure

3. High Fasting Blood Sugar (insulin resistance)

4.  High Triglyceride Levels

5. Low High Density Lipoprotein (Also known as "HDL" or "good cholesterol") Levels

The patients at highest risk for this constellation of symptoms are those who are older, obese, and sedentary, but other risk factors include high stress levels, disrupted sleep, excessive alcohol use, genetic history, mood disorders, and drug use.

Metabolic Syndrome indicates a worryingly high risk for the development of potentially fatal conditions like cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and stroke. Complications can also include kidney disease, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, polycystic ovary syndrome (in women of reproductive age), and erectile dysfunction or decreased total testosterone in men.

Drugs can be prescribed for individual components of the condition, such as diuretics and ACE inhibitors to reduce blood pressure or sensitizing drugs like metformin to improve insulin resistance. Yet the most common recommended treatment is simply weight reduction and a heart-healthier diet that contains less processed foods, fat, sugar, and sodium and; includes more fruits, vegetables, and whole-grains. You may also be told to increase your physical activity—the American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week—and to quit smoking and reduce your alcohol intake.

You may want to think of a diagnosis of Metabolic Syndrome as a kind of warning sign, a wake up call to turn back and change some of your destructive habits before they cause irreversible harm to your health. But with some common sense, a little hard work, and perhaps the help of 123Diet's proven weight loss protocol, it's not too late to get back on the right path!

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