If you are considered obese, especially with an above average amount of abdominal fat and are insulin resistant, you may have what is known as metabolic syndrome. It is important to note that you can be insulin resistance and not actually have diabetes – yet. If you are insulin resistant you may be what is termed pre-diabetes.
If you are insulin resistant, your body is not using the insulin your pancreas is producing effectively. Your pancreas will continue to produce more and more insulin but your body will not use it and cannot derive the energy from the food you eat. This condition can be passed on from another member of the family but it is also caused by obesity and inactivity.
As with diabetes, the risk factors for having metabolic problems – metabolic syndrome – are quite similar. Age is a risk factor, the older you are the chances of having this are greater. Almost half of the people with metabolic syndrome are over the age of 60 but symptoms have been seen in children and adults in their 20’s. Another risk factor for having this syndrome is race, people from a Hispanic or Asian backgrounds are at a higher risk than others. And as mentioned there is also the hereditary factory.
Being obese with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of over 25 is a factor too. The difference with this factor from the others is that most people have an element of control over this. If they are able to lose weight and exercise they can reduce or eliminate this contributor towards metabolic syndrome.
If you are diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, your doctor will run screening tests for diabetes. He or she will also recommend or put your on a program to lose weight through a healthy and balanced diet coupled with physical activity.
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