Metabolic syndrome – Components and Criteria

Telemedicine Department

Metabolic syndrome is a condition that increases the risk of developing heart disease, stroke and diabetes. This is also known as “Syndrome X”.

Components and Criteria

Metabolic disarrangement becomes a syndrome if the patient has any three of the following:

  • Men and women waist are more than 40 inches in diameter.
  • Higher or equal to 150 mg/dL or higher in blood triglycerides.
  • Reduced levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL), which are less than 40 mg/dL for men and 50 mg/dL for women.
  • Blood pressure values of systolic 130 mmHg (Equal or higher) and diastolic 85 mmHg or higher.

Risk factors of metabolic syndrome

The following factors are some of the risk factors for metabolic syndrome.


With age, your risk of developing metabolic syndrome rises.


Being over obese affects the abdomen and increases the chance of having metabolic syndrome.


If you have gestational diabetes or have a family history of type 2 Diabetes, you run a higher risk of developing metabolic syndrome.

Insulin resistance

Skin changes such as acanthosis nigricans (darkened skin) on the back of the neck or beneath the arms or skin tags are clinical signs of “insulin resistance”.

Other diseases

If you’ve had sleep apnea, polycystic ovarian syndrome, or non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, your risk of developing metabolic syndrome increases.


The risk of getting metabolic syndrome is higher among people from particular ethnic backgrounds.

Metabolic syndrome and Diabetes

Factors such as Gestational Diabetes and family history of type 2 Diabetes are risk factors for developing Metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a predictor of developing Type2 Diabetes in the future.

How to diagnose Metabolic syndrome?

The following parameters are done to check if a person has metabolic syndrome.

  • Checking Blood pressure
  • Measuring waist circumference
  • Fasting blood glucose level (can also include HbA1C level)
  • Measuring the level of Triglycerides and High-density lipids
  • Liver function test

Managing Metabolic syndrome

The treatment of metabolic syndrome comprises lifestyle changes such as diet and physical activity.

  • Regular physical activity. A recommendation is to get at least 30 minutes of exercise twice a day. You can increase physical activity by walking instead of driving and using the stairs instead of an elevator. You can also increase activity by playing a sport of your choice, dancing, Zumba, Jogging, swimming and cycling, etc.
  • Weight loss. You can reduce insulin resistance, blood pressure and your risk of developing Diabetes by weight loss. Health experts recommend losing 7% of the body weight for fatty liver diseases and metabolic syndrome.
  • Healthy diet. Diet plans, such as the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) and the Mediterranean diet, are considered beneficial for metabolic syndrome. Increase the number of fruits, vegetables, high-fibre whole grains and lean protein. Avoid sugar-containing drinks, alcohol, sugar, salt, saturated fat and trans-fat.
  • Smoking .Smoking may lead to the development of several diseases, including hypertension, heart diseases, stroke and certain cancers. You can approach your doctor for help to quit cigarette smoking.
  • Reducing or managing stress. Pay attention to your emotional as well as your physical health. Activities like meditation, Yoga, etc. can help lower your stress level.


Metabolic disarrangement identified early and lifestyle modifications made can quickly help reduce the syndrome’s intensity.


How can metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance be treated?

Metabolic syndrome can be managed by weight loss, physical activity, diet changes, stress management, and other lifestyle changes.

What are the criteria for metabolic syndrome? 

The following are the criteria for metabolic syndrome:
1. Waist circumference is more than 40 inches in men and 35 inches in women
2. Reduced high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL) less than 40 mg/dL in men or less than 50 mg/dL in women
3. Elevated fasting glucose of l00 mg/dL or greater
4. Blood pressure values of systolic 130 mmHg or higher and/or diastolic 85 mmHg or higher

How to lose weight with metabolic syndrome?

You can lose weight by physical activity and diet changes, avoiding a sedentary lifestyle, getting adequate sleep and managing stress levels. Blood investigation may be required to rule out thyroid dysfunction since that may impede weight loss.
You may approach the doctor for medical or surgical weight loss management if general measures fail.

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