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Are you, like over 30 percent of Americans, living with metabolic syndrome?
If so, you probably already know that while the syndrome is a cluster of risk factors, it’s not really a disease.
Not so scary then, right?
In fact, according to Swedish researchers, metabolic syndrome could have you on the fast track to a heart attack.
And the only way to know the danger you’re headed is to count your warning signs…
Feeling fine is no protection
“Many people in their 40s and 50s have a bit of fat around the middle and marginally elevated blood pressure, cholesterol or glucose but feel generally well, are unaware of the risks and do not seek medical advice,” said study author Dr. Lena Lönnberg .
“This scenario, called metabolic syndrome, is a growing problem in Western populations where people are unknowingly storing up problems for later in life. This is a huge missed opportunity to intervene before heart attacks and strokes that could have been avoided occur.”
So the researchers set out to quantify the link between completely asymptomatic metabolic syndrome in midlife and heart disease and death up to three decades later.
All in all, the team followed over 34,000 people in their 40s and 50s at the time the study began. Every person went through the usual suspects of weighing, measuring, blood pressure and blood work, as well as questionnaires regarding lifestyle factors and disease history.
The researchers then classified who had metabolic syndrome based on whether or not they had three or more of the following signs:
- Waist circumference of 40.2 inches or above for men and 34.6 inches or above for women
- Total cholesterol 6.1 mmol/l or above
- 130 mmHg or higher systolic blood pressure and/or 85 mm Hg or higher diastolic blood pressure
- Fasting plasma glucose 5.6 mmol/l or higher
Then they matched each person living with metabolic syndrome with a healthy control subject to see who fared better over the next few decades.
And the results were clear…
Living with metabolic syndrome presents a real and present danger to your life, even if you feel perfectly healthy.
Heart attack, stroke and earlier death
The results showed that compared to the control group, people with asymptomatic metabolic syndrome:
- Had a 30 percent higher risk of death during the average 27-year follow-up period;
- Had a 35 percent increased chance of heart attack and stroke;
- And suffered heart attacks an average of 2.3 years earlier.
According to the researchers, blood pressure was the riskiest component, especially for women in their 40s.
When asked what advice she would give based on this research, Dr. Lönnberg concluded: “The results underline the importance of early detection of risk factors through health screening programs so that preventive actions can be taken to prevent heart attack, stroke and premature death. As a general rule of thumb, even if you feel well, check your blood pressure every year, avoid smoking, keep an eye on your waist circumference and last, but definitely not least, be physically active every day.”
Beating back metabolic syndrome
In addition to Dr. Lönnberg’s recommendations, studies have given us a few more promising ways to defeat metabolic syndrome.
- Switching up your sweetener – Stevia not only helps you avoid the dangers of sugar, but it has pharmacological and therapeutic activity that makes it an excellent natural alternative for treating disorders associated with metabolic syndrome.
- Time-restricted eating – Intermittent fasting, such as eating only in a 10-hour window, has been shown to reverse metabolic syndrome in mice.
- Eating blueberries –Research at the University of East Anglia shows that eating a cup of blueberries per day can help you master your metabolic syndrome and significantly reduce your heart disease risk.
- Taming with tea – Hibiscus tea is known to improve several biomarkers of metabolic syndrome and can be a tasty way to improve your health daily.
- Avoid a vitamin D deficiency – Researchers from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and Sichuan University in China found that vitamin D deficiency sets off a chain reaction that leads to metabolic syndrome in mice. And they think it probably occurs in people too. Here’s what happens…
Editor’s note: There are numerous safe and natural ways to decrease your risk of blood clots including the 25-cent vitamin, the nutrient that acts as a natural blood thinner and the powerful herb that helps clear plaque. To discover these and more, click here for Hushed Up Natural Heart Cures and Common Misconceptions of Popular Heart Treatments!