The Wellness Corporation® Notifications
Metabolic Syndrome: Stress and Lifestyle Issues
Metabolic Syndrome is a cluster of medical factors that predispose one to the development of type II diabetes and heart disease. The American Heart Association and National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute have issued a statement that defines this syndrome and alerts us that this is a growing health problem in this country.
"The metabolic syndrome, which consists of multiple, interrelated risk factors, increases the risk for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (hardening of the arteries) by 1.5-3 fold, and raises the risk for type 2 diabetes by 3-5 fold. It affects over 26 percent of adults, or over 50 million Americans."
The criteria for the metabolic syndrome include:
- Waist size of greater than 40 inches in men, 35 inches in women.
- High levels of triglycerides (liquid fats that circulate in the blood stream).
- Low levels of the "good" high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C).
- Blood pressure of over 130/85.
Fasting blood glucose levels over 100.
Do You Have Metabolic Syndrome?
Make the first steps towards health by speaking with your physician. Schedule a physical and have your blood pressure, blood sugar, and serum cholesterol levels checked. Your likelihood of developing Metabolic Syndrome is partly related to factors outside of your control: heredity, age, and ethnicity (Hispanic and Asian populations are at a higher risk). Making certain lifestyle changes – that are within your control – can do a great deal to help you avoid the development of this condition.
What To Do?
Make gradual improvements in lifestyle: increase levels of physical activity, reduce sugar, saturated fats and cholesterol in diets, increase the consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, improve sleep habits, stop smoking and reduce alcohol consumption to moderate levels. If you are obese, even a weight loss of 10 pounds can significantly reduce your risk.
Reduce work related stress. An article published recently in the British Medical Journal reported on a study that followed a group of over 10,000 British civil servants over a 14-year period. This study found a high correlation between levels of work stress and the likelihood of developing metabolic syndrome. Though it may be difficult to change the conditions of your workplace, making lifestyle improvements over which you have some control can have a protective effect.
Contact your Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Trained counselors can support you in making positive lifestyle changes and can coach you in ways to both reduce stress and increase your capacity to manage it. Call +1-800-828-6025Maintained by email@example.com
Last modified: January 22, 2009 16:00:45