Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions which increases your risk of ischemic heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. These conditions include: high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels. Having at least 3 of the 5 conditions define you as a metabolic syndrome patient. If you develop more than 3 of these conditions, your risk of complications, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease, increases even higher.

Causes of Metabolic Syndrome

There are certain traits, conditions or habits that may raise your risk for developing metabolic syndrome. These are known as risk factors and include:

Non-modifiable risk factors: These factors are irreversible and cannot be changed. The more of these risk factors you have, the greater your chance of developing Metabolic syndrome.

  • Older age
  • Hispanics, especially women, are at greater risk
  • Family history/Genetics

Modifiable risk factors: These factors can be modified, treated or controlled through medications or lifestyle changes.

  • Diabetes (when your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high).
  • Long history of smoking and/or drug abuse
  • Obesity or having a body mass index “BMI” of 30 or greater.
  • Excessive amounts of alcohol consumption over the years.
  • Extreme emotional stress.

Other conditions that may contribute to development of metabolic syndrome

  • Non-alcohol fatty liver disease: a group of liver conditions affecting people who drink little to no alcohol.

Symptoms of Metabolic Syndrome

Most of the disorders associated with metabolic syndrome don't have obvious signs or symptoms. One sign that is visible is a large waist circumference. And if your blood sugar is high, you might notice the signs and symptoms of diabetes (i.e. increased thirst and urination, fatigue, and blurred vision).

Diagnosis of Metabolic Syndrome

The National Institutes of Health guidelines define metabolic syndrome as having three or more of the following traits, including traits you're taking medication to control:

  • Large waist — A waistline that measures at least 35 inches (89 centimeters) for women and 40 inches (102 centimeters) for men.
  • High triglyceride level — 150 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), or 1.7 millimoles per liter (mmol/L), or higher of this type of fat found in blood.
  • Reduced "good" or HDL cholesterol — Less than 40 mg/dL (1.04 mmol/L) in men or less than 50 mg/dL (1.3 mmol/L) in women of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.
  • Increased blood pressure — 130/85 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or higher.
  • Elevated fasting blood sugar — 100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L) or higher.

Treatment of Metabolic Syndrome

If you've been diagnosed with metabolic syndrome or any of its components, making healthy lifestyle changes can help prevent or delay serious health problems. Some treatment options include:

Lifestyle changes

Medications: These will be applicable to the specific condition you have (any of the 5) within metabolic syndrome. Consult with your doctor for further details.



Saint Barnabas Medical Center
94 Old Short Hills Road
Livingston, NJ 07039
(973) 322-5000
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Monmouth Medical Center
300 Second Avenue
Long Branch, NJ 07740
(732) 222-5200
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Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus
600 River Avenue
Lakewood, NJ 08701
(732) 363-1900
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Clara Maass Medical Center
1 Clara Maass Drive
Belleville, NJ 07109
(973) 450-2000
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Community Medical Center
99 Highway 37 West
Toms River, NJ 08755
(732) 557-8000
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Newark Beth Israel Medical Center
201 Lyons Avenue at Osborne Terrace
Newark, NJ 07112
(973) 926-7000
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Jersey City Medical Center
355 Grand Street
Jersey City, NJ 07302
(201) 915-2000
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RWJ University Hospital Hamilton
1 Hamilton Health Place
Hamilton, NJ 08690
(609) 586-7900
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Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
1 Robert Wood Johnson Place
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
(732) 828-3000
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RWJ University Hospital Rahway
865 Stone Street
Rahway, NJ 07065
(732) 381-4200
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RWJ University Hospital Somerset
110 Rehill Avenue
Somerville, NJ 08876
(908) 685-2200
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Metabolic Syndrome Treatment & Care

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