The Mystery Disorder of Metabolic Syndrome

by : justarticles

Metabolic syndrome is the recent designation of a number of metabolic conditions that appear on the surface to be unrelated but occur in such a way that leads many physicians and scientists to speculate that there may be an underlying undiscovered disorder that is causing the problems. While the manifestations of metabolic syndrome may be quite diverse, most authorities believe that they are all based on some form of metabolic syndrome insulin resistance. Since the disorder has not been rigorously categorized and defined, it is impossible to say how many people suffer from it. However, some health care professionals have estimated that between twenty and twenty five percent of American adults suffer from some form of the disease. The widespread predominance of the condition combined with its relatively obscure nature have led many to refer to the disorder as "syndrome x".

While many healthcare professionals suspect that metabolic syndrome is simply a manifestation of some other as of yet undiscovered underlying illness, until the time comes that the mystery background illness is isolated and treatments are developed, physicians must treat metabolic syndrome symptomatically. The disorder typically consists of obesity of the central region (a "spare tire" or "beer belly"), low levels of HDL cholesterol, high blood triglyceride levels, insulin resistance (the inability of the body to properly utilize insulin to metabolize sugars), high fibrinogen levels, elevated blood pressure (hypertension), and several other similar metabolic disorders. All of these disorders are related in some way to insulin resistance, so many experts believe that syndrome x is related in some way to the body's inability to properly utilize insulin.

Since metabolic syndrome manifests itself as a conglomeration of disorders, there is no single test available to detect whether or not one suffers from the condition. One is generally believed to suffer from the illness if he or she exhibits symptoms of a number of the associated disorders. While guidelines vary, most physicians attempt to diagnose the condition using a combination of central obesity, triglyceride levels, HDL cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and level of insulin resistance.

The various disorders associated with syndrome x all have their own preferred treatment methods, and treating all of them with medications could be quite dangerous since it would require a high level of pharmaceutical use. However, all of the associated disorders share the fact that they can be treated or controlled (at least in mild to moderate cases) by increasing the amount of exercise received and carefully monitoring the diet. Since a diet and exercise regimen is the only treatment that can treat all of the associated disorders, it is by far the most common recommendation by physicians to patients who seem to be suffering from metabolic syndrome.