Syndrome X, aka Metabolic Syndrome or Obesity Syndrome
Syndrome X is a diagnosis you might here if you are at risk for a chronic disease, which is also known as Metabolic Syndrome. This is a group of health conditions that puts an individual at risk for chronic health problems like heart disease, strokes, and diabetes, plus high blood pressure and obesity.
Metabolic syndrome includes: (you must have at least 3 risk factors for this diagnosis)
- A large waistline or apple shape body
- High total cholesterol (LDL, HDL & VLDL)
- Low HDL cholesterol (HDL improves your blood vessels)
- High triglycerides (caused by daily overeating)
- High blood pressure or taking medication for high blood pressure
- Fasting blood glucose over 126 (early signs include blood glucose 100-125)
- Other risk factors are your genetics and your age.
Insulin resistance increase your risk for an apple shaped body. Not everyone who gains weight develops an apple shape. However, insulin resistances causes fat to be deposited within your abdominal cavity.
Another common problem in metabolic syndrome is unacceptable levels of triglycerides. Many times triglycerides go up when people eat more calories during the day than they are burning. If you have above range triglycerides or are taking medications to control your triglycerides, then you are at risk for chronic disease.
If your LDL (low-density cholesterol) levels are high, that is another risk factor for a Syndrome X diagnosis. Cholesterol is often a reflection of the food you eat. Typically this is a high fat diet. It amazes me how many adolescents today are on cholesterol lowering medications. If you don’t know your cholesterol numbers, then you need to consult your medical provider and seek a blood test. Total blood cholesterol should be less than 200. If you are taking a medication to lower your cholesterol, then technically you have this medical diagnosis.
Metabolic syndrome includes blood pressure higher than preferred. I will say, trying to get accurate blood pressure reading on teens is difficult at best. First, acceptable pediatric blood pressures are difficult to pin down. You need to be educated in pediatric medicine to know what is acceptable. (Don’t go to the drug store with your children and get a reading; adult blood pressures are different from children’s numbers. Even adult sized machines can give wrong information for children.) Teens blood pressure can swing with changing thoughts (ask them about their personal problems and it will jump quickly).
My point: if a teen is taking medication for blood pressure, then they have been diagnosed with a health problem. At that time, the blood pressure may be within normal ranges, but they still have the diagnoses. This places them at higher risk for chronic disease like heart disease and kidney disease.
Metabolic Syndrome Risk Factors include:
- insulin resistance
- diet (sugar-sweetened drinks)
- genetics & age
- low physical activity
- disrupted sleep patterns
- mood disorders
- excess alcohol
- smoking (tobacco and other substances)
- chronic inflammation
- other chemical imbalances in the blood.
Metabolic Syndrome Associated Health Conditions include:
- Polycystic ovary disease
- Erectile dysfunction
- Hyperuricemia (uric acid in the blood)
- Acanthosis nigricans
- Fatty liver & Non-alcoholic fatty live disease
(More later on teens with fatty liver disease. I have been absolutely amazed at the number of preteens that I have seen diagnosed with fatty liver disease!)
Source: National Heart Lung & Blood Institute www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/ms