Metabolic Syndrome X
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Metabolic syndrome is a group of medical conditions that can lead to heart disease, stroke, or type 2 diabetes. The medical conditions include high triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol, high blood pressure, high blood sugar levels, and extra abdominal fat.
- Cholesterol medicine: This type of medicine is given to help decrease (lower) the amount of cholesterol (fat) in your blood. Cholesterol medicine works best if you also exercise and eat a healthy diet that is low in certain kinds of fats. Some cholesterol medicines may cause liver problems. You may need to have blood taken for tests while using this medicine.
- Blood pressure medicine: This is given to lower your blood pressure. A controlled blood pressure helps protect your organs, such as your heart, lungs, brain, and kidneys. Take your blood pressure medicine exactly as directed.
- Hypoglycemic medicine: This medicine may be given to decrease the amount of sugar in your blood. Hypoglycemic medicine helps your body move the sugar to your cells, where it is needed for energy.
- Take your medicine as directed. Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your primary healthcare provider as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Manage metabolic syndrome:
- Maintain a healthy weight: Weight loss helps lower cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure, and blood glucose levels. It can also raise HDL (good cholesterol). Ask your primary healthcare provider how much you should weigh. Ask him to help you create a weight loss plan if you are overweight.
- Eat a variety of healthy foods: Healthy foods include fruits, vegetables, whole-grain breads, low-fat dairy products, beans, lean meats, and fish. Eat foods that are low in fat and sodium (salt). A dietitian can help you plan healthy meals.
- Exercise: Ask your primary healthcare provider to help you create an exercise plan. Exercise can help lower your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels. Exercise can also help raise your HDL level and help you to lose weight. Get at least 30 minutes of exercise, 5 days each week.
- Check your blood pressure as directed: You may be asked to keep a record of your blood pressure and bring it with you to follow-up visits. Ask your primary healthcare provider (PHP) what your blood pressure should be and how to check it.
- Limit alcohol: Women should limit alcohol to 1 drink a day. Men should limit alcohol to 2 drinks a day. A drink of alcohol is 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1½ ounces of liquor.
- Do not smoke: If you smoke, it is never too late to quit. Smoking further increases your risk for heart disease and stroke. Ask your primary healthcare provider for information if you need help quitting.
Contact your primary healthcare provider if:
- You have more thirst or hunger than usual.
- You urinate more frequently.
- You have blurred vision.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Return to the emergency department if:
- Your blood pressure is higher than caregivers told you it should be.
- You have chest pain or discomfort that spreads to your arms, jaw, or back.
- You have a severe headache or dizziness.
- You have trouble thinking, speaking, or understanding others.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.