Poor dietary habits, insufficient exercise and stress can cause significant increase in weight and abdominal obesity. A large stomach leads in turn to an increased risk of developing both type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Abdominal obesity is due to visceral fat that collects around, for example, the liver and heart and causes insulin resistance.
Metabolic syndrome can be asymptomatic for many years. Insulin resistance does not simply increase the blood sugar level, it also increases the blood pressure and activates the ability of the blood to clot and changes the composition of blood lipids. These changes increase the risk of, in particular, arterial diseases, disruptions to kidney function, blood clots and gout. Metabolic syndrome is often associated with depression and memory disorders.
Everyone can measure their own waist. The limit is 102 cm for men and for women it is 88 cm. In addition to the investigation of close relatives’ medical history, a clinical examination is conducted, along with an interview that charts factors such as the circulatory organs’ function and need of any physical or mental performance tests and the possibility of sleep apnoea. In addition, complementary laboratory investigations are conducted.
Successful treatment is dependent on close collaboration between doctor and patient. Treatment of the syndrome without the use of medication is based on reducing the quantity of energy obtained from the patient’s diet to match their actual needs. Dietary recommendations should be based on evidence from medical studies. Exercising more is important if the treatment is to be successful. Drug treatment is individualised and based on a balanced treatment of the various subsidiary areas of the patient’s disrupted metabolism. During follow-up consultations, we assess how successful the treatment has been and how the body is functioning with respect to optimal quality of life and longevity. The majority of patients are able to reduce or completely stop their medication without increasing their risk of vascular complications in situations where the patient has realised the importance of lifestyle changes.