Metabolic syndrome is a combination of other medical conditions that often happen together and make developing heart disease or type 2 diabetes more likely.
The conditions that comprise metabolic syndrome are high blood sugar, elevated blood pressure, high cholesterol or triglycerides, and excess fat carried around the waistline. Unfortunately, an estimated one-third of people in the United States have metabolic syndrome. Knowing more about it can help you to prevent it from occurring in your aging relative.
What Causes Metabolic Syndrome?
The two main causes of metabolic syndrome are being overweight or obese and living an inactive lifestyle. In addition, it has been associated with insulin resistance. Insulin is a kind of hormone that is made by the pancreas. When foods are broken down into sugars through the digestive process, insulin is the hormone that allows cells to take in the sugar and use it for energy. When an older adult is insulin resistant, the cells don’t efficiently use insulin and cannot absorb sugar from the blood. As a result, blood sugar levels rise. The body responds by producing more insulin to bring blood sugar levels down until the pancreas is worn out.
Some people are more likely to develop metabolic syndrome because of certain risk factors, such as:
- Age: The older a person gets, the higher their risk for metabolic syndrome.
- Ethnicity: People of Hispanic descent are at increased risk. This is especially true for Hispanic women.
- Weight: People who are overweight or obese and carry the weight around their waistline are at increased risk.
- History of Diabetes: Women who had gestational diabetes and people who have family members with diabetes are more likely to get metabolic syndrome.
What Are Its Complications?
It’s important to make an effort to prevent metabolic syndrome in your aging relative because it can have serious complications. Some of the complications that commonly occur in people with metabolic syndrome are:
-Heart Disease and Blood Vessel Problems: Having high blood pressure or high cholesterol can cause plaques to build upon the walls of arteries. Plaques may cause the arteries to become narrow, impeding the flow of blood. When blood vessels become blocked, it can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
-Type 2 Diabetes: The insulin resistance that can occur because of metabolic syndrome can progress into type 2 diabetes.
Senior care providers can assist with preventing metabolic syndrome in your aging relative. A senior care provider can encourage weight loss by cooking balanced meals that are low in calories, fats, and sugars. Senior care providers can also help older adults to be more physically active by involving them in tasks and activities around the house, taking walks with them, or driving them to an exercise facility to take a class or use the equipment.
The staff at Home Care Matters is available to talk with you and your family about all of your needs. Home Care Matters is a home care agency providing quality and affordable Home Health Care in Dacula, GA, and surrounding areas. Call (678) 828-2195 for more information.
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