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Introduction to a Healthy Living
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Healthy Lifestyle Plans with Diet & Exercise
for Control of Cardio-Metabolic Syndrome
Bala N. Aiyer, M.D.
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The Metabolic Syndrome - The New Epidemic - 01
 
What is Metabolic Syndrome?
 
 
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Cardiovascular diseases - diseases of the heart and blood vessels, which include heart attack and stroke is highly prevalent and is a leading cause of death in all developed countries. Many medical studies now focus on identifying the causes of these conditions for preventing and treating early. The Metabolic Syndrome is a collection of unhealthy body measurements and abnormal laboratory test results that may identify persons at higher risk of developing these cardiovascular diseases and disabilities.

Aggressive behavior modifications and Lifestyle changes, including proper diet plans and exercises and possible use of medications to treat the conditions that make up the metabolic syndrome may reduce a person's chances of developing heart disease or stroke. The Metabolic Syndrome is also called Syndrome X or insulin resistance syndrome.

 
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Definition of Metabolic Syndrome

Abdominal obesity - Waist circumference of greater than 40 inches for men or 35 inches for women.
----> Even men with >37" and women with >31" has increased risk.
Hypertension - High Blood Pressure, above 130/85
Hyperglycemia - Fasting Blood Glucose of more than 110 mg/dL;
Elevated Triglycerides - Triglycerides of more than 150 mg/dL;
Low HDL - Low levels of High Density Lipoproteins : The Good Cholesterol levels:
----> - HDL of below 40 for Men and below 50 for Women.

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Having at least 3 of the above measurements of abnormalities means that an individual has metabolic syndrome and is at an increased risk for developing type2 Diabetes, Coronary heart disease, heart attack or stroke at early age.

Cigarette smoking increases these risk four folds.

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Treating Metabolic Syndrome - through Lifestyle Changes
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Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes or behavior modifications include weight loss, stopping cigarette smoking, and reducing dietary fat intake. Losing just 10% of excess body weight lowers blood pressure and improves insulin resistance. Some persons may be able to treat their high blood pressure and diabetes and keep them under control by altering their lifestyle alone. In many individuals, lifestyle changes alone are not sufficient and medications must be used to reduce blood pressure, blood glucose and lower triglycerides and also to increase the level of HDL [good] Cholesterol levels.

 

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Because these problems are often linked, treating one aspect of metabolic syndrome may help the other issues. For example, regular exercise can help lose weight, reduce blood pressure and manage hyperglycemia and Insulin resistance. Combining healthful eating with regular exercise program is the cornerstone of treating the metabolic syndrome and reducing risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other medical problems.

The plan should be a "Behavior Modification" for Lifestyle changes. The Diet should be high in fiber, whole grain, more vegetables, and fruits, less Carbohydrates, bread, rice, pasta and potato. Milk, Dairy products, Meats and eggs should be reduced and to take only low cholesterol and low fat or non-fat variety. Peas, Beans and Lentils may be a good source of Vegetable proteins, on a calculated calories diet plan. Along with these, combining a regular exercise program of at least 30 minutes a day is essential.

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Prevention of Metabolic Syndrome - Needs Behavior Modification
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1. Everyone should exercise regularly, starting at an early age and throughout life.
2. We must encourage children also to have daily physical activity - early prevention is better.
3. Children must make healthful food choices, avoiding fats and sugars.
4. A balanced diet plan is very important - it should be low in saturated fats, limited calories, low carbohydrate, high in nutrition rich green vegetables and fruits with reduced salt, sugar and overall low fat content.
5. Cigarette smoking should be avoided and stopped, at any stage, as cigarette smoking increases the risk of all the medical problems due to the Metabolic Syndrome four folds.
6. Some people should recognize that they may have a genetic [inherited] predisposition for diabetes, heart disease and the Metabolic Syndrome. They need to follow the rules of lifestyle modifications early.
7. Everyone needs to get regular medical check-ups and seek medical advice for early treatment for high blood pressure, elevated blood glucose, obesity, abnormal cholesterol and triglycerides.

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This is called Behavior Modification -- Lifestyle Changes -- for a healthy you.
See: -- BMI Calculator -- BMI Tables -- MenuPlanner -
 
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-- This is called Behavior Modification --
Essential Changes -- for a healthy Heart and General Health0
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