Metabolic syndrome is a combination of five basic risk factors: the body's resistance to insulin (insulin resistance), elevated insulin levels in the blood (hyperinsulinemia), elevated blood sugar levels / type 2 diabetes, obesity, elevated blood fat levels (hyperlipidemia) and elevated blood pressure (arterial hypertension).
Causes and symptoms
It is estimated that around 25% - 30% of the adult population suffers from metabolic syndrome. Although the main cause of metabolic syndrome is unknown, risk factors such as genetic predisposition, lack of physical activity (sedentary lifestyle), improper diet with a high content of saturated fat and sugar, alcohol consumption, aging and psychological stress have a significant impact on its development. The basic pathophysiological disorder is the accumulation of fatt tissue on the front abdominal wall, which acts as a separate endocrine gland (central form of obesity). Infiltration of fatty tissue by inflammatory cells leads to the release of several types of signaling molecules, the so-called cytokines (TNF-α, plasminogen activation inhibitor, leptin, resistin, IL-6 and CRP) which play a significant role in the process of insulin resistance. Then a series of complex mechanisms appear, which are manifested in the irregularities of the production and secretion of insulin and insulin signaling. Insulin resistance worsens over time, type 2 diabetes occurs, an increase in the level of fat in the blood (hyperlipidemia), damage to the walls of blood vessels, deposition of fat in the liver (steatosis), an increase in blood pressure and damage to target organs (primarily blood vessels of the heart and brain, leading to heart attack and stroke). There is also an increase in the level of urate (uric acid) with an increased risk of developing thrombosis, i.e. clogging of blood vessels and there is also a greater risk of developing some forms of cancer and dementia.
Diagnosis and treatment of metabolic syndrome
The diagnostic procedure includes a specialist examination and as well as laboratory tests, genetic testing and other diagnostic methods according to indications and complications (eg. ECG, ultrasound of the heart, kidneys, liver and blood vessels, ophthalmological examination). The principle of treatment of metabolic syndrome is based on lifestyle changes, primarily dietary habits, increased physical activity and medication treatment. A multidisciplinary approach is almost always required, which includes the teamwork of doctors from different medical specialties (endocrinologist, cardiologist, nephrologist, ophthalmologist, surgeon), nutritionist and kinesiologist.