Q: My doctor says that I have metabolic syndrome. He put me on high blood pressure medication, a statin for cholesterol and says I need to lose weight. What’s this got to do with metabolic syndrome? – Andre P., Scottsdale, Arizona
A: Metabolic syndrome means that you have three or more of the following:
-A waist circumference over 40 inches (for women it’s 35).
-Blood triglyceride levels of 150 mg/dL or more.
-Good HDL (high density lipoprotein) cholesterol level of 40 mg/dL or less (gals, it’s 50 or less).
-Blood pressure of 130/85 mm/Hg or more, or you’re taking antihypertensive meds.
-A fasting glucose level of 107 mg/dL or more, or you’re taking diabetes meds.
It also means that you’re likely to develop bodywide inflammation and cardiovascular problems, including stroke. Unfortunately, this is an all-too-common condition. New data show that almost 35 percent of American men and 37 percent of women over age 20 have metabolic syndrome. And fully HALF of seniors do.
Recent reports do say that rates have stabilized. But, as the president of the American College of Cardiology recently pointed out, this is an epidemic that will get worse unless we change things right now.
What’s the solution? A healthier living environment. For starters, we’d like to see:
-The EPA enforce clean water and air programs and help reduce your exposure to hormone-disrupting chemicals such as BPA that promote obesity and pesticides containing glyphosate.
-A reduction of antibiotics in the food supply. Eighty percent of all antibiotics sold in the U.S. are fed to livestock.
-Making outdoor activities accessible to everyone.
And you, Andre, and anyone with metabolic syndrome, need to make your daily habits healthier by eliminating from your diet all trans fats and most saturated fat, added sugars and syrups, and grain that isn’t 100 percent whole. Plus, get a minimum 30 minutes of physical activity, five days a week. You’re fortunate that your doctor alerted you to your health needs. So, upgrade your nutrition and increase your physical activity – you’ll see a brighter tomorrow.
© 2015 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.