Metabolic syndrome is used to describe a combination of conditions that occur together, increasing your risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. These conditions include increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels.
Metabolic syndrome affects an estimated one in four adults in the UK and is associated with being overweight or obese, and a lack of exercise. It includes the following symptoms:
- a waist circumference > 94cm in European men, or > 90cm in South Asian men
- a waist circumference > 80cm in European and South Asian women
- high triglyceride levels and low levels of HDL
- high blood pressure
- high blood sugar levels
- an increased risk of developing blood clots
- a tendency to develop inflammation
Pre-menopausal women appear to be protected from coronary heart disease (compared to men of a similar age). However, during and after the menopause declining oestrogen levels increases the risk developing coronary heart disease, or a circulatory condition such as stroke.
So what lifestyle changes can you make to prevent or even reverse metabolic syndrome?
- Regular exercise
- Eat healthily
- Don’t smoke
- Reduce alcohol intake
Interestingly a 2018 study on The Effect of Exercise, Reflexology and Chrome on Metabolic Syndrome stated that a core exercise program and reflexology is an effective method of reducing body weight.
So with prevention being better than a cure, regular self care whether through reflexology or other complementary therapies and positive lifestyle changes can improve both our physical and emotional well-being.