Why does metabolic syndrome occur?
Some people are genetically prone to develop insulin resistance or metabolic syndrome. Other people develop metabolic syndrome by:
- Putting on excess body fat
- Failing to get enough physical activity
- Consuming a diet high in carborhydrates (more than 60 percent of daily caloric intake from carbs)
What groups are most likely to have metabolic syndrome?
Metabolic syndrome has become increasingly common in the United States. It's estimated that about 70 million adults in the United States have it. Several factors increase the likelihood of acquiring metabolic syndrome:
Obesity and insulin resistance are two potential and important causes of metabolic syndrome. Excessive fat in and around the abdomen is most strongly associated with metabolic syndrome. However, the reasons abdominal obesity and metabolic syndrome seem to be linked are complex and not fully understood.
- Insulin resistance
Metabolic syndrome is closely associated with a generalized metabolic disorder called insulin resistance, in which the body can't use insulin efficiently. Some people are genetically predisposed to insulin resistance.
- Physical inactivity
People who are not physically active are twice as likely to develop metabolic syndrome and its complications than people who exercise regularly.
Fortunately, many of the factors that contribute to metabolic syndrome can be addressed through lifestyle changes, such as diet, exercise, and weight loss. By making these changes, you can significantly reduce your risks.