Battle the Bulge & Get Healthy:
Caroline was a robust and outgoing woman in her mid-50s who had lived a life filled with family, friends, satisfying work as a teacher, and community involvement in her hometown. That she was overweight seemed part of her life story, though she said it hadn't noticeably affected her health until the past few years. When she was in her 40s, her blood pressure had crept up, and her cholesterol profile had worsened. Likewise, her fasting blood sugar had climbed higher than normal, and her weight had further increased to the point that she was now 50 pounds overweight. With all these risk factors for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes layering one atop the other, her family doctor had recently diagnosed her with "metabolic syndrome."
A syndrome of epidemic proportions:
Right on the heels of the epidemic obesity in the US, we have an epidemic of metabolic syndrome - defined as a cluster of conditions occurring together that affect metabolism, including hypertension, high blood sugar, an unhealthy cholesterol profile, and the presence of extra abdominal fat. Any one of these would not be ideal, but when they exist together, a person is ripe for all sorts of serious health problems related to blood vessels, heart disease, stroke, and type II diabetes. Some sources report upwards of 25 to 30% of Americans over age 20 have metabolic syndrome-an epidemic by any measure.