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Metabolic Syndrome: A Risky Diagnosis: August 16, 2014

One of the most important diagnoses a doctor will ever give you may be one you’ve never heard of - metabolic syndrome - and it’s is a risky diagnosis.

“It’s basically five metabolic abnormalities that when combined, significantly increase your risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes,” says Dr. Sal Lacagnina, who is the vice president of health and wellness for Lee Memorial Health System.

Despite living in a body-conscious society, Americans are fatter than ever before. And it’s weighing heavily on our health.

“What we eat has changed so dramatically over the last 50 years and that’s why were seeing a rise in obesity, diabetes and all these other metabolic problems,” says Dr. Lacagnina.

They key indicators are high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high bad cholesterol, low good cholesterol and belly fat. The more of these you have, the greater your health risk.

“We’ve known for a long time that when you see patients with all of these abnormalities together, they significantly increase the risk more then they individually do,” says Dr. Lacagnina.

As doctors get a better understanding of metabolic syndrome, they’re learning to use the very same thing that causes it, to treat it: diet.

“You can effect your blood pressure right away, your blood sugar levels go down, your cholesterol level goes down and you start losing weight. So if we’re looking for one thing that will make a difference in the whole metabolic syndrome, just changing your diet,” says Dr. Lacagnina.

A calculation of risk, metabolic syndrome can be a turning point - to take notice, change habits and get healthy.