Usually, there are no immediate physical symptoms of metabolic syndrome. People with metabolic syndrome do have a tendency to be overweight, especially around the abdomen – having an “apple shape.” Moreover, since this condition is associated with insulin resistance, individuals with metabolic syndrome may display some of the clinical features associated with an increase in the production of insulin. For instance, women may experience cysts on their ovaries (metabolic syndrome is associated with polycystic ovarian syndrome) and irregular periods. Individuals can have an increased incidence of skin tags, benign raised growths of skin that usually appear increases on the neck and back. In addition, they can exhibit acanthosis nigricans – a pigmentation of the skin, which appears discolored or dirty over the back of the neck and underarms.
Effective lifestyle modification may lower blood pressure as much as an individual antihypertensive medication. Combinations of two or more lifestyle modifications can achieve even better results. There is considerable evidence that reducing dietary salt intake lowers blood pressure, but whether this translates into a reduction in mortality and cardiovascular disease remains uncertain. Estimated sodium intake ≥6g/day and <3g/day are both associated with high risk of death or major cardiovascular disease, but the association between high sodium intake and adverse outcomes is only observed in people with hypertension. Consequently, in the absence of results from randomized controlled trials, the wisdom of reducing levels of dietary salt intake below 3g/day has been questioned.
High blood pressure is a common and dangerous condition. Having high blood pressure means the pressure of the blood in your blood vessels is higher than it should be. But you can take steps to control your blood pressure and lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. About 1 of 3 U.S. adults—or about 75 million people—have high blood pressure.1 Only about half (54%) of these people have their high blood pressure under control.1 Many youth are also being diagnosed with high blood pressure.2 This common condition increases the risk for heart disease and stroke, two of the leading causes of death for Americans.3 Get more quick facts about high blood pressure, or learn more about high blood pressure in the United States.