Because some medications, such as over-the-counter cold medicines, pain medications, antidepressants, birth control pills and others, can raise your blood pressure, it might be a good idea to bring a list of medications and supplements you take to your doctor's appointment. Don't stop taking any prescription medications that you think may affect your blood pressure without your doctor's advice.
Because metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance are closely tied, many healthcare providers believe that insulin resistance may be a cause of metabolic syndrome. But they have not found a direct link between the two conditions. Others believe that hormone changes caused by chronic stress lead to abdominal obesity, insulin resistance, and higher blood lipids (triglycerides and cholesterol).
Health care providers measure blood pressure with a sphygmomanometer (sfig-mo-muh-NAH-muh-ter), which has a cuff that's wrapped around the upper arm and pumped up to create pressure. When the cuff is inflated, it squeezes a large artery in the arm, stopping the blood flow for a moment. Blood pressure is measured as air is gradually let out of the cuff, which allows blood to flow through the artery again.
As a clinician who works with weight loss and obesity, I can tell you with certainty that people can and do become weight loss resistant and can develop some degree of “metabolic damage”. Metabolic damage is a non-diagnostic term many in the weight loss industry use to describe a set of functional disturbances. These disturbances include severe metabolic compensations that result in a depressed metabolic rate, chronic fatigue, immune suppression, and multiple hormonal effects (i.e. suppressed thyroid function, adrenal stress maladaptation, and loss of libido and/or menses).
Just briefly I want to mention something for the more savvy readers out there. Many, who are well versed in metabolism, will immediately point out that if you lose weight, then of course you are going to be burning less calories because you have less body tissue. True. But what research shows, and my clinical experience validates, is that the reduced rate of metabolic output goes far beyond what would be predicted from loss of fat mass or muscle mass.
Regarding age, data shows that for each decade after 40 years of age regardless of weight there is an increase in incidence of diabetes. The prevalence of diabetes in persons 65 years of age and older is around 25%. Type 2 diabetes is also more common in certain ethnic groups. Compared with a 7% prevalence in non-Hispanic Caucasians, the prevalence in Asian Americans is estimated to be 8.0%, in Hispanics 13%, in blacks around 12.3%, and in certain Native American communities 20% to 50%. Finally, diabetes occurs much more frequently in women with a prior history of diabetes that develops during pregnancy (gestational diabetes).
Doctors may also prescribe medications to lower blood pressure, control cholesterol or help you lose weight. Insulin sensitizers like Glucophage (Metformin) may be prescribed to help your body use insulin more effectively. It lowers blood sugar, which also seems to help lower cholesterol and triglycerides as well as decreasing appetite. The side effects of Metformin (often temporary) include nausea, stomach pain, bloating and diarrhea. A more serious side effect, lactic acidosis, can affect those with kidney or liver disease, severe heart failure or a history of alcohol abuse and is potentially, though rarely, fatal. Aspirin therapy is often given to help reduce risk of heart attack and stroke.
This is true for two reasons. Not only are many fad diets low fat, but they are also low calorie. Your body is not stupid! It can see that you are not taking in enough energy to support your basal metabolic rate. Your basal metabolic rate is the number of calories that your body requires to run your heart, brain, liver, digestive system, lungs etc. This critical number is very responsive to the environment because back in the good old days food wasn’t widely available. If you weren’t able to find food for a few days then your whole system slowed down to require less calories and protect you from dying.
The Mediterranean diet is palatable and easily sustained. In addition, recent studies have shown that when compared to a low fat diet, people on the Mediterranean diet have a greater decrease in body weight, and also had greater improvements in blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and other markers of heart disease -- all of which are important in evaluating and treating metabolic syndrome.
Blood pressure goals are generally set lower than 130/80. Some blood pressure medications offer more benefits than simply lowering blood pressure. For example, a class of blood pressure drugs called ACE inhibitors has been found to also reduce the levels of insulin resistance and actually deter the development of type 2 diabetes. This is an important consideration when discussing the choice blood pressure drugs in the metabolic syndrome. https://i.ytimg.com/vi/xQRE2ht3elA/maxresdefault.jpg
Aronow WS, Fleg JL, Pepine CJ, Artinian NT, Bakris G, Brown AS, et al. ACCF/AHA 2011 expert consensus document on hypertension in the elderly: a report of the American College of Cardiology Foundation Task Force on Clinical Expert Consensus documents developed in collaboration with the American Academy of Neurology, American Geriatrics Society, American Society for Preventive Cardiology, American Society of Hypertension, American Society of Nephrology, Association of Black Cardiologists, and European Society of Hypertension. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2011 May 17. 57(20):2037-114. [Medline].
Treatment of hypertension is important, despite the fact that it rarely causes noticeable symptoms at the early stages. Hypertension accelerates atherosclerosis, which leads to coronary artery disease, heart attacks, heart failure, strokes, kidney failure, peripheral artery disease, and aortic aneurysms. Treating hypertension in the early stages has been shown to prevent these complications.
Eat more fruits and vegetables. According to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines, a person on a 2,000-calorie-per-day diet should eat 2.5 cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fruit a day. This amount will vary depending on how many calories you need. Be sure to choose a variety of fruits and vegetables. Different fruits and vegetables have different amounts and types of nutrients.
According to the Mayo Clinic, doctors may use other tests to diagnose diabetes. For example, they may conduct a fasting blood glucose test, which is a blood glucose test done after a night of fasting. While a fasting blood sugar level of less than 100 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) is normal, one that is between 100 to 125 mg/dL signals prediabetes, and a reading that reaches 126 mg/dL on two separate occasions means you have diabetes.