Do I have the metabolic syndrome?
You have the metabolic syndrome, according to the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) of the National Institutes of Health, if you have at least three of the following five criteria:
- A resting blood pressure of 130/85 or higher (either number), or you’re currently taking blood-pressure-lowering medications.
- A waist circumference of greater than 35 inches in women and greater than 40 inches in men. The measurement is typically taken one inch above the highest part of the side of your pelvic bone. The circumference around your belly button is a good approximation. NOTE: There are high-risk groups in which the thresholds are lower – less than 33 inches for women and less than 37 inches for men. They include people with a personal or family history of vascular disease (such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes) as well as specific ethnic groups, including African-Americans, Asians, Native Americans, Indian/Pakistanis, and Latinos.
- An HDL “good” cholesterol less than 40 mg/dL in men and less than 50 mg/dL in women, or you’re currently taking HDL-raising medications.
- A fasting triglyceride level of 150 mg/dL or higher, or you’re currently taking triglyceride-lowering medications. NOTE: The American Heart Association has recently lowered the number for optimal fasting triglycerides to less than 100 mg/dL.
- A fasting blood glucose of 100 mg/dL or higher.
Reversing the Metabolic Syndrome
Research has found that adopting the Pritikin Program of diet and exercise can eliminate the metabolic syndrome. In 50% of adult Americans studied, coming to the Pritikin Longevity Center reversed the clinical diagnosis of metabolic syndrome, and in just three weeks.
In an investigation following children with the metabolic syndrome, 100% no longer had the syndrome within two weeks of starting the Pritikin Program.