Unhealthy lifestyle habits such as lack of physical activity and poor nutrition can increase the risk for metabolic syndrome and other life-threatening health conditions when practiced long-term.
However, research has shown that individuals who suffer from metabolic syndrome can greatly reduce their risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes after undergoing weight-loss surgery.
Risk factors for metabolic syndrome
Metabolic syndrome is associated with five main risk factors. Most Americans who are diagnosed with metabolic syndrome suffer from at least three out of five of the following risk factors:
- High blood pressure, or hypertension. Arterial plaque buildup that occurs as a result of high blood pressure can increase the risk of heart disease.
- Low HDL cholesterol levels. HDL cholesterol is known as the “good” cholesterol, which helps remove LDL cholesterol or “bad” cholesterol from the bloodstream. Lack of good cholesterol in the body can increase the risk for heart disease.
- Obesity, especially in the abdominal region. Abdominal fat can increase the risk of heart disease in both men and women.
- High triglycerides. Individuals with high triglyceride levels generally have higher amounts of fat in their bloodstream, which can increase the risk of heart disease.
- High blood sugar levels. Blood sugar levels that are consistently high can increase the risk for type 2 diabetes or indicate the presence of type 2 diabetes, which can also contribute to heart disease.
How bariatric surgery improves metabolic syndrome
A series of recent medical studies have shown that bariatric surgery can improve metabolic syndrome in adults who suffer from at least three of the above risk factors. In one study, researchers in Taiwan found that weight-loss surgery was able to reverse metabolic syndrome in all 645 patients who had undergone weight-loss surgery for the study. These patients were also able to lose an average of one-third of their body weight within the following year after surgery. A series of separate studies have shown that bariatric surgery has the ability to reverse type 2 diabetes in most weight-loss patients. Many of the risk factors for metabolic syndrome can be reversed through weight loss, regular physical activity, and a healthy diet.
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