Home HealthTopics Health Centers Reference Library Research
Join us on Facebook Join us on Facebook Share on Facebook

Obesity and Weight Management

Metabolic Syndrome Explained

What is Metabolic Syndrome?

Metabolic syndrome (also called Syndrome X) is a group of conditions that give you a higher chance, or risk, of getting diabetes and heart disease. These conditions are:

Some experts think that if you have 3 or more of the above conditions, you have metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is not a new disease.  It is just an easier way to describe a set of risk factors that doctors see in their patients.

How can I lower my risk?

The best way to protect yourself from metabolic syndrome is to follow a healthy lifestyle.  If you have metabolic syndrome, your doctor may give you drugs to treat your conditions. You can help protect yourself and reduce your risk by:

For more help on how to start healthy habits, see http://1.usa.gov/met_synd (National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute).
To find out if you are at risk for developing Diabetes, visit Your Diabetes Risk.

What causes Metabolic Syndrome?

It is possible that insulin resistance causes metabolic syndrome.  Insulin resistance occurs when your body has trouble using insulin to change the glucose (sugar) in your bloodstream into energy. This causes higher blood sugar levels and increases your chances of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Points to Remember

You can prevent or reverse insulin resistance and your chances of getting diabetes by:

Hope Through Research - You Can Be Part of the Answer!

Many research studies are underway to help us learn about metabolic syndrome. Would you like to find out more about being part of this exciting research? Please visit the following links:


This article originally appeared in Chow Line, a service of Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center and was adapted for use on NetWellness with permission.

For more information:

Go to the Obesity and Weight Management health topic, where you can:

Last Reviewed: May 01, 2012

Hugo  Melgar-Quinonez, PhD Hugo Melgar-Quinonez, PhD
Assistant Professor
College of Education and Human Ecology
The Ohio State University