Metabolic Syndrome is a disease

What is Metabolic Syndrome?

The metabolic syndrome is a collective term for various diseases and risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. The Greek term "metabolic" means something like metabolism-related. One speaks of a syndrome when different symptoms occur at the same time (= symptom complex), each of which can have a different cause.

The following symptoms or clinical pictures usually occur together in the metabolic syndrome:

  • severe overweight with mostly abdominal fat deposits (obesity)
  • high blood pressure
  • increased blood sugar level (impaired sugar metabolism in the form of insulin insensitivity or resistance)
  • disturbed lipid metabolism

What is less well known is that the following abnormalities are often present at the same time:

  • increased uric acid
  • low-grade inflammation
  • increased blood clotting
  • endothelial dysfunction

Since the symptoms usually arise as a result of a modern lifestyle with little physical activity and overeating, one speaks of affluence diseases. Sometimes the terms Syndrome X or Reaven Syndrome are also used. Because of the increased mortality of those affected, the factors involved in the metabolic syndrome are also called "fatal quartet".

Each of the four symptoms or clinical pictures of the metabolic syndrome can damage the blood vessels and increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Since several of these vascular damaging factors occur at the same time in the metabolic syndrome, the risk of cardiovascular diseases increases again.

In Germany around 30-35% of the population suffer from a metabolic syndrome, and the trend is rising. There is also an unreported number of unrecognized cases. Men and women are equally affected. Metabolic syndrome is most common in those over the age of 60, but an increasing number of children and adolescents also suffer from the disease.