Metabolic Syndrome

About 47 million adults in the United States have a group of risk factors, called metabolic syndrome, that can increase the chances of developing diabetes as well as heart disease and stroke. The five conditions, which must occur together to be considered metabolic syndrome, are:

Obesity in the abdomen, resulting in a body being "apple-shaped."

• A higher than normal level of the fat in the blood called triglycerides.

• A lower than normal level of "good" cholesterol, called HDL (high density lipoprotein).

High blood pressure, or taking medicine to control high blood pressure.

• Higher than normal fasting blood glucose, or being on medicine to treat it.

insulin, but it often quickly leads to type 2 and requires insulin. Often, gestational diabetes has no symptoms, or they are mild and not threatening. If a pregnant woman does have symptoms, they may include blurry vision, increased thirst and urination, fatigue, nausea and vomiting, and weight loss even with increased appetite. Typically, blood glucose levels return to normal after the baby is born.

This condition must be treated not only for the mother's sake, but also to protect the baby from developing harmful conditions. Before birth, the baby's heart may experience extra stress. The baby may be born very large and with extra fat, which makes delivery more dangerous for both the baby and the mother. The baby might also have a condition called spina bifida, in which the spine is deformed. Right after birth, the baby may have extremely low blood glucose, and breathing problems may be another complication.

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