One out of four Americans has at least one risk factor associated with Metabolic Syndrome. If you have three risk factors, you have Metabolic Syndrome. This increases your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.
Risk Factor Checklist: How Many Do You Have?
- High blood sugar level—fasting blood glucose level of 100 mg/dL or higher
- High triglyceride level—equal to or higher than 150 mg/dL
- Large waist size—35 inches or more for women and 40 inches or more for men
- High blood pressure—anything equal to or higher than 130/85
- Low HDL cholesterol level—under 50 mg/dL for women and under 40 mg/dL for men
Self-Care Strategies If You Have …
- High blood pressure or blood sugar levels—Regular acupuncture visits and taking Chinese herbs have been shown to help get blood pressure and blood sugar levels under control.
- High triglyceride levels—Limit saturated and trans fats, as well as cholesterol, and focus on eating more fruits and vegetables.
- A large waist size—Exercise and portion control are the best strategies to bring down your waist size. Aim for 30 minutes of exercise each day. For portion control tips, visit www.choosemyplate.gov.
- Low HDL cholesterol level—Exercise and losing weight raise HDL levels, but so can niacin, a B vitamin. Good sources of niacin include eggs, nuts, legumes, broccoli, and carrots.
Having your licensed acupuncturist customize a nutrition plan can also help to lower triglyceride and increase HDL levels.
Sources include: American Heart Association, Mayo Clinic, National Institutes of Health