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Metabolic Syndrome (cont.)

Medications

Medications should be tailored to target the specific components of the metabolic syndrome that are present in the patient.

Cholesterol-lowering drug classes include statins and fibrates. Blood pressure medications of various classes can be used, with consideration of coexisting diseases or conditions. Aspirin may be considered to reduce cardiac risk, along with supplements such as fish oils.

Metformin (Glucophage), usually used to treat type 2 diabetes, also has been found to help prevent the onset of diabetes in people with metabolic syndrome. Many patients who have insulin resistance associated with metabolic syndrome opt for metformin therapy. However, there are currently no established guidelines on treating metabolic syndrome patients with metformin if they do not have overt diabetes.

Follow-up

Routine follow-up is recommended for patients with metabolic syndrome, both to address the treatment of the components present, as well as to monitor for the development of heart disease or associated problems.

Prevention

Prevention of metabolic syndrome in its entirety may not be possible in all cases, given the genetic contribution. However, there are ways to prevent worsening of the individual components.

Prevention methods include:

  • A consistent exercise routine: walking, bicycling, swimming, yoga, etc. Find an exercise buddy if you can't seem to be consistent with the routine.
  • Take a walk during your work break, even if it is just around the building.
  • Choose healthier foods and pass on the junk food.
  • Evaluate what you feed your children. Are they eating healthy as well? Childhood obesity is rising dramatically in the United States.
  • Urge children to go outside and play to get some exercise.

It all adds up. Preventing metabolic syndrome really means having a healthy sustainable lifestyle.

Outlook

While these treatment options can be addressed at a doctor's office, implementation really has to occur in the real world. In addition to medications, an active attempt to choose healthier foods and exercising regularly is necessary. With sincere effort, we can alter the course of the syndrome in a positive way.

Medically reviewed by Robert J. Bryg, MD; Board Certified Internal Medicine with subspecialty in Cardiovascular Disease


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/10/2014

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