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Metabolic Syndrome (cont.)

Medical Treatment

Medical management should be aimed at targeting the components of metabolic syndrome that are present.

If a patient with metabolic syndrome has already had a heart attack, their LDL ("bad") cholesterol should be reduced to a level below 70mg/dl. Lifestyle modifications and medications may both be necessary to achieve this desired reduction.

A person with diabetes has a heart attack risk equivalent to that of someone who has already a heart attack, and should be treated the same as a patient who has had a heart attack. What remains controversial is whether metabolic syndrome should be considered sufficient to raise the risk to this degree. If a patient has metabolic syndrome, a detailed discussion about therapy to reduce blood lipid levels is necessary between the patient and the doctor, as each individual case is unique.

Goals for lowering blood pressure are generally set lower than 130/80. In addition to lowering blood pressure, some blood pressure medications have other effects on the body. For example, ACE inhibitors (a class of blood pressure drugs) has been found to reduce the levels of insulin resistance and thus may slow the development of type 2 diabetes. This is an important consideration when discussing the choice of blood pressure drugs for a patient with metabolic syndrome.

While a healthy body weight should also be a goal of treatment, it is important to remember that a reduction in weight (as little as 5%-10%) can have a dramatic benefit on lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels and increasing insulin sensitivity.

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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Metabolic Syndrome:

Metabolic Syndrome - Diet

What changes to your diet have helped manage your metabolic syndrome?

Metabolic Syndrome - Effective Treatments

Please describe what treatments have been effective for metabolic syndrome.

Metabolic Syndrome - Diagnosis

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