Sedentary behaviour is associated with metabolic syndrome

Sedentary behaviour is associated with metabolic syndrome

Metabolic syndrome is a clinical and laboratory complex of symptoms that occurs when a metabolic disorder occurs. The pathology is based on the immunity or resistance of cells and peripheral tissues to insulin. When sensitivity to the hormone responsible for glucose uptake is lost, all processes in the body begin to proceed abnormally. Patients have impaired metabolism of lipids, purines, carbohydrates. The blood glucose level increases, and in the cells there is a shortage of it.

In the late 20th century, scientists from America combined various metabolic changes in the human body into one syndrome. Professor Riven, summarizing the results of research by other authors and his own observations, called the pathology “syndrome X”. He proved that insulin resistance, visceral obesity, hypertension and myocardial ischemia are all signs of the same pathological condition.

The main cause of the syndrome is heredity. A significant role in the development of the disease is played by an incorrect lifestyle, stress and hormonal imbalance. In hypodynamic individuals who prefer fatty and high-carbohydrate foods, the risk of developing pathology is very high. High-calorie foods, personal transport, and sedentary work are exogenous causes of metabolic disorders in most of the population of developed countries. Currently, the prevalence of metabolic syndrome is compared to an epidemic or even a pandemic. The disease affects most men 35-65 years old. This is due to the peculiarities of the hormonal background of the male body. In women, the disease develops after the menopausal period, when the production of estrogens stops. Isolated cases of pathology are registered among children and young people, but recently there has been an increase in the incidence in this age category.

Individuals with the syndrome show signs of several multifactorial diseases: diabetes, obesity, hypertension, and heart ischemia. The key link in their development is insulin resistance. In patients, fat accumulates in the abdomen, often increases the tone of blood vessels, shortness of breath, fatigue, headache, cardialgia, constant hunger. Hypercholesterolemia and hyperinsulinemia are detected in the blood. The absorption of glucose by the muscles worsens.

Diagnosis of the syndrome is based on data obtained during a General examination of the patient by an endocrinologist. Indicators of body mass index, waist circumference, lipid spectrum, and blood glucose are important. Among the instrumental methods, the most informative are: heart ultrasound and blood PRESSURE measurement. Metabolic syndrome is difficult to treat. Treatment consists in following a special diet that allows you to normalize body weight, as well as in the use of medications that restore the disturbed metabolism. In the absence of timely and adequate therapy, life-threatening complications develop: atherosclerosis, stroke, heart attack, impotence, infertility, fatty hepatosis, gout.

Metabolic syndrome is an urgent medical problem caused by an unhealthy lifestyle of the majority of the population. To avoid serious complications of pathology, it is necessary to eat properly, normalize body weight, exercise, give up alcohol and Smoking. Currently, the disease is not completely treated, but most of the changes that occur in the patient’s body are reversible. Competent therapy and a healthy lifestyle will help to achieve stable stabilization of the General condition.
Etiological factor

Metabolic syndrome is a polyethological pathology that occurs under the influence of various factors. Insulin resistance is formed in individuals who have a burdened heredity. This is the main cause of the syndrome. The gene that encodes the body’s metabolism is located on chromosome 19. Its mutation leads to a change in the number and quality of insulin — sensitive receptors-they become few or they cease to perceive the hormone. The immune system synthesizes antibodies that block these receptor cells.

Other factors that provoke metabolic disorders include:

Poor nutrition with a predominance of fatty and carbohydrate foods in the diet, constant overeating, excessive calorie intake and insufficient expenditure;
Inactivity, lack of physical activity, and other factors that slow down the metabolism;
Spasm of blood vessels and circulatory disorders caused by fluctuations in blood pressure and leading to persistent disruption of blood supply to internal organs, especially the brain and myocardium;
Psychoemotional overstrain – frequent stress, outbursts of emotions, experiences, conflict situations, bitterness of loss and other loads that violate the neurohumoral regulation of organs and tissues;
Hormonal imbalance that leads to metabolic disorders, the deposition of fat on the abdomen and the formation of visceral-abdominal obesity;
Short-term respiratory arrest during sleep, which causes brain hypoxia and increases the secretion of somatotropin, which reduces the sensitivity of cells to insulin;
Taking medications that are insulin antagonists-glucocorticosteroids, oral contraceptives, thyroid hormones, as well as antidepressants, adrenoblockers, and antihistamines;
Inadequate treatment of diabetes with insulin, which further increases the amount of the hormone in the blood and contributes to the habituation of receptors with the gradual formation of insulin resistance.

Reduced insulin sensitivity is an evolutionary process that allows the body to survive in times of starvation. Modern people, eating high-calorie food and having a genetic predisposition, are at risk of developing alimentary obesity and metabolic syndrome.

In children, the causes of the syndrome are feeding habits, low birth weight, and socio-economic conditions. Adolescents suffer from pathology in the absence of a balanced diet and sufficient physical activity.


Insulin is a hormone that performs a number of vital functions, among which the main one is the absorption of glucose by the body’s cells. It binds to receptors located on the cell wall and allows carbohydrate to enter the cell from the extracellular space. When the receptors lose sensitivity to insulin, there is a simultaneous accumulation of glucose in the blood and the hormone itself. Thus, insulin resistance is the basis of pathology, which can be caused by a number of reasons.

The effect of insulin is normal. With insulin resistance, the cell does not respond to the presence of the hormone and the channel for glucose does not open. Insulin and sugar remain in the blood

When a large amount of simple carbohydrates is consumed, the concentration of glucose in the blood increases. It becomes more than the body needs. Glucose is consumed by the muscles during active work. If a person leads a sedentary lifestyle and at the same time eats high-carbohydrate food, glucose accumulates in the blood, and cells restrict its intake. The pancreas compensatorily accelerates the production of insulin. When the amount of the hormone in the blood reaches critical numbers, the cell receptors will no longer perceive it. This is how insulin resistance is formed. Hyperinsulinemia, in turn, stimulates obesity and dyslipidemia, which pathologically affects the blood vessels.

The following individuals are at risk for metabolic syndrome:

Who often have high blood pressure,
Overweight or obese,
Leading a sedentary lifestyle,
Abusers of fatty and carbohydrate foods,
Addicted to bad habits,
Patients with type 2 diabetes, CHD, and vascular diseases,
Having relatives with obesity, diabetes, heart disease.

Schematically, the pathomorphological features of the syndrome can be represented as follows:

Lack of exercise and poor nutrition,
Reduced sensitivity of receptors that interact with insulin,
Increased levels of the hormone in the blood,
Cardiovascular dysfunction,
The formation of free radicals by the breakdown of proteins,
Damage to the body’s cells.

The degree of development of pathology, reflecting its pathogenesis:

Initial – dysglycemia, preservation of normal pancreatic function, absence of diabetes and heart disease;
Moderate – gradual development of glucose tolerance, pancreatic dysfunction, hyperglycemia;
Severe – the presence of diabetes, severe pathology of the pancreas.

How does the syndrome manifest?

The pathology develops gradually and manifests itself as symptoms of diabetes, arterial hypertension and CHD.

Patients complain of:

Decline of strength,
Reduced performance,
Sleep disturbance,
Mood swings,
Refusal of meat dishes and addiction to sweets,
Increased appetite,

The General signs of asthenization of the body are joined by heart pain, tachycardia, shortness of breath. There are changes in the digestive system, manifested by constipation, bloating, colic. Eating sweet foods improves your mood for a short time.

The General signs of asthenization of the body are joined by heart pain, tachycardia, shortness of breath. There are changes in the digestive system, manifested by constipation, bloating, colic. Eating sweet foods improves your mood for a short time.

Individuals with the syndrome have a pronounced layer of fat on the abdomen, chest, and shoulders. They have fat deposited around the internal organs. This is the so-called visceral obesity, which leads to dysfunction of the affected structures. Adipose tissue also performs an endocrine function. It produces substances that cause inflammation and alter the rheological properties of blood. The diagnosis of abdominal obesity is made when the waist size in men reaches 102 cm, and in women 88. An external sign of obesity is striae-maroon or bluish narrow wavy stripes of different widths on the skin of the abdomen and thighs. Red spots in the upper part of the body are a manifestation of hypertension. Patients experience nausea, throbbing and pressing headache, dry mouth, hyperhidrosis at night, dizziness, tremor of the limbs, flashing of “flies” before the eyes, discoordination of movements.
Diagnostic criterion

Diagnosis of metabolic syndrome causes certain difficulties for specialists. This is due to the lack of specific symptoms that suggest the presence of a specific disease. It includes a General examination of the patient by an endocrinologist, collection of anamnestic data, additional consultations with a dietitian, cardiologist, gynecologist, and andrologist. Doctors find out whether the patient has a genetic predisposition to obesity, how his body weight has changed over the course of his life, what his blood pressure is usually, whether he suffers from heart and vascular diseases, and what conditions he lives in.

diagnostic criteria for metabolic syndrome

During the examination, experts pay attention to the presence of striae and red spots on the skin. Then, the patient’s anthropometric data is determined in order to detect visceral obesity. To do this, measure the waist circumference. Body mass index is calculated based on height and weight indicators.

Laboratory diagnostics of pathology-determination of the blood level:


The concentration of these substances is significantly higher than normal. Protein is found in the urine-a sign of diabetic nephropathy.

Instrumental research methods are of auxiliary importance. Patients measure blood pressure several times a day, record an electrocardiogram, perform ultrasound of the heart and kidneys, ultrasonography, radiography, CT and MRI of the endocrine glands.
Medical process

Treatment of the syndrome is aimed at activating the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates, reducing the patient’s weight, eliminating the symptoms of diabetes and fighting hypertension. For the treatment of pathology, special clinical recommendations have been developed and applied, the implementation of which is a mandatory requirement for obtaining a positive result.

Diet therapy is very important in the treatment of pathology. In people who have overcome obesity, blood pressure and sugar indicators normalize faster, the symptoms of the disease become less pronounced, and the risk of developing serious complications decreases.

Principles of proper nutrition:

Exclusion from the diet of simple carbohydrates-muffins, confectionery, sweets, carbonated beverages, as well as fast food, canned food, smoked products, sausages;
Restriction of salty dishes, pasta, rice and semolina, grapes, bananas;
Consumption of fresh vegetables and fruits, herbs, cereals, lean meat and fish, seafood, dairy products without sugar;
Fractional food 5-6 times a day in small portions every three hours without overeating and fasting;
Permitted drinks — unsweetened fruit drinks and compotes, herbal teas without sugar, mineral water;
Enriching the diet with vitamins, trace elements, and dietary fiber.

Patients with the syndrome should follow a low-carb diet for life. A sharp restriction of calories gives good results in the fight against excess weight, but not everyone can withstand such a regime. Patients experience weakness, impotence, and a bad mood. Often there are breakdowns and bouts of gluttony. That is why the basis of the diet should be animal proteins. Insufficient intake of carbohydrates — the main source of energy-leads to the consumption of accumulated fat deposits, which contributes to effective weight loss. In severe cases, if there is no effect from conservative treatment of obesity, an operation is performed — gastric or biliopancreatic bypass surgery.

Physical activity is indicated for patients who do not have diseases of the musculoskeletal system. Running, Cycling, swimming, walking, dancing, aerobics, and strength training are most useful. For those who have health restrictions, it is enough to perform daily morning exercises and take walks in the fresh air.

Drug therapy — prescribing drugs of various pharmacological groups:

Drugs to combat hyperglycemia – “Metformin”, “Siofor”, ” Glucophage»;
Hypolipidemic drugs for the correction of dyslipidemia – “Rosuvastatin”, ” Fenofibrate»;
Antihypertensive drugs to normalize blood pressure, “Moxonidine”, “Bonnet”, “Perinea»;
Medications that inhibit the process of fat absorption – “xenical”, ” Orsoten»;
Medications that reduce appetite – “Fluoxetine”.

Pharmacological preparations are selected individually for each patient, taking into account the General state of the body, the stage of pathology, the etiological factor and the results of the hemogram. Before starting treatment with medications, you need to try all non-drug methods-diet, sports, and a healthy lifestyle. Sometimes this is enough to cope with the metabolic syndrome of the initial and moderate degree.

Physiotherapy procedures enhance the effectiveness of diet and medications. Usually patients are prescribed massage, pressure chamber, myostimulation, cryotherapy, mud treatment, hirudotherapy.

Traditional medicine in the fight against metabolic syndrome is not very effective. Apply diuretics, sweatshops, choleretic fees, as well as herbal remedies that accelerate metabolism. The most popular infusions and decoctions of chicory root, corn stigmas, dandelion rhizomes, borage seeds.

Measures to prevent the development of metabolic syndrome:

Good nutrition,
Full physical activity,
Giving up bad habits,
Struggle with physical inactivity,
Elimination of nervous overstrain, stress, and emotional exhaustion,
Taking medications prescribed by your doctor,
Regular blood pressure monitoring and periodic cholesterol monitoring,
Control of body weight and parameters,
Medical examination with constant supervision of an endocrinologist and periodic tests for hormones.

The prognosis of pathology with timely initiated and correctly selected treatment is in most cases favorable. Late diagnosis and lack of adequate therapy are the causes of serious and life-threatening complications. In patients with rapidly evolving persistent dysfunction of the heart and kidneys.

Obesity, angina and hypertension are the causes of premature death of millions of people. These pathologies occur against the background of the metabolic syndrome. Currently, most of the world’s inhabitants are overweight or obese. It should be remembered that more than 50% of people die from coronary insufficiency associated with metabolic disorders.

Douglas Badenoch
I am an information scientist with an interest in making knowledge from systematic research more accessible to people who need it. This means you. I've been attempting this in the area of Evidence-Based Health Care since 1995. So far the results have been mixed. For some reason we expected busy clinicians to search databases and appraise papers instead of seeing patients. We also expected publishers to make the research freely available to the people who paid for it.. Ha! Hence The National Elf service.

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