Information, Symptoms, Treatments and Resources


What's Metabolic Syndrome?


There's a lot of lingo thrown at you when you have diabetes. Here we've collected the must-know terms and translated them into plain language.

Metabolic Syndrome

(MET-uh-BOL-ik) (SIN-drohm)

What it means: Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of chronic health conditions, including high fasting glucose levels, high blood pressure, high levels of triglycerides (a type of fat found in the blood), low HDL or “good” cholesterol, and abdominal obesity (too much belly fat). Insulin resistance, a condition when the body's cells are resistant to the effects of the hormone insulin, and a hallmark of diabetes, may also increase your risk factor for metabolic syndrome. Having three or more of these conditions raises your risk of heart attack, stroke and type 2 diabetes. 

What it means to you: All of the health conditions that constitute metabolic syndrome raise your risk of heart attack and stroke dramatically. If you have prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, you’re already at an increased risk of heart disease. Medication and lifestyle changes can help to control many of these conditions and protect your cardiovascular health.


Published on February 23, 2015. Updated September 4, 2016.


Compiled by Paula Ford-Martin, MA. Paula is the author of The Everything Guide to Managing Type 2 Diabetes

Reviewed by Nora Saul, MS, RD, LDN, CDE on January 17, 2015
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