Clients Ask: How Did I Get Metabolic Syndrome?


Clients Ask: How Did I Get Metabolic Syndrome?

Reading Time: 3 minutes 25 seconds


Date: 2018-09-06T00:00:00-04:00

Metabolic syndrome is widely prevalent among clients today and trainers should know the basics to effectively train people with this condition. Factors like stress, genetics, diet, and activity level greatly impact the onset and remediation of metabolic syndrome. As an ISSA trainer, you can coach your client on three of those factors to keep them progressing to a healthier way of life! Learn all about it in this article.

Metabolic syndrome is not something you catch like the flu or chicken pox. And you can't completely pin it on your parents as a genetic disease even though some associated factors could be hereditary. You likely developed this syndrome as a result of multiple seemingly small changes that built up over time. Metabolic syndrome is the compilation of physiological conditions that primarily include:

  • High blood pressure

  • High LDL cholesterol

  • High triglycerides

  • High blood sugar

  • Obesity

Any one condition may seem manageable on its own, but several of these conditions occurring simultaneously can overload the system, so to speak. And, if left unchecked, the conditions that cause metabolic syndrome can often lead to cardiovascular disease (CVD). So, let's break down four of the main factors affecting these conditions to discover how you can reduce your risk of developing metabolic syndrome.


First, get to know your genetic history. While you can't prevent genetic conditions, understanding your history can give you one less factor to worry about or one more reason to closely monitor each of the other metabolic syndrome conditions. For example, you're more likely to develop CVD if one or both of your parents had CVD. Again, you can't prevent the fact that your parents had CVD, but now you know to watch your blood pressure and other factors contributing to these conditions.


Next, assess your relationship with stress. Do you bottle it up and hope it will pass, or do you find healthy ways to work through it? Poorly managed stress can trigger a buildup of hormones that can lead to elevated blood pressure and increased plaque deposits in your blood vessels. This in turn increases your risk for developing metabolic syndrome. Prevent this risk by keeping your stress levels low, and if you can't remove a source of significant stress, find ways to manage it:

  • Exercise

  • Meditate

  • Talk it out with friends or family

  • Visit a mental health professional


Then check on your exercise regimen. If you don't have one, add one. Exercise is good for managing stress and it helps your body achieve a healthy physical condition. Make time to exercise several times a week to reduce the negative effects of inactivity such as increased body fat, high blood pressure, and high LDL cholesterol. Remember, these three factors can contribute to metabolic syndrome if they exceed healthy levels.


Finally, and perhaps most importantly, review your diet. A healthy diet plays a major role in your general wellbeing and it can influence many of the conditions that contribute to metabolic syndrome.

  • High blood pressure is a major contributor to metabolic syndrome. It can injure your blood vessel walls, which causes plaque to build and compromises the structure and blood flow. Thankfully, high blood pressure can be benefit from a proper diet. Include plenty of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables to reduce sodium intake and control your blood pressure.

  • LDL cholesterol likes to attach to that previously mentioned plaque building up on your blood vessel walls, lessening the blood flow even more. Keep those LDL levels low with the help of soluble fiber and a reduction in saturated fats and refined carbohydrates.

  • High triglycerides can come from eating too many saturated fats and refined carbohydrates—noticing a trend with these two? Increase triglycerides can increase blood clotting which can cause blockages in your blood vessels. Balance out your diet with soluble fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and soy to help keep your blood flowing smooth.

  • High blood sugar is another condition that can benefit from a healthy diet. Excessive fats and sweeteners can lead to weight gain and the potential for type 2 diabetes. Keep your diet in line to help keep your sugars and weight in line.

  • Abdominal obesity in particular is thought to cause inflammation that damages blood vessels and increases plaque buildup and blood clotting. Just one more reason to maintain a healthy diet in support of a healthy weight.

If you want to learn more about nutrition and how it can help clients manage health challenges, check out the ISSA's comprehensive course on Fitness Nutrition.

How to prevent metabolic syndrome infographic

Share these metabolic syndrome prevention tips with your clients by clicking HERE.

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