Kelvin Brown, MD, MPH

Surgeon, Bariatric Specialist, and Public Health Expert

Metabolic Syndrome and Diabetes

About 50 million Americans (1 in every 6 people) have metabolic syndrome, according to the American Heart Association. The problem with metabolic syndrome is that it increases your chance of type 2 diabetes fivefold.


Metabolic syndrome is not a disease or health condition in itself. Instead, metabolic syndrome is a group of risk factors including the following:


·       high blood pressure

·       high blood sugar

·       unhealthy cholesterol levels

·       abdominal fat (belly fat)


When these risk factors are combined, they set the stage for more serious problems.  For instance, having these four risk factors doubles your risk of blood vessel and heart disease, which can lead to heart attack and stroke. Also, the four risk factors increase the chances of type 2 diabetes by five times.


If you've just been diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, think of it as a wake-up call. It's time to get serious about losing weight, getting active and improving your health. Making simple changes to your lifestyle habits now can prevent serious illness, including type 2 diabetes, in the future.