Many Filipinos Are Not Aware That They Have This..

Most of us Filipinos are aware that obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes are pretty much separate entities that are closely linked to one another.

But do you know that there is actually a syndrome that encompasses them all as a single entity?

It is called METABOLIC SYNDROME.

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If you are FAT and have HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE, you might be having it.

If you have low “good cholesterol” and high blood sugar, chances are, you are also cuddling the syndrome within you.

In the Philippines, where the prevalence rate of obesity for the past decade is like a raging bull, metabolic syndrome is undeniably starting to become a norm even for the common Juan.

I want you to understand this syndrome by simplifying to you the important criteria for a person to be diagnosed with MS.

Take note: 3 out of 5 conditions below = Metabolic Syndrome

1.) High Blood Pressure: 130/85 mm Hg or higher

2.) Elevated Fasting Blood Sugar: 100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L) or higher

3.) Low “Good” Cholesterol (HDL):

  • lower than 40 mg/dL (1.04 mmol/L) – MEN
  • less than 50 mg/dL (1.3 mmol/L) – WOMEN

4.) High Triglyceride: 150 mg/dL (1.7mmol/L) or higher. This is the FAT accumulated in your system.

5.) Large Waist Circumference:

  • 40 inches or more – MEN
  • 35 inches or more – WOMEN

Did you meet the criteria?

I hope not.

In 2008, a study using different sets of criteria was performed to determine the prevalence rate of MS and its component risk factors among Filipinos. You can find the article here.

Below are the findings based on the study criteria:

  • National Cholesterol Education Progarm/Adult Treatment Panel (NCEP/ATP III) –11.9%
  • International Diabetes Federation – 14.5%
  • American Heart Association/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute modified NCEP/ATP III (NCEP/ATP III-AHA/NHLBI) – 18.6%

The most significant finding was low level of good cholesterol in both men (60.2%) and women (80.9%).

Other bothersome findings are:

  • High blood pressure
  • Abdominal obesity
  • High Triglyceride
  • High Fasting Blood sugar

What do all these findings mean to our fellow JUANs?

Having MS predisposes people to DIABETES MELLITUS (DM), STROKE, andHEART DISEASE – the top killers, not only in the Philippines, but also worldwide.

Stroke and heart disease being on the top two!

The study shows that metabolic syndrome is COMMON among Filipinos.

And although still I have yet to find the latest investigations, noticing an upward trend is not going to be surprising.

So if you think that you have even only ONE of those 5 criteria presented above, do yourself a favour – take a second look at your diet and physical activity.

Avoid the treacherous path ahead and don’t be just another number for the statistical charts in the future.

About the Author Alex Saroca MD

Alex Saroca is the founder of Tabachoy Academy. He is a general physician by profession, an author, a blogger, and an entrepreneur. He is on a mission to educate and make Filipinos realize - especially those with overweight, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes - that lifestyle modification is still more powerful than any drug in preventing heart disease, treating heart disease, and improving one's physical state and longevity.

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