Men live on average 10 years less than women. And one of the reasons for this inequality is metabolic syndrome, the “calling card” of which is a beer belly. Metabolic syndrome is a complex metabolic disorder characterized by an increase in body weight, metabolic disorders of fats, carbohydrates, and arterial hypertension.
The Dangers of Obesity
Obesity is a dangerous chronic disease. Extra pounds pull their owner to the ground, not only in a figurative, but also in a literal sense: those who are overweight have twice the risk of sudden death. The fact is that adipose tissue is not just a heavy load, it is an extra organ, which, causing gross breakdowns in metabolism, leads to metabolic syndrome.
Prevalence of metabolic syndrome
According to statistics, metabolic syndrome is rapidly spreading across the planet, affecting residents of large cities. According to various sources, its frequency is from 15 to 30 % in the general population.
The risk of developing metabolic syndrome
Men are most susceptible to metabolic syndrome after 40 years. At this age, representatives of the strong half of humanity are going through a difficult period: the production of testosterone, the main male sex hormone, begins to gradually decrease in the body. A decrease in its production changes the course of biochemical processes in the body, promotes the accumulation of adipose tissue and leads to metabolic disorders.
Predisposition to metabolic syndrome
Not all men are equally prone to metabolic syndrome, or syndrome X, as it is commonly called. The predisposition to obesity and metabolic disorders is inherited. However, hereditary burden is only one of the risk factors for the development of the syndrome.
Wrong lifestyle is a stepping stone to obesity
Excessive, oversaturated animal fats, nutrition, alcohol abuse, an inactive lifestyle, stress are of great importance – that is, all the known factors of an unhealthy lifestyle.
Cause of metabolic disorders
It all starts with excessive accumulation of abdominal adipose tissue. In addition to the deposition of extra pounds on the anterior abdominal wall, fat accumulates in the abdominal cavity, liver, intestinal mesentery, omentum, etc. This internal visceral fat causes metabolic disorders. The amount of fatty acids in the blood rises 20-30 times compared with the norm, which leads to a violation of the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates.
What contributes to the development of vascular atherosclerosis
In the blood, the concentration of “bad” cholesterol, triglycerides, low density lipoproteins (LDL) increases, and the amount of “good” cholesterol (HDL) decreases. Such changes accelerate the development of atherosclerosis , increase the load on the heart and increase blood pressure.
The risk of developing diabetes
The tissues lose their sensitivity to insulin, which leads to an increase in the amount of sugar in the blood, impaired glucose tolerance and the development of diabetes mellitus. The body begins to store fat “in reserve” even faster.
Fat kills testosterone
Adipose tissue is the place where male sex hormones are converted to female sex hormones. The more fat, the less testosterone and more estrogen (female sex hormone). And an increase in the female component in the male body leads to increased appetite, muscle atrophy, and the accumulation of adipose tissue. The circle is complete.
Signs of metabolic syndrome
The main diagnostic criterion is waist circumference. If this indicator in a man exceeds 94 cm, it is necessary to be examined to identify possible metabolic disorders. Additional signs in favor of metabolic syndrome are high blood pressure (more than 140/90 mm Hg) and a number of laboratory tests:
· Blood triglycerides – more than 1.7 mmol / l;
· HDL – less than 1.0 mmol / l;
· LDL – more than 3.0 mmol / l;
· Glucose fasting blood – more than 6.1 mmol / l.
The combination of the main criterion and two additional ones confirms the fears.
The beer belly is a man’s black box. For many years, scientists and doctors of various specialties – endocrinologists, cardiologists, urologists, surgeons-phlebologists, gastroenterologists, reproductologists , etc. – have been deciphering its meaning for male health .
Diseases arising from metabolic syndrome
Metabolic syndrome leads to diabetes mellitus, coronary heart disease, increases the risk of stroke and heart attack, promotes the development of fatty hepatosis, varicose veins, causes erectile dysfunction and eventually infertility. In short, it not only reduces the quality of life, but also shortens its duration.
Is it possible to get rid of metabolic syndrome
The first signs of metabolic syndrome are completely reversible if you take care of your health in time. Getting rid of Syndrome X means a radical change in lifestyle, which is not easy even for strong and determined men. And in this difficult struggle, the support of loved ones is very important.
An integrated approach to treatment
The treatment approach must be comprehensive.
· Compliance with the principles of balanced nutrition. In the presence of severe obesity and concomitant diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, it is advisable to seek help from a dietitian.
· Dosed physical activity. Depending on age and physical fitness, an individual program is selected to strengthen the muscle corset, reduce body weight, and increase endurance.
· Quitting smoking and other bad habits.
· In case of need – hormone therapy, receiving glucose-lowering agents, antihypertensive agents, agents for the correction of lipid metabolism.
· Help of a psychotherapist.