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What causes metabolic syndrome X?

Metabolic syndrome X is caused by several factors that are present at the same time. One is your body's inability to properly metabolize the insulin that it makes. Insulin is needed to help process the sugar, or glucose, which your body gets from the foods you eat. When the cells of your body are unable to accept the insulin's help in processing the glucose, the amount of glucose in your blood rises.

Other factors include excess abdominal fat, which raises the risk of high blood pressure as well as type 2 diabetes, gout, fatty liver, coronary artery disease, and obstructive sleep apnea, among other problems.

When a large waist circumference is present with two or more other symptoms -- high blood pressure, high levels of bad cholesterol, low levels of good cholesterol, or high blood sugar -- metabolic syndrome X is usually diagnosed.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.