What are some lifestyle changes I can make to control metabolic syndrome?

Robert S. Kaufmann, MD
Internal Medicine
First, if you have the metabolic syndrome and drink alcoholic beverages, it's doubly important to do so only in moderation. Drinking too many alcoholic beverages increases the risk for elevated triglycerides and high blood pressure. Further, alcoholic beverages add extra calories. So drinking too much also can add pounds.

Second, the "don't smoke" advice that goes for everyone applies especially to you if you have the metabolic syndrome. Smoking tends to raise triglycerides and lower high-density lipoprotein (HDL). If you smoke, quitting can help reduce your triglyceride level and raise your HDL.

If lifestyle changes do not sufficiently control the metabolic syndrome risk factors, then drug therapy may be needed to manage one or more of them. For instance, you may need medication to treat high blood pressure, or elevated triglycerides and low HDL. Aspirin also may be prescribed to help prevent blood clots.

This answer from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has been reviewed and/or edited by Dr. Robert S. Kaufmann.

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