December 2013 Archives

Metabolic syndrome is important to understand from a pain management perspective. It’s existence is one of the reasons for inflammation and degeneration causing pain, especially involving the back and joints.  As a physician, it is important to not just treat the painful area, but the patient as a whole.

Metabolic syndrome is a term used to describe  a condition which  includes  high blood pressure, resistance to insulin, abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and obesity with excess body fat around the waist.  This syndrome places you at greater risk of developing medical problems such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.  In pain management, these patients are more often found in our offices and tend to be more resistance to pain treatment protocols.   Metabolic syndrome is on the rise in the United States.  Lifestyle changes and medications can help delay or prevent the development of serious medical conditions.

Lifestyle changes, diet, smoking cessation, and medication can help improve all of the metabolic syndrome components.  Regular exercise and weight loss is helpful.  Losing as little as 5% to 10% of your total body weight can make a dramatic   difference.  Nutrition consultation can help you with meal planning and healthy food choices.

Increasing age is associated with metabolic syndrome, although it is becoming more predominant in school age children.  Obesity is a risk factor for metabolic syndrome, especially when the weight is concentrated around the waist giving the appearance of an “apple shaped” body.  High blood pressure, gestational or family history if diabetes, polycystic ovary disease, and heart disease all increase your risk of metabolic syndrome.

Given Santa’s weight, age,  pipe smoking, and sedentary  lifestyle, it’s a good bet that he is likely to have metabolic syndrome and sitting in my waiting room one day!!