It is common knowledge that people suffering from diabetes are also vulnerable to loss of vision as well as kidney failure. While this has been known for ages, the latest study suggests that things may be even worse for people enduring diabetes. The new study hints at other possible harmful outcome of the ailment. According to the findings of the research, people who have developed diabetes recently may also face a higher risk of having severe liver ailments, including liver failure and/ or cirrhosis.
The new study was undertaken by the scientists at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences was recently published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. During the course of the research, the scientists made use of the vast database of medical claims in Ontario to investigate whether people who develop diabetes also face an increased risk of developing a potential liver ailment. In effect, the scientists searched the unidentified records of as many as 2.5 million people in the age group of 30 and 75 years over 12 years between April 1, 1994, and March 31, 2006.
The authors of the study perceive that the medical rules do not make it mandatory for the physicians to monitor for or undertake any tests on diabetes patients for problems related to the liver. This means that the physicians virtually neglect the medical conditions of a vital organ like the liver while treating a diabetes patient. And, this, they say, makes the situation all the more critical. The findings of the research undertaken by the scientists at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences stated that people who were freshly identified as having diabetes seemed to face around 77 percent more risk of having a serious liver ailment compared to people who did not endure diabetes.
During the course of their research, the scientist made a comparative study to find the rate of liver diseases in approximately 440,000 people who were identified of having developed diabetes between April 1, 1994, and March 31, 2006, and a little over two million people who did not suffer from the disease. Keeping in view a mean of 6.4 years from being diagnosed with diabetes, the scientists discovered that as many as 2,463 people enduring the malady and 5,902 people who did not develop the ailment were found to be suffering from some or the other kind of liver ailment. This denoted that the rate of liver diseases was 8.19 for every 10,000 person years for those enduring diabetes and around 4.17 for every 10,000 person-years for people who have not been diagnosed of developing diabetes.
When the researchers amended the data available from the study with a view to eliminating the influences of age difference, disparity in income, variation in health care habit and medical conditions existing from before, such as any heart ailment, hypertension or high blood pressure, obesity and high cholesterol levels in blood stream, they came to the conclusion that people who had been recently diagnosed with diabetes faced around 77 per cent higher risks of developing serious liver disorders compared to people who did not have the disease.
The scientists also observed that a previous study conducted on the subject in the United States had found the perils of developing liver ailments was almost twofold for people having diabetes. However, they stated that most of the patients who were examined in the study conducted in the United States were nearly all elderly men admitted to hospitals with different complications, diabetes included. What is significant is that the period for which they have been enduring diabetes was not known to the US researchers. According to the authors who explored the database of patients in Ontario, when the findings and facts available from the two studies – the one in the US and the latest one in Canada – are merged it puts forward the overall theory that diabetes is likely to be detrimental to the health of the liver.
However, at the same time, the scientists have accepted the fact that it is quite difficult to find out the possible impacts of other medical conditions that accompany Type II diabetes – problems that are commonly known as the ‘metabolic syndrome’, on the patients. In fact, the term ‘metabolic syndrome’ denotes a cluster of associated health disorders, including high cholesterol, hypertension or high blood pressure and unnecessary accumulation of fat in the abdomen.
What is Metabolic Syndrome?
Many people often ask what a metabolic syndrome is. Precisely speaking, metabolic syndrome is a group of risk factors associated with metabolism and they may occur at the same time in a person. Some of the factors related to metabolic syndrome include high blood pressure (hypertension), insulin resistance, abnormal levels of blood cholesterol and an augmented risk of blood clot formation. In fact, since the 1940’s, scientists are aware of a relation between specific metabolic problems and cardiovascular diseases.
It is believed that metabolic syndrome may be a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes arising out of insulin resistance as well as an anomalous working and prototype of body fat; it may also be responsible for cardiovascular diseases. When we talk about insulin resistance, we actually mean the reduced capability of the body cells to react to insulin action that encourages the transportation of glucose from the bloodstream to our muscles and various other body tissues.
For the uninitiated, metabolic syndrome is also referred to as the dysmetabolic syndrome or syndrome X.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Metabolic Syndrome?
What is the difference between a sign and symptom of a health condition? While a symptom can be described as a feeling experienced by a patient and what he/ she describes to other people, a sign is something that can be noticed by other people. For instance, pain may be a symptom, while a skin rash is a sign.
An individual can be said to be suffering from metabolic syndrome provided he/ she has no less than three of the health conditions mentioned below.
- Obesity is one of the conditions that is included in metabolic syndrome, especially people having an apple-shaped body having an excessive fat accumulation in the region of their waist. This condition is also called ‘abdominal obesity’ or ‘central obesity’. Generally, in this case, the waist of a man should measure no less than 102 cm (40 inches), while that of a woman should be at least 89 cm (35 inches). The circumference of one’s waist can differ depending on his/ her height as well as their body frame or structure.
- This health condition is also known as high blood pressure. The blood pressure of an individual with metabolic syndrome should be not less than 130/ 85 mmHg.
- High Blood Sugar
- The minimum fasting blood sugar levels of a patient with metabolic syndrome should be 5.6 mmol (100 mg dL). In this case, the body of the patient is not able to regulate the glucose level in the bloodstream and such a condition is also called insulin resistance.
- Anomalous Blood Cholesterol
- The level of HDL or ‘good’ cholesterol in patients with metabolic syndrome will be low. In fact, the high-density lipoprotein (HDL) level in such people is below 40 mg dL (1.04 mmol L).
- Elevated Blood Triglyceride Levels
- Basically, triglycerides are a type of fat that keeps circulating and is harmful to our health. The minimum triglyceride level in people with metabolic syndrome is 150 mg/ dl (1.7 mmol L).
In addition to the health conditions mentioned above, patients suffering from metabolic syndrome have a greater chance of deep vein thrombosis. However, such people are also susceptible to inflammation.
What are the Treatment Options for Metabolic Syndrome?
While there are various means to treat metabolic syndrome, the basic aim is to deal with any three or maybe even five of the health problems associated with the condition and mentioned above. While for a number of patients this may truly be awesome – dealing with only one problem like obesity or hypertension is difficult enough, so addressing more is all the more troublesome.
It may be noted that metabolic syndrome actually leads up to some kind of chronic as well as possibly dangerous ailments, counting heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. When an individual develops diabetes, heart disease or has a stroke, it is all the more difficult, according to some it is almost impossible, to reverse the condition completely. However, if you have metabolic syndrome, it is still not very late, as this condition can be reversed completely.
If want to address metabolic syndrome straight out, you will require enough commitment and change some of your lifestyles. At the same time, you will possibly also require taking regular medications to get rid of some of the risk factors associated with metabolic syndrome.
It has been proved that a number of lifestyle changes help to overcome metabolic syndrome and a few of them are mentioned below.
- Physical Activity
- As we are all aware, undertaking physical activities help to improve our overall health. Physical activities help to enhance the health of the heart and lungs, lessen insulin resistance and also aid sound sleep. Provided you undertake physical activity in the proper manner, is also helpful in sustaining ideal health, while not causing any harm to our muscles or lean tissues. In fact, physical activity results in weight loss.
However, prior to taking up any new exercise regimen, it is essential for you to consult a physician to determine which precise workouts are most suitable for you. People with metabolic syndrome have an inclination to be obese/ overweight, denoting that they need to properly plan their physical activities. In fact, their exercises should be customized and they need to follow a strict regime as this is perfect for the present capabilities, overall health as well as eventual objectives.
For most people, it is best to start their exercise regimen with walking. This is very easy, does not cost you anything and is safe for all. In addition, people who walk regularly seldom drop out of their regimen. In other words, they are most likely to continue it regularly for a long time. People, who walk regularly, may eventually make this their habit.
- Weight Loss
- Initially, you need to put in a lot of effort to lose too much weight, so that there is a notable difference. Nevertheless, the ultimate objective is to reduce your body mass index (BMI) to fewer than 25. Any person whose BMI is anything between 25 and 29.99 is considered to be overweight, while those having a BMI of 30 or above are called obese.
- Healthy Eating
- These days more and more physicians, as well as nutritionists, are emphasizing on the general dietary balance of one’s meals, together with exercises intended for weight loss, instead of counting the calories you are ingesting. It has been established that the Mediterranean diet is very effectual in obtaining short-term as well as long-term weight loss successfully.
The main components of the Mediterranean diet are olive oil, which is the primary fat source, lots of fresh vegetables and fruits, reasonable to high quantities of fish as well as seafood, some amount of red meat, dairy items, in addition to drinking a little red wine with the meals.
In addition, the natural elements present in grapes, such as polyphenols, assist in protecting our organs from damage due to metabolic syndrome.
- Bariatric Surgery
- Obese people who are struggling to reduce their weight find bariatric surgery very beneficial. They may undergo this surgery along with following other treatment regimens.
- Quit Smoking
- Smoking is harmful to our overall health, as it results in the build-up of fatty substances inside the arteries (causing a health condition known as atherosclerosis), which is the foremost risk factor for stroke, heart diseases and also untimely death. In addition, smoking also causes the blood pressure as well as insulin resistance to rising. Many people are ignorant of the fact that smoking is not only responsible for lung cancer, but it also contributes considerably to health conditions that together form a metabolic syndrome. In case you are a regular smoker, it is important that you quit it immediately because this is a vital element of your treatment process.
- Vitamin D Deficiency
- It has been found that elderly people generally suffer from vitamin D deficiency. In fact, having low levels of this vitamin often contributes greatly to metabolic syndrome. Therefore, all elderly people having metabolic syndrome should essentially try to raise their levels of vitamin D through foods or supplements.