If I have metabolic syndrome, what health problems might develop?

Consistently high levels of insulin and glucose are linked to many harmful changes to the body, including:

  • Damage to the lining of coronary and other arteries, a key step toward the development of heart disease or stroke
  • Changes in the kidneys' ability to remove salt, leading to high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke
  • An increase in triglyceride levels, resulting in an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease
  • An increased risk of blood clot formation, which can block arteries and cause heart attacks and strokes
  • A slowing of insulin production, which can signal the start of type 2 diabetes, a disease that is in itself associated with an increased risk for a heart attack or stroke. Uncontrolled diabetes is also associated with complications of the eyes, nerves, and kidneys.
  • Fatty liver, which is sometimes associated with inflammation of the liver (non-alcoholic seatohepatitis, or NASH). If untreated, NASH could lead to cirrhosis and liver failure.

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