Metabolic syndrome is the medical term for a combination of diabetes, high blood pressure (hypertension) and obesity.
They're very common conditions that are linked, which explains why metabolic syndrome affects an estimated 1 in 3 older adults aged 50 or older in the UK.
Metabolic syndrome may be diagnosed if you have 3 or more of the following symptoms:
Metabolic syndrome is often associated with being overweight or obese, and a lack of physical activity.
It's also linked to insulin resistance, which is a key feature of type 2 diabetes. Blood sugar levels are controlled by a hormone called insulin. If you have insulin resistance, too much glucose can build up in your bloodstream.
Your chances of developing metabolic syndrome are greater if you have a family history of type 2 diabetes, or you've had diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes).
Other factors that increase your risk of developing metabolic syndrome include:
You can prevent or reverse metabolic syndrome by making lifestyle changes, including:
If necessary, a GP may prescribe medicine to help control your blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels.