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Learning About Metabolic Syndrome

Learning About Future Pregnancies & Diabetes

Metabolic syndrome is the name for a group of health problems. It includes having too much fat around your waist and high blood pressure. It also includes high triglycerides, high blood sugar, and low levels of healthy (HDL) cholesterol. These problems make it more likely you will have a heart attack or stroke or get diabetes.

Your family history (your genes) can cause metabolic syndrome. So can unhealthy eating habits and not getting enough exercise.

You can help lower your risk of heart attack, stroke, and diabetes if you eat healthy foods and get more exercise. It may be hard to make these lifestyle changes. But even small changes can help.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • Watch your weight. A healthy weight helps your body use insulin properly.
  • Eat a balanced diet. This may help you prevent or delay diabetes. Try to eat an even amount of carbohydrate throughout the day. This can help you avoid sudden peaks in blood sugar.
  • Ask your doctor if you should see a dietitian. A registered dietitian can help you develop a meal plan that fits your lifestyle.
  • Get at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week. Exercise helps control your blood sugar. It also helps you maintain a healthy weight. Walking is a good choice. You also may want to do other activities, such as running, swimming, cycling, or playing tennis or team sports.
  • Do not smoke. Smoking can make prediabetes worse. If you need help quitting, talk to your doctor about stop-smoking programs and medicines. These can increase your chances of quitting for good.
  • If your doctor prescribed medicines, take them exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor if you think you are having a problem with your medicine. You will get more details on the specific medicines your doctor prescribes.

When should you call for help?

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

You have any symptoms of diabetes. These may include:

  • Being thirsty more often.
  • Urinating more.
  • Being hungrier.
  • Losing weight.
  • Being very tired.
  • Having blurry vision.
  • You have a wound that will not heal.
  • You have an infection that will not go away.
  • You have problems with your blood pressure.
  • You want more information about diabetes and how you can keep from getting it.

Prediabetes: Care Instructions


Your Care Instructions

Prediabetes is a warning sign that you are at risk for getting type 2 diabetes. It means that your blood sugar is higher than it should be. Most people who get type 2 diabetes have prediabetes first. The good news is that lifestyle changes may help you get your blood sugar back to normal and avoid or delay diabetes. Also, pregnant women who get gestational diabetes may have prediabetes first.

Type 2 diabetes is a disease in which the body does not respond properly to a hormone called insulin. Over time, the body does not make enough of the hormone. Insulin helps sugar from your food enter your body cells to be used as energy.

Without insulin, the sugar cannot get into the cells to do its work. It stays in the blood instead. This can cause high blood sugar levels. A person has diabetes when the blood sugar stays too high too much of the time.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

Watch your weight. A healthy weight helps your body use insulin properly.
Eat a balanced diet. This may help you prevent or delay diabetes. Try to eat an even amount of carbohydrate throughout the day. This can help you avoid sudden peaks in blood sugar.
Ask your doctor if you should see a dietitian. A registered dietitian can help you develop a meal plan that fits your lifestyle.
Get at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week. Exercise helps control your blood sugar. It also helps you maintain a healthy weight. Walking is a good choice. You also may want to do other activities, such as running, swimming, cycling, or playing tennis or team sports.
Do not smoke. Smoking can make prediabetes worse. If you need help quitting, talk to your doctor about stop-smoking programs and medicines. These can increase your chances of quitting for good.
If your doctor prescribed medicines, take them exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor if you think you are having a problem with your medicine. You will get more details on the specific medicines your doctor prescribes.

When should you call for help?

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

You have any symptoms of diabetes. These may include:

  • Being thirsty more often.
  • Urinating more.
  • Being hungrier.
    Losing weight.
  • Being very tired.
  • Having blurry vision.
  • You have a wound that will not heal.
  • You have an infection that will not go away.
  • You have problems with your blood pressure.
  • You want more information about diabetes and how you can keep from getting it.

Insulin Resistance: Care Instructions

Your Care Instructions
Insulin resistance means that the body cannot use insulin properly. Insulin lets sugar (glucose) enter the body's cells, where it is used for energy. It also helps muscles, fat, and liver cells store sugar to be released when needed. If the body tissues do not respond properly to insulin, the blood sugar level rises.

Insulin resistance mainly is caused by obesity, although other medical conditions, such as acromegaly and Cushing's syndrome, also can cause it. It can run in families too.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?
Take your medicines exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor if you think you are having a problem with your medicine. You will get more details on the specific medicines your doctor prescribes.
Eat a good diet that spreads carbohydrate throughout the day.
Get at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week. Exercise helps control your blood sugar. It also helps you maintain a healthy weight. Walking is a good choice. You also may want to do other activities, such as running, swimming, cycling, or playing tennis or team sports.
Try to lose weight. Losing even a small amount of weight can help.
Do not smoke. If you need help quitting, talk to your doctor about stop-smoking programs and medicines. These can increase your chances of quitting for good.


When should you call for help?

Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:

You have symptoms of a heart attack. These may include:

  • Chest pain or pressure, or a strange feeling in the chest.
    Sweating.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Pain, pressure, or a strange feeling in the back, neck, jaw, or upper belly or in one or both shoulders or arms.
    Lightheadedness or sudden weakness.
  • A fast or irregular heartbeat.

After you call 911, the operator may tell you to chew 1 adult-strength or 2 to 4 low-dose aspirin. Wait for an ambulance. Do not try to drive yourself.

You have symptoms of a stroke. These may include:

  • Sudden numbness, tingling, weakness, or loss of movement in your face, arm, or leg, especially on only one side of your body.
  • Sudden vision changes.
    Sudden trouble speaking.
  • Sudden confusion or trouble understanding simple statements.
  • Sudden problems with walking or balance.
  • A sudden, severe headache that is different from past headaches.

Diabetes Warning Signs

Gestational Diabetes: Care Instructions

Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:

You have any symptoms of diabetes. These may include:

  • Being thirsty more often.
  • Urinating more.
  • Being hungrier.
  • Losing weight.
  • Being very tired.
  • Having blurry vision.
  • You have a wound that will not heal.
  • You have an infection that will not go away.
  • You have problems with your blood pressure.
  • Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if you have any problems.

Care instructions adapted under license by Alliance In Health Diabetes Control Center. This care instruction is for use with your licensed healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.

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