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Health Information For Parents
Metabolic syndrome is a group of medical problems that put some children older than 10 years old at risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes as adults. These problems are:
Being overweight is the main reason that people get metabolic syndrome. Being overweight or obese causes insulin resistance. Normally, insulin helps glucose enter the body’s cells. Insulin resistance happens when the body doesn’t respond properly to insulin, making it harder for glucose to enter the cells. Insulin resistance and inflammation add to the problems linked to metabolic syndrome.
People with metabolic syndrome may have:
Other medical problems associated with metabolic syndrome and obesity include:
Some normal weight people can have high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. But most people with metabolic syndrome are overweight. In kids, as obesity gets worse, metabolic syndrome becomes more likely.
Obesity and the problems associated with metabolic syndrome tend to run in families. Other things that put someone at risk for metabolic syndrome include:
Doctors might suspect metabolic syndrome if an overweight or obese person has acanthosis nigricans or a family history of diabetes or heart disease. They may do:
Because metabolic syndrome and obesity tend to go hand-in-hand, doctors might order more tests to look for other weight-related problems, like fatty liver, PCOS, and apnea.
Metabolic syndrome is treated by making positive lifestyle changes. Weight loss can bring about big improvements in blood pressure, blood sugar, and lipids. Slowing the rate of weight gain or maintaining weight in children who are still growing also will help.
Families can work with their health care provider, a dietitian, or a weight management program to create healthy habits. Recommendations include:
When lifestyle changes aren’t enough, children may need treatment for the medical problems, like hypertension. Doctors might recommend weight loss surgery for some teens with metabolic syndrome and severe obesity who do not respond to lifestyle changes.
Preventing kids from becoming overweight means making choices in the way your family eats and exercises, and how you spend time together.
Acanthosis nigricans (AN) is a condition that causes the skin to thicken and darken in places. AN is not harmful or contagious, but can be a sign of certain other medical conditions.
When someone has hypertension (high blood pressure), the heart has to pump harder and the arteries are under more strain as they carry blood.
Parents want to protect their kids from everything, which is virtually impossible, of course. But can you prevent your child from getting diabetes?
When diet and exercise aren’t enough to help shed stubborn pounds, weight loss surgery may be an option for teens who are very overweight.
Our Diabetes Center provides information and advice for teens about treating and living with diabetes.
Does your child have type 1 or type 2 diabetes? Learn how to manage the disease and keep your child healthy.
Diabetes means a problem with insulin, an important hormone in the body. Find out how children with diabetes can stay healthy and do the normal stuff kids like to do.
Metabolic syndrome is a signal that someone could be on the road to serious health problems. Find out more in this article for teens.
Weight loss surgery works. But it’s serious stuff,Â both physically and emotionally. Find out about two weight loss surgery options for teens.
Being overweight has become a serious problem for many kids and adults. Find out what it means to be overweight in this article just for kids.
A couple of pounds of extra body fat are not a health risk for most people. But when people are severely overweight, it can cause health problems.
Acanthosis nigricans is a darkening and thickening of the skin that can be a sign of other medical conditions. Find out more.
Too much glucose in the blood can be unhealthy. Learn more about what to do when blood sugar is too high in this article for kids.
Chances are, you’ve heard about cholesterol a lot lately, but you might be wondering what it is. Here’s your chance to get the lowdown in our article just for kids.
The things you do now could help prevent diabetes later, depending on the type of diabetes. Here’s the scoop on diabetes prevention.
Diabetes is a health problem that affects kids of all ages, but you can’t catch it like a cold. In some cases, diabetes can be prevented. Find out how.
High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is more common in adults, but it can happen at any age. Learn what it is and how to treat it.
Most parents probablyÂ don’t think about what cholesterol means for their kids. But high cholesterol is a risk factor for heart disease, which has its roots in childhood.
Cholesterol is a type of fat found in your blood. The body needs some cholesterol, but too much can be a problem. Discover more about cholesterol in this article for teens.
We use the words “oveweight” and “obese” a lot, but they actually have medical meanings. Find out how doctors diagnose these conditions and what they mean for a person’s health.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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