Metabolic Syndrome (Pre-Diabetes)

Metabolic syndrome is the presence of any three of the following conditions:

  • Waist measurement of 40 inches or more for men and 35 inches or more for women
  • Triglyceride levels of 150 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or above, or taking medication for elevated triglyceride levels
  • HDL or "good" cholesterol level below 40 mg/dL for men and below 50 mg/dL for women, or taking medication for low HDL levels
  • Blood pressure levels of 130/85 or above, or taking medication for elevated blood pressure levels
  • Fasting blood glucose levels of 100 mg/dL or above, or taking medication for elevated blood glucose levels

What is prediabetes?
This is a condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. People with prediabetes are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, a form of diabetes that develops when the body does not respond properly to insulin. As opposed to type 1 diabetes, in which the pancreas makes little or no insulin.

Studies have shown that most people with prediabetes develop type 2 diabetes within 10 years, unless they lose 5 to 7 percent of their body weight by making changes in their diet and level of physical activity. People with prediabetes also are at increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

What are the symptoms of insulin resistance and prediabetes?
Insulin resistance and prediabetes usually have no symptoms. People may have one or both conditions for several years without noticing anything. People with a severe form of insulin resistance may have dark patches of skin, usually on the back of the neck. Sometimes people have a dark ring around their neck. Other possible sites for dark patches include elbows, knees, knuckles and armpits. This condition is called acanthosis nigricans.

How are insulin resistance and prediabetes diagnosed?
Blood tests are used to determine whether a person has prediabetes. Typically, if tests indicate prediabetes or metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance most likely is present.

With an emphasis on preventive care, Woman’s Diabetes Prevention Center offers specialized services for women ages 16 and up with a history of insulin resistance/metabolic syndrome.