Metabolic Syndrome and Its Implications – Literature review Example

The paper "Metabolic Syndrome and Its Implications" is an exceptional example of a literature review on nursing. Metabolic syndrome (MetS and once called “syndrome X or insulin-resistance syndrome”) is illustrated by “central obesity, dyslipidemia, and hypertension” (OSullivan et al., 2010, p.770). It is not clear up to now, nevertheless, if MetS have a single cause and what this cause may be (Das, 2010, p.5). Sources agree, however, that several risk factors can lead to MetS (Appel, Jones, & Kennedy-Malone, 2004; Das, 2010; OSullivan et al., 2010). This paper examines the associated pathophysiology and relative impacts of MetS.

Associated Pathophysiology
People affected with central obesity often have metabolic syndrome, which can also lead to type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease (Appel et al., 2004, p.335). “Generalized obesity” means having a weight that is higher than the ideal weight and with the extra weight distributed all over the body (Das, 2010, p.5). Appel et al (2004) reviewed the literature and used diagnostic criteria to study the common manifestations of this syndrome. Findings showed that generalized obesity that is part of metabolic syndrome can be a risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease (Appel et al., 2004, p.335). Some studies showed, however, that not only the obese are prone to developing metabolic syndrome. Reaven (1988) proposed the concept of metabolic clustering, where there is a pathophysiological concept that related insulin resistance to metabolic problems, even among non-overweight individuals with average glucose tolerance (Carroll, Borkoles, & Polman, 2007, p.125). Das (2010) noted that the risk factors of metabolic syndrome are insulin resistance, obese abdomen, lack of physical activity, aging, hormonal problems, and ethnic or genetic predisposition (p.5). In an original article, OSullivan et al. (2010) examined the relationship between “dietary glycaemic carbohydrate” and “insulin resistance” and how metabolic syndrome takes place using different criteria. Findings showed that participants with high glycaemic carbohydrate are more likely to have metabolic syndrome.
Relative Impacts of the Disease
Metabolic syndrome, with its associated pathophysiology, has diverse negative impacts on patients’ lifestyle, economic well-being, family roles, social roles, and employability. Metabolic syndrome also requires a specific client management approach.
Changes/Constraint on Lifestyle. People afflicted with metabolic syndrome are also inflicted with obesity and circulatory problems. Obese people tend to have lower physical activities, while people with dyslipidemia also have limited physical activities (Appel et al., 2004). Hypertension can damage the brain, heart, kidneys, and arteries, thereby curtailing the range of activities of afflicted individuals (Bouchard & Katzmarzyk, 2010). They tend to have more sedentary lifestyles, even when they are encouraged to be more active and to exercise. Overworking is not advised, because of risks of cardiovascular diseases.
Economic Effects. There is overwhelming evidence on the economic impacts of central obesity, dyslipidemia and hypertension on patients and private and public agencies alike (Higa & Boone, 2007, p.291). In 2000, it was estimated that around 47 million Americans have metabolic syndrome (Higa & Boone, 2007, p.291). Disability and lower productivity can reach $100 billion a year (Higa & Boone, 2007, p.291). Health care costs can also be staggering, especially with recurrent hospitalization. Surgeries needed to help ease metabolic syndrome, such as bariatric surgery, also have financial impacts.
Changes in Family/Social Role/Employability. People with the metabolic syndrome tend to have lower employability, especially when they are afflicted with central obesity, dyslipidemia, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. With these diseases, they are considered high risk by employers, who may discriminate against them. These patients also often suffer a loss of productivity, due to absences and hospital leaves (Higa & Boone, 2007, p.291). Metabolic syndrome can also affect the family when health problems affect the financial and health welfare of the family (Nash, 2010, p.147). Some patients suffer from loss of income or lower-income, which can change their status from breadwinner to being dependents of their wives or children. For instance, a sick family breadwinner can have negative impacts on the financial welfare of the family.
Client Management of Disease. For people with metabolic syndrome, secondary prevention for potential complications should be applied (Nash, 2010, p.148). Primary risk factors should be treated using pharmacological and other means (Nash, 2010, p.149). Pharmacotherapy can include statins for dyslipidemia and hypertension (Nash, 2010, p.149). Lifestyle changes are also recommended, such as regular exercise and a lower intake of calories, sweets, salty foods, and saturated fats (Nash, 2010, p.149). Carroll et al. (2007) examined the short-term impacts of a “non-dieting lifestyle intervention program” on weight and the well-being of obese women with metabolic syndrome. Findings showed that this therapy enhanced their cardiorespiratory fitness and psychological well-being (Carroll et al., 2007). Metabolic risk also decreased after 3 months (Carroll et al., 2007). Weight management programs can be used to reduce weight and waist circumferences (Nash, 2010, p.149). Clients should also increase their consumption of fruits and vegetables (Nash, 2010, p.149).

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