Mayo clinic defines metabolic syndrome as follows:
Metabolic Syndrome is a cluster of conditions — increased blood pressure, a high blood sugar level, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol levels — that occur together, increasing your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Having just one of these conditions doesn't mean you have metabolic syndrome. However, any of these conditions increase your risk of serious disease. If more than one of these conditions occur in combination, your risk is even greater.
Metabolic syndrome is also called insulin resistance syndrome. Insulin allows us to transport sugars into the cell. If our cells are resistant to insulin, our circulating blood sugar levels are too high, resulting the abnormal storage of fat and creation of cardiovascular disease like atherosclerosis (clogged arteries).
Of interest to women is that insulin resistance syndrome is often accompanied by chronic estrogenized anovulation, which can be associated with ovulatory problems, infertility and abnormal uterine bleeding.
Here are some FAQs about Metabolic Syndrome from the American Heart Association:
Prevalence: 34 % in the United States
Causes: include overweight, obesity, physical inactivity, and genetic factors.
Diagnosis: must include 3 or more of the following factors:
Abdominal obesity (Waist circumference of 40 inches or above in men, and 35 inches or above in women)
Triglyceride level of 150 milligrams per deciliter of blood (mg/dL) or greater
HDL cholesterol of less than 40 mg/dL in men or less than 50 mg/dL in women
Systolic blood pressure (top number) of 130 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or greater, or diastolic blood pressure (bottom number) of 85 mm Hg or greater
Fasting glucose of 100 mg/dl or greater
Treatments: reducing your weight; increasing your fitness; improving your nutrition with a heart-healthy diet that's rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and fish; and working with your healthcare provider to monitor and manage blood glucose, blood cholesterol, and blood pressure.