Congestive Heart Disease – What is it?

Intro to Congestive Heart Disease

Congestive heart failure happens when the muscle of your heart doesn’t pump your blood properly. Some conditions, like high blood pressure or narrowed heart arteries, leave your heart too weakened for it pump as it should.

You can’t reverse every condition that leads to congestive heart failure, but many treatments can take care of the symptoms of heart disease and help you to live a longer lifespan. Undergoing lifestyle changes like exercising, managing stress, reducing your salt intake, and losing excess weight, can improve your life. You can prevent congestive heart failure by controlling such conditions as diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, and obesity.

Causes of Congestive Heart Disease

You can get congestive heart disease when you have some of the conditions that cause damage to your heart muscle. Some of these conditions include the following:

Cardiomyopathy: This condition comes from damage to your heart muscle from causes other than blood flow issues.

Coronary Artery Disease: This disease affects the arteries that brings oxygen and blood to your heart. This condition causes a decreased amount of blood to flow to your heart muscle. When your arteries get blocked or narrowed, your heart gets starved for nutrients and oxygen.

Heart Attack: A heart attack happens when your coronary artery suddenly gets blocked. At this time, the flow of blood to your heart muscle stops. A heart attack will not only damage your heart muscle but will also develop a scarred area that will not work as it should.

Other Conditions That Exhaust The Heart: The following conditions can all cause heart failure. Congestive heart failure can also occur if two or more of these diseases are present in the same body:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart defects
  • High blood pressure
  • Kidney disease
  • Thyroid disease
  • Valve disease

Any symptoms of congestive heart failure that you may have could be mild or severe. You may also have no symptoms at all. Some of the symptoms of heart disease that you may experience include the following conditions:

  • Fatigue and dizziness
  • Fluid retention in the lungs
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Water retention and weight gain

You should visit your primary care physician if you experience any of the symptoms of congestive heart failure. If you experience any of the following symptoms, seek out emergency treatment immediately.

  • Fainting
  • Irregular heartbeat, along with chest pain or shortness of breath
  • Pain in your chest
  • Shortness of breath along with coughing up pink mucus

When you’re first experiencing these symptoms, call 911. Emergency care providers will determine whether or not you have heart failure or another heart or lung condition. You should never try to diagnose yourself in this state. Leave that to the first responders and the physicians in the emergency room.

3 Home Stretches to Help Your Low Back Pain

Low back pain accounts for a tremendous amount of healthcare in the US. Every year, the debilitating effects of scoliosis, osteoporosis, and even just the normal arthritic changes that come with age send hundreds of thousands to the doctors’ offices and the hospital. Low back pain can cause people to lose the freedom of mobility, and can severely impact the quality of their lives.

The good news is that while more than half a million people opt for back surgery every year, most lower back issues can be prevented or alleviated by a committed regimen of strengthening and stretching. An ounce of prevention is worth tens of thousands of dollars worth of cure in the case of those all-too-common lower lumbar miseries. Here are a three exercises recommended for seniors to reduce pain, strengthen key muscles, and keep you out of the doctor’s office.

The Leg Raise

You have probably heard a lot about strengthening your “core”. Made up of the abdominal, pelvic, and gluteal muscles, core strengthening is an important base for stability in seniors. Strong core muscles help support other muscular efforts, and can also help you prevent falls. One core activity that helps with low back pain is the Leg Raise, which enhances abdominal strength while simultaneously stretching the muscles around the lumbar spine.

1) Lie flat on your back on a stable surface, such as a firm mattress or the floor.
2) Lift one leg in the air and bend it toward your chest at a 90 degree angle.
3) Hold that position for a count of five to ten seconds, then slowly return the leg to its resting position.
4) Continue alternating each leg up to ten cycles.

The Back Extension

Prolonged periods of sitting can cause severe low back pain in elders. The Back Extension is a stretching exercise that reverses the pressure imposed by the seated position and directly works the muscles attached to the lumbar spine. This particular maneuver is especially helpful with reducing low back and associated leg pain induced by walking.

1) Lie on your stomach on a comfortable (but not too soft) surface.
2) Push up onto your elbows to elevate your upper body and gently flex your spine. Try to hold this position for about five to ten seconds.
3) Lower your body back down to rest for few seconds and repeat the exercise for a total of ten cycles.

The Cat-Cow

Spinal flexibility is another critical component of pain-free mobility. The Cat-Cow stretching exercise is an excellent tool to regain spinal muscle tone and lumbar flexibility. It is a seated exercise, and so is especially helpful for people who have severely limited mobility that impedes other types of exercises.

1) Start in a seated position with both feet on the floor.
2) With your hands on your hips, stretch your shoulders back and head upward to make the spine form a gently arch. This is the “cow” position. Push your abdomen forward until you feel the tug on your lumbar spine muscles.
3) Next you will switch to the “cat” position, in which you will stretch your back the opposite way. Roll your shoulders forward and push your spine outward, like a cat arching its back. Simultaneously flex your chin toward your chest as much as possible to stretch the upper back.
4) Alternate the “cat” and “cow” maneuvers for ten cycles.

The key word to success when taking on a new exercise regimen is “committed”. These methods work best when they are repeated at least three times per week. As always, if you are experiencing worsening or debilitation back pain, discuss your symptoms with your doctor before undertaking new activities.

Dementia vs. Alzheimers Disease – What is the Difference?

alzheimers and dementiaTwo of the most common diseases that adversely affect memory and cognitive functions are those of dementia and Alzheimers disease. These two conditions are oftentimes used interchangeably due to the very similar effects that they cause. However, there are some key differences between the two that you should be aware of, especially if someone close to you has been diagnosed with one of these diseases.

What is Dementia?

This term basically refers to an umbrella of symptoms that tend to display themselves as memory loss. These symptoms generally affect thinking, memory and social abilities. There are a wide range of causes of this syndrome, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Huntington’s disease. Despite the fact that this condition is generally referred to as a syndrome instead of a disease, it can worsen with time, largely depending on the cause of the symptoms you face.

What is Alzheimer’s Disease?

Alzheimers disease is one of the common causes of the aforementioned syndrome, appearing in an average of 60 percent of cases. The main symptoms of Alzheimer’s include confusion, impaired thought, and impaired speech. There are a wide selection of tests that can be administered in order to determine whether or not you’re suffering from Alzheimer’s. These tests can also identify if the reason for some of your memory loss is due to the development of a separate condition.

Primary Differences Between These Two Diseases

The primary difference between Alzheimer’s and dementia is simply that dementia is the syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease can be the cause of that syndrome. Dementia is more so a set of symptoms that could indicate the presence of a wide range of conditions.

To better understand dementia, it could be compared to a sore throat or a runny nose. Either of these symptoms could be the sign of springtime allergies or a common cold that you’re suffering from. In the same way, the cause of dementia (the syndrome) could be Alzheimer’s or several other diseases.

It’s also important to understand that Alzheimer’s is not reversible, while some causes for the dementia have the ability to be reversed. Alzheimer’s is a degenerative disease that comes in the form of stages. The symptoms will worsen over time. People who are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s typically have 8-10 years to live.

In the early stages of Alzheimer’s, the symptoms may impact how a person lives their everyday life, but that person will still typically have the ability to lead an independent life.

Once the middle-stage is reached, the symptoms become more severe, oftentimes causing the affected person to become confused or even refuse to eat for a period of time. This is caused by damage to the nerve cells within the brain. This is the longest stage of Alzheimer’s and can last for a multitude of years.

Once Alzheimer’s disease reaches its late-stage, the person afflicted with the disease will require around-the-clock care and will display a severe degradation of cognitive and memory skills.

Alzheimer’s is one of the most severe causes of dementia. However, if the memory and cognitive issues that are experienced can be attributed to some other cause, it’s possible for the symptoms to be improved or reversed.

Causes of dementia are divided into three basic groups; those of progressive types, those that are simply linked to the syndrome, and those that are wholly reversible.

The conditions related to dementia that can be effectively reversed include infections, immune disorders, nutritional deficiencies, subdural hematomas, and even adverse reactions to medications. For instance, dehydration can cause some of the symptoms that appear with this syndrome. The most important thing for you to do if you suspect that yourself or someone close to you is suffering from one of these conditions is to actually seek medical care to identify what exactly you’re suffering from.

For those that have been diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, Maplewood of Sauk Prairie provides a wonderful center of hope.  Our facility offers amazing care including skilled nursing, memory care activities, physical therapy, social activities and a strong network of resources for the family.  Feel free to contact us at 608-643-3383 to speak with us about our Alzheimer’s and dementia programs.

Life Following a Stroke

strokeBecause strokes affect your brain, one of the most complex parts of your body, no two people have exactly the same effects after a stroke. Strokes may impede your ability to walk, talk, eat, interact with others, or some combination of those activities.

Strokes alter basic daily functioning, which can make returning to normal life after a stroke frustrating and difficult. Every person will go through a different recovery process, and some will recover more completely than others. However, we’ve listed a few common steps that stroke survivors and their loved ones may take after a stroke.

Identifying the Challenges
Some challenges that come with a stroke may be obvious to everyone, such as losing the ability to walk. Other challenges, however, may be more difficult to spot and more emotionally charged for family members. Some people experience personality changes after a stroke, like becoming more careless and forgetful or more irritable and depressed. These emotional challenges can cause strains in their relationships, but can become easier to deal with when loved ones recognize that they are results of the stroke. Talking to your doctor or another professional may help you identify these types of challenges.

Looking for Support
Over 7 million Americans survive strokes every year, so if you or a loved one has experienced a stroke, you are not alone. Everyone has different experiences after their stroke, but finding support from others who are going through something similar can be helpful for stroke survivors and their loved ones. Other people may be able to offer advice, resources, or simply a sympathetic ear when it’s needed. Many people connect to stroke support groups for help and friendship.

Finding Ways to Overcome
While some challenges after a stroke can be overcome, others may remain with you for the rest of your life. Finding ways to cope with your new challenges can be frustrating and overwhelming, but there are many resources available to help you. In addition to the expertise offered by physical therapists, occupational therapists, and other professionals, there are plenty of resources online and in communities. For example, the Stroke Association keeps a library of daily living tips with ideas for coping with daily challenges faced by stroke survivors.

Seeking Stroke Rehabilitation
Many stroke survivors find that rehabilitation is the most important and helpful part of their recovery. Rehabilitation can offer help in identifying challenges, emotional support, and professional expertise in coping with new challenges.

Rehabilitation after a stroke is different for every person, because every stroke survivor has different challenges. Rehabilitation may help with self-care skills like feeding and dressing, mobility skills like walking or using a wheelchair, communication skills like speaking, cognitive skills such as problem solving or remembering, and social skills for interacting with others and dealing with emotions. It sometimes also involves more advanced skills, like re-learning how to drive or vocational training so that you can return to work.

Rehabilitation takes place in a variety of settings, from long-term in-patient care facilities to outpatient facilities you may visit a few times a week. It’s also conducted by a wide variety of professionals, including nurses, physical or occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, social workers, and audiologists.

Where to Find Rehabilitation
Many different types of facilities offer rehabilitation for strokes, including Maplewood of Sauk Prairie. Maplewood has many highly competent, caring staff who enjoy working with stroke patients to regain as much functioning and mobility as possible. We offer an intensive and well organized program that will be targeted to meet your unique needs. If you are interested in setting up a post-stroke rehabilitation program for yourself or a loved one, please give us a call at (608) 643-3383.

Jump to top
The 3 Phases of Alzheimer’s Disease

alzheimers-disease-careMore than 5 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s. It’s likely that you already know someone who has Alzheimer’s or who is caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s. It can be frightening to find out that family member is suffering from this disease, but sometimes knowing more about what to expect can help.

Although Alzheimer’s affects all individuals differently, there are generally three stages that people experience. However, your loved one may move through these stages at a different rate, and sometimes the stages overlap. Your loved one may exhibit some symptoms of early-stage Alzheimer’s and some symptoms of middle-stage Alzheimer’s, for example.

Alzheimer’s disease begins making changes in a person’s brain long before symptoms are apparent. Theses changes can sometimes be detected with brain imaging like fMRI, but you won’t notice any difference in the person’s day to day behaviors. This stage is referred to as “preclinical Alzheimer’s,” and it is not considered one of the three phases since no symptoms are apparent. Preclinical Alzheimer’s can last for several years before changes in the person’s habits or lifestyle become apparent.

Mild or Early-Stage Alzheimer’s
During this first phase of Alzheimer’s, problems may be apparent only to close friends or family members who spend a lot of time with the person. Doctors may also notice memory or concentration problems during detailed interviews. For the most part, however, this phase may be undetectable from a distance.

People with early-stage Alzheimer’s often work, participate in social activities, drive, live alone, and function independently. They may begin to have memory lapses more often than they used to. All people have memory lapses once in a while, like forgetting what day of the week it is and later remembering, or not being able to think of a particular word or object name for a little while. However, people with early-stage Alzheimer’s will begin to have more frequent lapses. They may have more trouble than usual remembering names when meeting new people, often forget things they’ve just read, or have increasing trouble with planning and organizing.

After being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, which can sometimes happen during the early stage, the average person lives four to eight more years. However, this is only an average, and some people live up to 20 more years.

Moderate or Middle-Stage Alzheimer’s
Middle-stage Alzheimer’s is typically the longest phase, and it may last for many years. People in this stage will require gradually increasing levels of care, and will exhibit more serious symptoms. Damage to nerve cells in the brains of people with middle-stage Alzheimer’s may lead to these people acting differently than they used to. They may get frustrated or angry often or stop doing routine things like bathing. They may find it difficult to express their thoughts, which can make them more frustrated.

During this stage, people typically become increasingly forgetful about important events and their own past, get confused, and develop erratic sleeping habits. They may also experience personality changes that require a great deal of patience from caregivers and family members, like becoming moody, suspicious, and compulsive.

Severe or Late-Stage Alzheimer’s
In the final stage of this disease, people may need help with personal care and activities around the clock. They may develop difficulty communicating or experience changes in physical abilities. They may become less able to walk, sit up, or swallow. They often lose awareness of recent experiences and do not respond to their surroundings.

Caring for People with Alzheimer’s
It can be difficult to care for people with Alzheimer’s Disease as they begin to need help more and more frequently. Many families find they are unable to handle the advanced needs of their loved ones who suffer from Alzheimer’s. Facilities like Maplewood Sauk Prairie can ease some of the burden with kind, professional, and highly trained staff that will care for your loved ones and allow you to be highly involved in their treatment and daily life. We are happy to speak with you and give tours of our facility, so if you would like to talk about Alzheimer’s care program, give us a call at (608) 643-3383.

Maplewood is like a good bottle of aged, fine wine. Only time and quality ingredients can create the complexities needed to become a superior product. At Maplewood, it’s about the care. You’ll receive emotional & physical care by certified, trained staff members in an ideal environment.
Maplewood’s memory care unit was built to create the best experience for a person with dementia. Too much stimulation heightens anxieties so there are a small number of residents in the memory care community and each resident has a private room and private bathroom. It is a cheery, safe place with an outdoor courtyard, where residents truly feel at home.
• Residents experience consistency and compassion. At Maplewood they are in contact with the same staff even at a time when other facilities are hiring temp agencies to fill openings.
• Trained staff – every employee at Maplewood has training on Alzheimer’s/Dementia twice a year. They know how to approach a person with memory decline, understand behaviors they exhibit, effectively act and react to residents and use successful wording.
• Every employee caring for your loved one is at the very least state certified as a CNA, Certified Nursing Assistant. This means your loved one will experience the best care methods. This includes proper hygiene, injury prevention, averting infections through excellent incontinence care and reducing complications such as aspiration, pneumonia or skin breakdown.
• Maplewood has nurses on staff 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This means a nurse will respond immediately to a concern. Some facilities have a nurse “on call”, which means a lag time for getting a response when there is a critical situation.

• Experienced employees regularly help on a personal and professional level by giving guidance and support. It is common for family members to consult with Maplewood staff about what to do for their loved ones.
• 3.5:1 ratio for resident to staff member.
• On-site speech, occupational and physical therapy with licensed therapist, 6 days a week.
• Use non pharmaceutical interventions such as diathermy & ultra sound to reduce both falls and pain management.
• Maplewood uses a multi-disciplinary approach. They look at nutrition, dehydration, overall medicine management and activities that encourage a positive distraction and will give residents purpose.
With dementia, memory loss is only the tip of the iceberg. A person can’t get back the memory that has been lost. At Maplewood we stimulate what remains. Individualized care plans are created by a nurse with coordinating activities that work around any skills which have been affected. For instance, music, dancing, rhythms and prayers are parts of memory that will always remain, so those activities are incorporated into daily activities.
To make an analogy many people can relate to, as a parent, you instinctually want your child to be cared for by the best person. You can utilize an inexperienced teenager or a very experienced adult and there will be a very different level of care. It is the same when looking for senior care. At Maplewood there is tremendous “value added” when care providers have specialized CNA training.

Recovery After Joint Surgery with Physical Therapy
Joint surgery is very common in this day and age, so most physical therapists have extensive experience with helping patients recover from surgeries for ankles, knees, hips, shoulders and other joints. A good physical therapist will be acquainted with your surgery and what brought on the need for it, as well as the most effective treatment for you.

Your treatment may differ greatly from someone else who had a similar surgery, but a physical therapist will deliver a personalized therapy plan that will meet your needs and challenges. However, there are a few things that almost all physical therapy plans after joint surgery will have in common.

Preventing Scar Tissue
One of the major goals your physical therapist will have for you is to minimize the scar tissue within your joint. If you have surgery and don’t move the joint enough afterwards, scar tissue may develop on your joint that will limit your future movement. To counteract this scar tissue, you therapist will probably help you get up and moving again very soon after the actual surgery takes place. In addition to regular appointments, physical therapists also often recommend exercise for you to do at home.

Returning to Daily Activities
Another goal your physical therapist will likely have for you is to return to your normal lifestyle or better. Physical therapists will take into account your previous lifestyle and your future goals. For example, did you formerly golf? Do you do a lot of hiking or walking? Or do you just want to be able to chase your grand children around or work around the yard? Returning too quickly to your previous activities may further injure you, but your therapist knows you’re impatient to get back to the activities you enjoy. He or she can help you set appropriate goals and a safe time line for achieving them.

Pain Reduction
Physical therapists also want to reduce your pain as much as possible. They know you were in pain before the surgery, which is the reason it happened in the first place. By helping you choose appropriate and effective exercises, they can target muscles that will support and protect your problematic joints. Building up the appropriate muscles can also help ease the pain and swelling around your joints after surgery. This will also help you restore a comfortable range of motion.

The weeks following a joint surgery can be difficult for both the patient and his or her family, but physical therapists are well acquainted with the difficulties you will face during these weeks. Their expertise can help you safely restore comfort and motion to your joints. Be sure to talk with your physical therapist about your goals for your lifestyle after recovery and give them feedback on how the treatment is helping (or not helping) you so they can adjust your treatment plan accordingly.

Should you have any questions about physical therapy or are planning on having an upcoming joint surgery, call the PT staff at Maplewood of Sauk Prairie at 608-643-3383.

For a senior, one of the most worrisome situations is a traumatic fall when no one is around.  What will they do?  Who will get help?  How will they recover?

Falls in the senior community are quite common and can pose a large problem.  Falls can cause injuries, immobility, loss of independence, and even death.

According to the US Center on Disease Control and Prevention:

  • One in three Americans, aged 65+, fall each year.
  • Every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in an emergency room for a fall.
  • Every 19 minutes, a older adult dies from a fall.
  • Falls are the leading cause of fatal injury and the most common cause of nonfatal trauma-related hospital admissions among older adults.

Balance Problems Are a Common Cause of Falls in Older Adults

There are a variety of reasons that falls can occur in the elderly.  However, a common problem is balance problems.

Balance disorders, which are more common in adults, can lead to instability with standing or walking.  When the individual loses their balance without anything around to sufficiently stabilize them, the fall can occur.


Balance Therapy at Maplewood of Sauk Prairie

Fortunately, the physical therapy team at Maplewood of Sauk Prairie has the ability to evaluate and treat balance disorders.  Our team has the special knowledge of working with older adults and their balance problems.

balance therapy sauk city wiIn addition, we have specific equipment that we use to better treat those with balance issues.  We are the only therapy center in our area that now uses the OmniStand Dynamic Balancing System.

This equipment allows the therapists to work with patients in a safe and secure manner.  Once the patient is secured in the equipment, they are then able to work on their balance therapy through bending and performing exercises without the fear of ever falling.  This allows the patient to increase their strength, improve their flexibility, and regain their balance mechanisms within their bodies.

If you’d like to learn more about our balance programs within our physical therapy department, contact us at 608-643-3383.



One of the most common health services offered today in healthcare is physical therapy.  It is often widely needed for patients with a wide ranging set of conditions.  Fortunately, effective physical therapy in Sauk Prairie Wisconsin is available at Maplewood of Sauk Prairie.

Who Requires Physical Therapy?

It is not uncommon that your doctor will prescribe you with sessions of physical therapy for a variety of health conditions.  The conditions that they may recommend physical therapy for are numerous, but may include:

  • Injuries; both new and chronic
  • Post-surgery rehabilitation
  • Stroke rehabilitation
  • Cardiac rehabilitation
  • Vestibular (balance) therapy
  • Strength or flexibility training
  • and more

Your Initial Visit

physical therapy in sauk prairieOnce you are scheduled for your initial meeting with the physical therapist, you’ll want to know what takes place.

During your first visit, you’ll sit down with the physical therapist (P.T.) who will typically ask you questions about your problem.  Although your health care provide may have referred you, the P.T. will want to better understand your condition and how to best treat it.

The therapist will also want to examine the area using a variety of tests such as range of motion, strength, flexibility, balance, etc.  These initial tests build the framework of the treatment that will serve you best and provide a baseline for the P.T. to monitor how your condition is improving in the future.

Your Physical Therapy Appointments

Upon determining the best treatment plan for you, the physical therapist will often visit with you on a regular basis.  These individual treatments often last between 15 minutes to an hour, and are commonly 1x, 2x, or even 3x per week.  The amount and length of treatment often depends upon your condition, the severity, length of time you’ve had the condition and other contributing factors.

Treatment sessions may include stretching or strengthening exercises, balance training, endurance an conditioning, or other therapies.  The purpose is to return you to a more normal life.

Follow Up Examinations

After a certain period of time, you will most likely have your condition re-evaluated by the physical therapist.  This means that they will again access your overall condition and its progress with an examination.

The results of this physical examination will be compared to the first examination that you have had.  The physical therapist will also take into account other factors, such as your pain levels, activities of daily living and overall well being.  They may recommend continuing on with treatment (should your condition require more therapy) or discharge (if your condition is fully resolved).

After Physical Therapy

After you have been discharged from your physical therapy appointments, you will commonly need to return to see your healthcare provider that referred you for physical therapy.  They’ll want to re-evaluate you to assure that you are fully recovered.

In the event that you need more therapy or your condition suddenly returns, you may again be referred back for more physical therapy.

Physical Therapy at Maplewood of Sauk Prairie

Maplewood of Sauk Prairie has a complete physical therapy and occupational therapy team that can help you when you require physical therapy services.

Our physical therapy department is completely staffed with a talented rehabilitation team and we have complete access to a wide range of the most necessary therapy tools and equipment.

If your healthcare provider believes you need physical therapy, request that you be treated at Maplewood of Sauk Prairie.  You are welcome to call us at 608-643-3383 if you have any questions.




As we move through all of the stages in life, certain health conditions can become more pervasive.  One condition that often falls ‘under the radar’ and, in fact, many people have not even heard of is metabolic syndrome.

metabolic syndrome in the aging populationMetabolic syndrome is the name for a group of risk factors that raises your risk for heart disease and a variety of other health problems, such as stroke and diabetes.

Your risk for stroke, diabetes and heart disease increases with the number of metabolic risk factors you have. The risk of having metabolic syndrome is closely linked to overweight and obesity and a lack of physical activity.

Insulin resistance also may increase your risk for metabolic syndrome. Insulin resistance is a condition in which the body can’t use its insulin properly. Insulin is a hormone that helps move blood sugar into cells where it’s used for energy. Insulin resistance can lead to high blood sugar levels, and it’s closely linked to overweight and obesity. Genetics (ethnicity and family history) and older age are other factors that may play a role in causing metabolic syndrome.

Metabolic Risk Factors

The five conditions described below are metabolic risk factors. You can have any one of these risk factors by itself, but they tend to occur together. You must have at least three of the following metabolic risk factors to be diagnosed with metabolic syndrome.

  • An  increased waistline. This also is called abdominal obesity. Excess fat in the stomach area is a greater risk factor for heart disease than excess fat in other parts of the body, such as on the hips.
  • A high triglyceride level (or you’re on medicine to treat high triglycerides). Triglycerides are a type of fat found in the blood.
  • A low HDL cholesterol level (or you’re on medicine to treat low HDL cholesterol). HDL sometimes is called “good” cholesterol. This is because it helps remove cholesterol from your arteries. A low HDL cholesterol level raises your risk for heart disease.
  • High blood pressure (or you’re on medicine to treat high blood pressure). Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of your arteries as your heart pumps blood. If this pressure rises and stays high over time, it can damage your heart and lead to plaque buildup.
  • High fasting blood sugar (or you’re on medicine to treat high blood sugar). Mildly high blood sugar may be an early sign of diabetes.

For those that believe they may have undiagnosed metabolic syndrome, it is wise to speak with your healthcare provider.  You can work together to help to manage your health issues, allowing you to live a longer, more healthy life.