I read an article this week of a study showing that Metabolic Syndrome is more prevalent in people with psoriatic arthritis rather than rheumatoid arthritis. Unfortunately there are several different definitions for Metabolic Syndrome, however they are quite similar. The WHO defines it as:
The World Health Organization criteria (1999) require presence of one of:
AND two of the following:
- Blood pressure: ≥ 140/90 mmHg
- Dyslipidemia: triglycerides (TG): ≥ 1.695 mmol/L and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) ≤ 0.9 mmol/L (male), ≤ 1.0 mmol/L (female)
- Central obesity: waist:hip ratio > 0.90 (male); > 0.85 (female), or body mass index > 30 kg/m2
- Microalbuminuria: urinary albumin excretion ratio ≥ 20 µg/min or albumin:creatinine ratio ≥ 30 mg/g
In terms of managing your health at home, arguably the easiest thing to do is to regularly monitor your waist and hip measurements (thus you can determine your ratio) and ensure that your waist is less than 40 inches (men) or 35 inches (women). These days you can also pick up a relatively cheap automatic blood pressure machine and take that each week. I blogged about the importance of looking after your heart before.
Now I sometimes meet people who for some reason are scared to go to the doctor, or monitor their health in case they find something wrong! Yeah – I know – the logic is crazy but these people are out there. If this is you, then please don’t hide your head in the sand. If you really have something then the WORST thing you can do is ignore it, somehow hoping that it will go away. It won’t. It will slowly get worse until such point that you are in so much pain or so sick that you have to see a doctor. Guess what the doctor will say? “Why didn’t you come in earlier!!!”. “If you had come in earlier we could have treated the problem, but now it is too late and we can’t get rid of it”. Don’t bury your head in the sand.
Speaking of regular checkups, I did go and see the anti-aging specialist on Tuesday, and had about 6 vials of blood siphoned off to check my hormone levels, vitamin levels, kidney function, liver function etc etc. Apparently the vitamin blood tests take 2 weeks to process, so I’ll be getting my results in the new year. As mentioned previously I’m interested in seeing what my testosterone level is. They are also checking my DHEA levels, which apparently is the precursor to testosterone. I read an article that opiates can reduce DHEA levels, so I’m wondering if my tramadol use (which is related to opiates) has decreased my DHEA, which in turn caused the low testosterone? I guess I will find out. I told the doc about my tramadol use for my RLS, and the doc mentioned that sometimes a vitamin deficiency can cause RLS so perhaps the results of my tests will show a deficiency which can help?