Metabolic syndrome (sometimes called “syndrome X”) is the name for a group of risk factors that raises your risk for heart disease and other health problems, such as diabetes and stroke. These risk factors include: a large waistline, high triglycerides, low HDL (“good”) cholesterol, high LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, high blood pressure and high fasting blood sugar.

Insulin resistance is related to metabolic syndrome. It is a condition in which the body can’t use its insulin properly. If left unchecked, it can lead high blood sugar levels, obesity and even type 2 diabetes. Insulin is a hormone that helps move blood sugar into cells where it’s used for energy.

Your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and stroke 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.