Most of us living with diabetes know that living with uncontrolled blood glucose values (BG) increases our risk for long term complications. Tight BG control is essential to reduce long term complications.
A person living with diabetes should not overlook their cholesterol levels. Long-term complications from cardiovascular disease are also prevalent with those living with both Type 1 diabetes and Type 2 diabetes.
According to The Cleveland Clinic’s research from The National Cholesterol Education Program's Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults, it is extremely important for everyone — men and women of every age, with or without known heart disease — to have a low LDL cholesterol level.
The fact is, elevated low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the bad cholesterol, is a major cause of heart disease. LDL causes the build-up of fatty deposits within your arteries, reducing or blocking the flow of blood and oxygen your heart needs. This can lead to chest pain and heart attack.
Atherosclerosis, the medical term for "hardening of the arteries," is not limited to heart arteries, though. It also occurs in arteries elsewhere in your body, causing problems such as stroke, kidney failure and poor circulation.
According to diabeticlifestyle.com, if you're living with diabetes, your numbers should be:
• Total triglycerides: below 200 mg/dl
• HDL cholesterol (the "good" cholesterol): above 45 mg/dl
• LDL cholesterol (the "bad" cholesterol): below 100 mg/dl
There are significant risk factors for developing high cholesterol. These are mostly controllable:
• Inactivity — Lack of exercise may lower your levels of good cholesterol HDL.
• Obesity — Excess weight increases your level of triglycerides and can lower HDL. It can also increase your level of very-low-density lipoprotein cholesterol.
• Diet — Eating a high-fat, high-cholesterol diet contributes to an increase in blood cholesterol level. Even polyunsaturated fats are susceptible to oxidation and over time, speed buildup of plaque inside arteries.
Other factors that increase your likelihood of high cholesterol: