Diabetes coupled with high blood cholesterol increases your risk of cardiovascular diseases. Know more about cholesterols and how you can keep your cholesterols in check.
Cholesterol is a fat-like substance (lipid) that is made in the liver from the foods you eat.
You need cholesterol for your body to function properly. Cholesterol is found in every cell in your body and is needed to produce cell membranes, hormones, vitamin D and bile acids that help to digest fat. It is vital for brain and nerve functioning and helps in the formation of memories. Cholesterol harms your health only if it becomes excessive.
High blood cholesterol increases your risk of cardiovascular diseases such as heart disease and stroke. If you have diabetes and high blood cholesterol, your risk for these diseases is even higher.
Cholesterol and Your Heart
Diabetes worsens your blood cholesterol levels (lipid profile) by:
As cholesterol is not water-soluble, it has to be carried around the body. Lipoproteins are carriers of cholesterol. We can think of lipoproteins as taxis moving around the bloodstream and picking up cholesterol. Similarly, triglyceride needs to be carried by lipoproteins too.
Blood Glucose Monitoring
Control your blood cholesterol. Good diabetes care requires tight control of blood glucose, blood cholesterol and blood pressure.
Most doctors would recommend that you lower LDL cholesterol, aiming for a level lower than 2.6 mmol/L2. In addition to taking cholesterol medications as prescribed, maintaining a healthy weight, adopting
healthy eating habits and
exercising regularly also help you manage cholesterol and lower your risk of getting cardiovascular disease.
However, if you have had diabetes for less than ten years and do not have additional cardiovascular risk factors, your doctor may suggest you try changing your lifestyle before prescribing medications.
Here are some tips for a healthy lifestyle:
Healthy eating habits
Regular physical activity
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This article was last reviewed on
22 Nov 2023
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