Overview of Diabetic Hyperlipidemia

According to the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases, almost 24 million Americans have diabetes. Diabetes is a life-long condition that occurs when the body cannot metabolize sugars properly, leading to high blood sugar levels.  If left untreated, this leads to serious complications.

Hyperlipidemia is a condition where the cholesterol and triglyceride levels are elevated in the blood and is frequently seen in diabetics.

Factors that contribute to both hyperlipidemia and diabetes include:

  • Obesity
  • Metabolic Syndrome
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Advanced Age
  • Inactive lifestyle (sedentary)

Hyperlipidemia or high cholesterol can lay fatty deposits in blood vessels causing them to stiffen and narrow. Atherosclerosis is the condition when the plaque builds up along the walls of the arteries, which make the passage for blood narrow. Over time, this is linked to hypertension or high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease.

There are 2 varieties of cholesterol:

  • LDL (low density lipoproteins) considered bad since it adheres to arterial walls
  • HDL (high density lipoproteins) is good since it removes excess LDL from the bloodstream, thereby protecting the cardiovascular system.

Triglycerides – not actually part of cholesterol is usually part of the cholesterol panel since it also increases the risk for heart disease.


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