Why are cholesterol levels still so high in diabetics?

by Mark Benson on September 10, 2012

Why are cholesterol levels still so high in diabetics?

If there is one charity in the UK which has done more than its fair share for diabetic sufferers it has to be Diabetes UK. This charity has addressed a number of issues over the last few years which have had and continue to have a significant impact upon the lives of diabetic sufferers. One such matter which has been raised over the last few days is the relatively high level of cholesterol experienced by a surprising number of diabetics. This is one matter which is discussed time and time again within diabetes groups and with diabetic sufferers. So why are levels still so dangerously high?

Cholesterol test

One surprising factor which Diabetes UK has highlighted is that while 90% of diabetics in the UK have an annual check-up, which may show issues, relatively few are addressing these issues with regards to cholesterol. Even if you put aside the condition of diabetes it is common knowledge that high cholesterol can lead to an array of potential medical conditions which can in some cases be life-threatening.

The very fact that funding has been put aside for annual checkups for diabetics is there for all to see, the system seems to be in place and is working well but why are diabetics not addressing potentially dangerous high levels of cholesterol?

Awareness

It is becoming more and more obvious that the threat of high cholesterol together with diabetes is a potentially fatal mixture for many sufferers in the UK. We are literally talking about millions of people across the UK who have the lethal mix of high cholesterol and diabetes which is putting them at risk of a whole array of different medical conditions and side-effects. Perhaps now is the time to step forward and offer more detailed advice and indeed give examples of what high cholesterol can do both to diabetics and non-diabetics?

There is no excuse for not using the relevant online and off-line resources to investigate diabetes yet further and the fact that cholesterol would be mention time and time again during these online investigations is obviously welcomed. The very fact that the likes of Diabetes UK are unable to pinpoint why so many sufferers with high cholesterol are seemingly “doing nothing about it” should lead to further investment and further investigation by the government and leading diabetic authorities.

Cardiovascular disease

Recent reports have linked cardiovascular disease to deaths amongst those with type I diabetes, with 44% of deaths directly attributable to cardiovascular disease and high cholesterol, although the situation is even worse with type II diabetes were cardiovascular disease and high cholesterol has been attributed to around 52% of deaths. There are many ways to reduce high levels of cholesterol and even if sufferers are unable to increase their exercise regime, reduce their weight or take action in other areas of their life then there are still medical treatments such as statins which can and do have a significant impact upon cholesterol levels in the body.

There is also some concern that doctors are perhaps not giving as much detailed advice as some patients require with regards to high cholesterol levels. As we mentioned above, high cholesterol is not just connected with diabetes but it is certainly another major complication connected with the condition.

How to reduce cholesterol

Aside from the medical statins now available there are number of relatively easy ways to reduce your cholesterol levels which include: –

Reducing your weight

Time and time again the subject of obesity is linked not only to diabetes but also an array of other medical conditions. We are all aware of the risks, we are all aware of the BMI factor but why are so few of us adjusting our lifestyles and our diets?

Increased exercise

Many people automatically assume that an increase in your exercise regime will mean pushing yourself to the limit when in reality this may only mean walking for 10 minutes, 20 minutes or even 30 minutes a day. You may only need to walk the kids to school, walk to work or even just get the bus and get off one stop earlier. We’re not talking about an exercise regime in any way comparable to an athlete, just more fresh air, more general exercise and more frequently.

Reducing alcohol consumption

Like so many other factors of everyday life alcohol is never very far away from conditions such as high cholesterol. It is not necessarily the alcohol itself which will create the overall condition but perhaps the lifestyle factors associated with alcohol and abuse of this very dangerous drug. Despite the fact that governments and health authorities are very quick to highlight problems such as cocaine, heroin, etc alcohol is one of the most dangerous drugs in the UK.

Healthy diet

What is a healthy diet in the modern-day world? How many calories do you need to take in to survive? The reality is that we are all very different and a diet that works for one diabetic may not be as effective with another. Therefore, you need to discuss the way ahead with your doctor, do your own research online and find an effective diet which you enjoy and more importantly one which works for you.

Ignore cholesterol at your peril

Cholesterol is a problem for millions of people across the UK and while many have been diagnosed there are millions who are living in blissful ignorance. However, how many of us know that if we went to the doctors tomorrow there would be an issue with our weight? How many of us suspect we may have high cholesterol?

The reality is that while some of us would prefer to bury our heads in the sand the truth is that health issues are becoming more serious as the years go by. We have seen a major change in modern-day living, modern-day diets and modern-day exercise regimes. We should be aware of the potential problems of conditions such as diabetes, especially diabetes type II which is linked to lifestyles, but how many of us choose to ignore these warnings?

Diabetes UK has potentially done millions of people up and down the country a serious favour in addressing the problem of cholesterol both in diabetics and those who have yet to develop the condition. It is hoped that this will prompt more and more people to take action before it is too late and review the various options available today.


The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of the DiabetesForum.com Community and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Please see your doctor before making any changes to your diabetes management plan.

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