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Home Knowledge Center Wellness Library Diabetes: Cholesterol Levels

Diabetes: Cholesterol Levels

Overview

Cholesterol (or lipid) problems are common in diabetes. These problems are usually related to obesity and insulin resistance. They can also be related to lack of insulin in your body.

  • Triglyceride blood levels are usually elevated.
  • High-density lipoprotein (HDL) blood level is usually low.

These abnormal triglyceride and HDL levels can raise your risk for hardening of your arteries (atherosclerosis). When blood vessels that supply the brain and heart are blocked, a stroke or heart attack may occur. When the large blood vessels in the legs are affected, problems with blood circulation to the legs and feet may occur. This can cause changes in skin color, decreased sensation, and leg cramps. This type of problem is called peripheral arterial disease (PAD).

Cholesterol problems may also develop if you have diabetic kidney disease, even in the early stages when your kidney is losing small amounts of protein.

Heart-healthy lifestyle changes along with medicine can lower your cholesterol and your risk for heart attack and stroke. A heart-healthy lifestyle includes eating healthy foods, being active, staying at a healthy weight, and not smoking.

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.

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Related Links

Statins: Should I Take Them to Prevent a Heart Attack or Stroke? Diabetes: Lower Your Risk for Heart Attack and Stroke

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