Signs & Symptoms of Hyperlipidemia and Diabetes

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Hyperlipidemia is an umbrella term for abnormally high levels of lipids in the blood, including cholesterol and triglycerides. Type 2 diabetes, a disorder involving high blood sugar that does not require daily insulin, is associated with a high risk for hyperlipidemia.

Identification

  • Lipids include fats, oils and waxes. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, the so-called "bad" cholesterol, tends to deposit cholesterol plaques in artery walls, while the high-density lipoprotein (HDL) type carries cholesterol to the liver to be removed from the blood.

The Problem

  • People with diabetes tend to have low levels of HDL cholesterol and high levels of triglycerides, which, like LDL cholesterol, are associated with heart disease.

Types

  • Type 2 diabetes patients commonly continue having problems with high cholesterol or high triglycerides even when their blood-sugar levels improve, as noted by a study published in the October 1998 issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Symptoms

  • Hyperlipidemia does not cause symptoms until it reaches the danger stage of a stroke or heart attack. It must be diagnosed with a blood test. Diabetes has symptoms of noticeably increased thirst and urination, and fatigue.

Expert Insight

  • The American Diabetes Association recommends that adults with diabetes maintain a LDL cholesterol level lower than 100 mg/dl, and a triglyceride level lower than 150 mg/dl.

Prevention/Solution

  • Diet, weight loss and exercise, in addition to blood-glucose control, can help improve cholesterol and triglyceride levels, as noted by the Mayo Clinic study. Medication is advised when these methods do not provide significant improvement.

References

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