“Cholesterol” What is it and how does it effect Diabetics and Non-Diabetics?

“Cholesterol” What is it and how does it effect Diabetics and Non-Diabetics?

You are 65 years old, an “eighty percent vegetarian”, exercise twice weekly, a non-smoker, maintain a lean body mass (BMI) of 22, no ailments, work full-time, sexually active, very healthy except your total cholesterol levels are constantly hovering around 230-240 range and LDL (bad cholesterol) is around 150.

Should you worry?

cholesterolCholesterol is a raw material for cells, hormones, vitamin D, etc. in our body. It is produced and removed in our liver. Cholesterol is carried and travels in our blood stream as lipoproteins in the form of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL), LDL(bad cholesterol) leads to hardening of arteries which may cause coronary heart diseases and HDL (good cholesterol) helps to carry cholesterol from our body to liver for proper disposal. Ideal range for LDL is 50-129 mg/dL; HDL is 40-90 mg/dL; total cholesterol 70-199 mg.dL.

One of the recent study involved 5,750 older adult ages range from 55-99 with average cholesterol level at 255 mg/dL and HDL 53 mg/dL respectively. What they have discovered is that people with higher cholesterol levels, their cardiovascular risk “weakens” as they are getting older. Furthermore, study also shown people over 85 years old, higher levels of cholesterol is associated with lower heart attacks and strokes. The finding is hardly the first which indicate a separate assessment is needed when it comes to older patients. A statement “while the importance of measuring and treating high cholesterol levels in people <65 years old is well established, there is uncertainty about the best approach to treating high cholesterol in older adults” a position outline by Society of Geriatric Cardiology on high cholesterol management quoted fromwww.sgcard.org/cholesterol which illustrates the dilemma in treating older patients. If your cholesterol levels are slightly more than the maximum normal ranges allowed and your doctor is not prescribing cholesterol-lowering drug, You could be classified as a “low risk” for coronary heart disease events such as heart attack and stroke. Thus, you can reasonable assume that your doctor may be doing the right thing.

Diabetes and high cholesterol levels

High risk category includes coronary heart disease patients and individuals with major risk factors such as being diabetic, a smoker or having low HDL and hypertension. It is reasonable to assume that most people in this category need treatment to lower the risk, this could also include people who are over 80 years. In the latter case, how aggressive to treat these patients therefore be left to the desecration of the primary physician. All statins (such as Lipitor, Crestor, etc) to lower cholesterols may possibly increase your blood sugar level. The risk may be small but enough that FDA requires a warning label on statin drugs concerning sugar level and statins. Taking statin at bedtime is often recommended to yield more efficacy (better effect) and avoid discomforts. However, occasional reports of sleep disturbances and insomia with statins especially in older population prompts pharmacist to recommend taking statin during the day. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have concerns.

Things that you do on a daily basis to lower cholesterol

  • Eat oatmeal every day.
  • Exercise every other day.
  • Obtain enough sleep.
  • Eat less red meat.
  • Eat less fatty foods.
  • Eat more leafy and bright vegetables and fruits.
  • Eat fish once or more a week.
  • Stay disciplined in what you need to do to reduce cholesterol.

Brought to you By:
The DDP Medical Writers Staff

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