Research has shown that there is a strong correlation between cholesterol and diabetes. High insulin levels in the blood raise the amount of LDL Cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood. Insulin resistance is typically associated with people with abnormal cholesterol levels.
Metabolic Syndrome is a group of conditions that include high blood sugar, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol, and excess fat around the waist (having an apple body shape); together these conditions increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke.
It’s important to note that just having one of these metabolic conditions doesn’t mean that an individual is at risk for heart disease, stroke and diabetes. It’s the combination of these factors that has the most deleterious effect on your health.
Apple and Pear Shape Bodies
“People who have metabolic syndrome typically have apple-shaped bodies, meaning they have larger waists and carry a lot of weight around their abdomens. It’s thought that having a pear-shaped body — that is, carrying more of your weight around your hips and having a narrower waist — doesn’t increase your risk of diabetes, heart disease and other complications of metabolic syndrome”…According to the Mayo foundation for Medical Education and Research
Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your blood glucose, or blood sugar, is too high. Blood glucose is the bodies’ main energy source. Insulin is a hormone (made by the pancreas) that aids the glucose in your food to get into your cells, to be utilized as energy.
If your body doesn’t use insulin properly, it can’t make any insulin or enough insulin – glucose stays in your blood and won’t reach your cells.
Blood sugar (blood glucose) monitoring is required for people who have diabetes.
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The long term effects of having too much sugar in your blood stream can lead to metabolic conditions.
Type 1 diabetes:
your body does not make insulin. Your immune system attacks and destroys the cells in your pancreas that make insulin. Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, although it can appear at any age. People with type 1 diabetes require daily insulin.
Type 2 diabetes:
your body does not make or use insulin well. You can develop type 2 diabetes at any age. Type 2 is the most common type of diabetes.
What are the effects of Diabetes on Cholesterol?
Diabetes can cause many detrimental effects on the body, including the ability to lower HDL “good” cholesterol levels, raise LDL “bad” cholesterol and triglyceride levels; this can increase the risk for heart disease and stroke. This condition is known as diabetic dyslipidemia.
The factors that affect our health – more often than not – come down to lifestyle choices. The human body is remarkable; it has the ability to heal itself even after years of mistreatment and neglect.
Eating too much (red meat, refined processed foods, sugar) smoking, excess drinking, and physical inactivity can lead to abnormal cholesterol levels and/or type 2 diabetes.
Here is a list of lifestyle factors that can be improved upon:
- Heart Healthy diet – consisting of mostly or all whole plant based foods
- Physical activity – the human body was meant to move; 30 minutes a day of exercise is recommended
- Stop smoking – There is a reason there is a ‘this will kill you’ warning label on the box
- Maintain an ideal body composition– weight is not as important as body fat. The more body fat you have the more likely you are to be overweight or obese.
Fortunately, people can change their lifestyle for the better by adopting healthier habits and incorporating positive changes into their life and doing them consistently.
Always consult with your doctor if you are at risk for diabetes (or any metabolic condition) due to lifestyle or family history.