People with Type 2 diabetes usually have a concomitant problem in their blood cholesterol level. Diabetic dyslipidemia, a common abnormality in the blood lipid (fat) concentration, is usually seen as an increased triglyceride level.
What is the significance of an increased blood fat level in Type 2 diabetes? The John Hopkins Point-of-Care Information Technology (POC-IT) Center explains that diabetic dyslipidemia may result in the faster development of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. In fact, one of the most common causes of death in people with Type 2 diabetes is cardiovascular disease; the most important consequence of untreated increased lipid levels in diabetes. Another common result of diabetic dyslipidemia is acute pancreatitis; the sudden inflammation of the pancreatic tissues.
How is diabetic dyslipidemia diagnosed? The best way to diagnose this problem is through having a blood test called a lipid panel. A lipid panel, also known as a lipid profile, checks the level of fats in your blood: total cholesterol, triglycerides (the major form of fat in our bodies), as well as your LDL (low-density lipoprotein, and HDL.(high-density lipoprotein). These fats can narrow or constrict the blood flow in your blood vessels.
What are the usual signs and symptoms of this problem? In most cases, there are no signs and symptoms associated with increased lipid levels. However, in overt cases:
- a yellow appearance of your hand creases may be observed.
- xanthomas, soft, yellow, slightly raised bumps on your skin may develop, and
- pancreatitis may occur. Pancreatitis usually leads to nausea, vomiting and even severe abdominal pain.
What are the available clinical treatment options available? Diabetic dyslipidemia is treated in order to prevent cardiovascular problems. It is also controlled to avoid the development of acute pancreatitis.
- lifestyle modification is the first line of treatment for this problem. To lower the blood fat levels, a 35 percent decrease in the total dietary fat is needed. As well, saturated fats must be decreased to less than seven percent, and cholesterol must never exceed 200mg per day.
- weight control can also effectively lower triglyceride levels.
- exercise improves blood sugar control as well as your triglyceride level.
- treatment with statin medications may also help lower blood cholesterol levels and it is usually the drug of choice for diabetics with high cholesterol levels.
What are the other pointers for the management of diabetic dyslipidemia? In case lipid levels do not respond to the initial dose of statin drugs, your doctor may increase the dosage. However, caution must be exercised with statin drugs as they may increase your risk of developing myositis, which is inflammation of the muscles.
Also, your blood sugar may increase because of your statin medication.
It should be emphasized, a weight loss of between 5 and 19 percent is essential for the management of diabetic dyslipidemia to order to improve the blood lipid levels in overweight and obese people with Type 2 diabetes.
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