Skip to main content

What You Need to Know About Cholesterol

People with diabetes can live long and healthy lives. A great start is to manage these three conditions:

  • Blood sugar (glucose)
  • Blood pressure
  • Cholesterol levels

Many people have all of these conditions. When you have diabetes, you are more likely to have a heart attack, stroke or kidney failure. But you can manage your blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol. That lowers your risk for illnesses.

Ask Your Primary Care Physician (PCP) These Questions:

Q. What are my glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol numbers?
Q. What should they be?
Q. What actions should I take to reach and stay at these goals?

Keep a Record.

Keep track of your blood sugar (glucose), blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Take Action Now.

  • Eat the right amounts of foods like fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains
  • Eat foods that are prepared with less salt and fat
  • Get at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day
  • Stay at a healthy weight. Ask your primary care provider (PCP) to figure out your body mass index (BMI) is and learn if it is in the normal range
  • Stop smoking. Ask your PCP about ways to quit
  • Use a pillbox to help you take your daily medicines regularly
  • Keep an up-to-date list of all your medications and allergies in your purse or wallet
  • Take medicines the way your PCP or specialist tells you to. If you think a medicine is not agreeing with your body, tell your PCP
  • Ask your PCP about taking a daily dose of aspirin
  • Ask your family and friends to help you with your efforts to get and stay healthy

Set Goals.

Keep track of when your vision, kidney function and feet are checked by your doctor. Work with your PCP, specialists, friends and family to reach your goals.

Do not forget to get these exams:

Blood Sugar (glucose)
The A1C test is also known as the Hemoglobin A1C. It measures your average blood sugar over the past three months. Test at least two to four times a year, depending on your status. Suggested blood glucose goal: 7 or less on the A1C test.

Blood Pressure
Diet and exercise help. You may need medicine as well. Test at every visit.  Goal blood pressures can vary by age and health. Ask your PCP what is right for you.

Cholesterol is a type of fat in the blood. Diet and exercise help. Medication may be needed as well. Test at least twice a year. Ideal cholesterol can vary by person. Ask your PCP what is right for you.

Regular and Dilated Eye Exams
Get tested once a year by an eye specialist.

Test for Kidney Disease
Test for protein (Albumin) in your urine and test for buildup of substances in your blood at least once a year.

Foot Exams
Have your feet examined at every visit.

For More Information, visit WebMD.

What You Need to Know about Cholesterol

Too much cholesterol can lead to heart disease. But it’s never too late or too early to manage your cholesterol levels.

Talk to your doctor to get a screening. Also ask about ways to take care of your heart and live a healthier life.

The facts

Cholesterol is a soft, waxy substance in your bloodstream. It’s used to build new cells and digest food. Some is good. But too much is bad.

Q. Where does cholesterol come from?
A. Some of it comes from foods like whole milk, cheese, meat and butter. Heredity (genes) also can play a role. For example, if some of your relatives have or had high cholesterol, you may be at a higher risk.

Q. What are the different types of cholesterol?
A. The different types are:
  •  TC (total cholesterol): The total amount of all cholesterol in your blood — too much increases your risk of heart disease
  •  LDL cholesterol: Known as “bad” cholesterol, LDL can attach itself to the walls of your bloodstream, causing blockage that can lead to heart disease or stroke
  •  HDL cholesterol: Known as “good” cholesterol, HDL flushes away the LDL cholesterol
  •  TG (triglycerides): The body’s storage form for fat
Exercise: You can do it

Regular exercise can help. It raises the “good” (HDL) and lowers the “bad” (LDL). Try to get 20 minutes of moderate activity three days a week.

Tips to increase activity
• Start small. Work up to increasing the duration and intensity of activities.
• Choose fun activities. Add variety so you don’t get bored.
• Walk as often as possible. Park farther away or take the stairs, not the elevator.
• Vacuum or do yard work. These and other household chores are exercise too!

Remember to ask your doctor what exercise is right for you.

Tips for healthy eating:
Good Foods to Eat
Daily eats Healthy snacks When dining out
• Whole-grain cereals
• Fresh fruit and vegetables
• Fish
• Chicken • Fruits and vegetables
• Unsalted pretzels
• Low-fat microwave popcorn
• Juices, sorbets, nonfat yogurt • Choose broiled or baked foods, not fried
• Avoid creamy salad dressings
• Ask for sauce or gravy on the side to avoid excess portions

Medications you need to know

Even when you change your diet and exercise habits, you may need medication. There are many medications available to help you save money and lower cholesterol levels, such as:
  •  Simvastatin
  •  Lofibra® or Fenofibrate
  •  Gemfibrozil

It’s important to get your cholesterol checked. Talk to your doctor to find out how often you should be tested and what steps you can take to improve your levels.

Desirable......................Less than 200 mg/dL
Borderline High............200–239 mg/dL
High..............................240 mg/dL and above

Remember: The lower the LDL, the better!
Optimal.........................Less than 100 mg/dL
Near Optimal................100–129 mg/dL
Borderline High.............130–159 mg/dL
High...............................160–189 mg/dL
Very High.......................190 mg/dL and above

Remember: The higher the HDL, the better!
Low.................................40 mg/dL
High................................60 mg/dL and above

Source: National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP)

Visit the links below for additional information

Visit the links below for additional information
Click here for WebMD

Contact Us icon

Need help? We're here for you.

Contact Us
Last Updated On: 12/4/2020