Diabetes Self-Management Articles

These articles cover a wide range of subjects, from the most basic aspects of diabetes care to the nitty-gritty specifics.

Links not loading properly?

Some of our pages use Portable Document Format (PDF) files, which require Adobe Acrobat Reader. To download Acrobat Reader for free, visit www.adobe.com.

Sign up for our weekly e-mail newsletter and receive a FREE GIFT! Enter your e-mail below.

Learn more

Learn more about diabetes

Links to help you learn more about diabetes.

Ask a diabetes expert
Other diabetes resources
Browse article topics

 

What’s in Your Blood?

by Joseph Gustaitis

It’s common knowledge these days that a crucial part of a physical checkup is a blood test. And for the prevention of heart disease, it’s important to know one’s cholesterol levels — how much LDL (low-density lipoprotein, or “bad”) cholesterol and HDL (high-density lipoprotein, or “good”) cholesterol is in the blood. Another significant measurement is the blood level of triglycerides, the major type of fat found in the body.

Recently, however, the American Diabetes Association and the American College of Cardiology Foundation convened a conference to examine the best way to manage levels of blood lipids (a category that includes cholesterol and triglycerides). The two organizations have a shared interest in this issue because of the high risk of that accompanies diabetes. The conference featured speakers and intensive discussions, and then a seven-member panel of experts released a consensus statement.

The panel members agreed that people with high HDL cholesterol levels tend to experience less heart disease, although they acknowledged the difficulty of determining whether just raising HDL cholesterol is enough to prevent cardiovascular disease. They also concurred that high LDL cholesterol is a major predictor of cardiovascular disease and that high LDL cholesterol may have even greater adverse effects in people with diabetes. The panel cautioned, however, that measuring HDL cholesterol can be tricky in some people and might not always accurately measure the likelihood that a person will form plaque in the lining of the arteries. So they looked at another blood marker, ApoB (apolipoprotein B, which is the protein part of LDL). After reviewing the evidence, the panel determined that measuring ApoB does have value for people with certain cardiovascular risk factors such as overweight, Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure — especially those who are using statins to help lower their cholesterol. In addition, the panel said that ApoB levels can serve as a guide for managing and adjusting therapy.

Testing for ApoB involves a simple blood test and doesn’t even require fasting, although it’s usually included as part of a general blood test, so most people will fast before it anyway. But a separate blood test isn’t required just for ApoB. Now that these new recommendations are in place, your doctor might order a new lipid test beyond the usual ones for cholesterol and triglycerides.

 

 

More articles on Heart Health
More articles on Diabetes Research

 

 


Statements and opinions expressed on this Web site are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the publishers or advertisers. The information provided on this Web site should not be construed as medical instruction. Consult appropriate health-care professionals before taking action based on this information.

 

 

What's Your Diabetes "Type"? Gestational, MODY, and Steroid-Induced
It's somewhat staggering to consider that approximately 26 million people in the United States... Blog

New "Old" Grains: Freekeh
Last week I wrote about some food trends to keep an eye on for the year ahead. In it, I mentioned... Blog

Goat's Milk Soap? Not Baaaaaaaaaaaad!
Can winter be over now? After last week's unpleasantness, I'm certainly ready for it to be!... Blog

Can I breast-feed my child if I have diabetes? Get tip


Carbohydrate Restriction: An Option for Diabetes Management
Some people find that decreasing the amount of carbohydrate they eat can help with blood glucose control. Here’s what to know about this approach.

Insulin Patch Pumps: A New Tool for Type 2
Patch pumps are simpler to operate than traditional insulin pumps and may be a good option for some people with Type 2 diabetes who need insulin.

How Much Do You Know About Vitamins?
Learn what these micronutrients can and can’t do for you.

Complete table of contents
Get a FREE ISSUE
Subscription questions