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Troublesome Triglycerides (Part 2)
April 9, 2007
In last week’s blog entry, you learned a little bit about triglycerides: what they are, what causes them to be high, and why it’s not good if they’re too high. This week, we’ll continue to talk about triglycerides, but this time, we’ll look at how you can lower your levels if they’re above target (150 mg/dl).
It’s worthwhile to note that triglycerides, in and of themselves, aren’t “bad.” Remember that they’re a storage form of energy for the body. The problem comes in when they accumulate in the blood—heart disease being the primary problem.
So, what can you do if your levels are above 150 mg/dl? First, make sure that your triglycerides were tested after you fasted for about 12 hours. In other words, your reading won’t be accurate if you just polished off a Happy Meal at McDonald’s. Second, talk to your health-care provider about reasons why your triglycerides might be high. Is your diet the culprit? Or could it be your diabetes?
How is diabetes related to high triglycerides? Actually, uncontrolled blood glucose levels often go hand in hand with high triglycerides. The reason has to do with insulin. Insulin is needed to help move not just glucose into cells for energy, but also protein and fat. Therefore, if you don’t have enough insulin on board (whether from your own pancreas or from injections), you can have high blood glucose and triglyceride levels. If you and your health-care provider suspect that this is the case, your main job, then, will be to focus on getting your diabetes under better control.
You can take other steps to lower your triglycerides. Let’s run through these one by one:
Get your triglyceride levels checked regularly, and make sure you keep track of them and all your diabetes numbers, including HbA1c, blood pressure, albumin, and LDL and HDL cholesterol. The more you know about your health, the more you can do to stay healthy.
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