People with diabetes should
have their blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels checked at
least once every year.
Cholesterol is a type of
fat that your body produces naturally. It is also found in some
foods. But high levels of a form of cholesterol called LDL
cholesterol (or "bad cholesterol") in your blood put you
at greater risk for heart disease. Since having diabetes already
puts you at risk, it's especially important to keep your
cholesterol levels down.
Triglycerides are another
type of fat found in your bloodstream that can increase your risk
of developing heart disease when levels are too high.
Your doctor can check your
cholesterol and triglyceride levels by taking a sample of blood,
which is sent to a lab for analysis. The profile shows your
triglyceride level, total cholesterol level, HDL cholesterol
(high-density lipoprotein or "good cholesterol") and LDL
(low-density lipoprotein or "bad cholesterol") levels.
After a meal, blood
triglyceride levels are normally high. So to get an accurate
measurement of your triglyceride levels, your doctor will
recommend that your blood be tested after an overnight fast.
Your doctor may ask you to
exercise and follow a diet low in fat (particularly saturated fat)
to help reduce your risk for heart disease.
Options: Diabetes >
by the Department of Endocrinology and Department of Patient
Education and Health Information at The Cleveland Clinic.