As more research is being done in the area of triglycerides, the relationship between triglycerides and diabetes is becoming better understood. Historically, triglycerides have been put on the media back burner compared to the massive amounts of daily news about cholesterol and diabetes.
However, that is now changing as more Americans than ever before are being diagnosed with high triglycerides. About a third of Americans are known to have high triglyceride levels and that number is growing daily.
This is a grave situation. The seriousness of elevated triglycerides is on the same level as high cholesterol and diabetes. And when high triglycerides and diabetes strike together, the consequences can be deadly.
Triglycerides and Metabolic Syndrome
High triglycerides are one of the components of a condition called metabolic syndrome, which is also known as insulin-resistance syndrome or pre-diabetic syndrome. About 50 million Americans have this syndrome. Eighty percent of people with Type 2 diabetes also have metabolic syndrome.
In addition to high triglycerides, the other conditions found in metabolic syndrome are
- High blood pressure
- High blood sugar
- Belly fat
- Low HDL “good” cholesterol levels
Unfortunately, and sadly, metabolic syndrome is responsible for a large number of premature deaths world-wide.
Triglycerides and Diabetes Control
The level of triglycerides is now seen to be a good indicator of how well an individual is controlling his diabetes. A high triglyceride level may be an indication of poorly controlled diabetes.
High triglycerides cause insulin to be less effective, which then leads to insulin resistance. With insulin resistance, the blood sugar will rise because the insulin is less effective in lowering it. More insulin is required to handle the rising blood sugar.
Triglyceride levels must be monitored along with your blood sugar if you are a diabetic. While uncontrolled diabetes can cause serious complications, high triglyceride and diabetes together can lead to cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks, kidney damage, dementia and strokes.
High triglycerides levels in diabetics play an important part in the development of diabetic neuropathy, which is the nerve disorder diabetics get in uncontrolled diabetes. Recent research has shown that high triglyceride levels in a diabetic lead to diabetic neuropathy.
About 70% of diabetics have some level of diabetic neuropathy. The common symptoms of this disorder include pain, tingling, numbness, and loss of feeling in the feet, legs, arms and hands. The loss of feeling leads to undetected injury in the arms and legs of the diabetic person because she can’t feel the injury.
The Connection Between High Triglycerides and Diabetes
Appropriate treatment of diabetes includes treating not only high blood sugar but also treating high triglycerides. High Triglycerides and diabetes is a dangerous combination that leads to serious complications such as cardiovascular disease and diabetic neuropathy.