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Diabetes: Cholesterol Levels - Topic Overview

Cholesterol (or lipid) problems are common in diabetes. These problems are usually related to obesity and insulin resistance. They can also be related to lack of insulin in your body.

These abnormal triglyceride and HDL levels can raise your risk for the problems that affect the large blood vessels. When blood vessels that supply the brain and heart are affected, a stroke or heart attack may occur. When the large blood vessels in the legs are affected, problems with blood circulation to the legs and feet may occur. This can cause changes in skin color, decreased sensation, and leg cramps. This type of problem is called peripheral arterial disease (PAD).

Cholesterol problems may also develop if you have diabetic nephropathy, even in the early stages when your kidney is losing small amounts of protein.

Heart-healthy lifestyle changes along with medicine can lower your cholesterol and your risk for heart attack and stroke. A heart-healthy lifestyle includes eating healthy foods, being active, staying at a healthy weight, and not smoking.

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    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: June 04, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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