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From Gainesville, Florida, USA:

I am a 40 year old diabetic and have had diabetes for 19 years. I am in good control and over the years my HA1c have ranged from 6.3 - 7.5. I also exercise fairly regularly. All my lab work comes back just fine except for my triglyceride level. Going back several years my triglyceride have been around 250. I am concerned about this because I have read that high triglycerides is more of an indicator of heart disease than cholesterol (mine has always been fine).

How do I lower my triglyceride level? Why would they be this high when I have good cholesterol and A1c's; since they call them "blood fat"? Because I have high levels would that be a reason why most hypoglycemic episode's go undetected?

My father also had high triglyceride levels and diabetes and began having heart problems at 48 (and he was very slender). Is high triglyceride levels an hereditary trait?


Trying to address your last question first, even if it is true that abnormal high triglycerides (the main components of the various fat fractions all together called blood lipids or blood fats), as well as the other fat constituents, are a hereditary trait, nevertheless the average levels you report are not such high. They are indeed one of the most important risk factor for lower limbs vascular disease and for stroke while cholesterol and its subfractions still are the strongest risk factors for ischemic heart disease. I do not know your eating habits even though I guess from your letter they should be quite healthy and therefore I assume smoke, alcohol and cheeses are both absent in your daily diet. Moreover, diabetes control can influence triglyceride levels: your HbA1c levels seem to speak against this hypothesis.

In cases where the lipid levels are quite raised, specific drugs can be effective in lowering your triglyceride levels.

Last but not least, in reference to your concern about your hypo unawareness, triglycerides don't impair hypoglycemia awareness whilst they could be chronically raised in case of frequent nocturnal pre and/ or frank hypoglycemia.

Speak to your diabetes team for more advice.


Additional comments from Dr. Lebinger:

Make sure your triglyceride level was measured fasting. Unlike cholesterol which isn't effected much by previous food intake, triglycerides are, and the fasting level is the most important level.


Original posting 11 Jan 1999
Posted to Other Medications


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:02
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