Diabetes + High Triglycerides = High Risk for Heart Disease

heart disease research studies

Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce insulin, a hormone the body needs to get glucose from the bloodstream into the cells of the body. Glucose is a simple sugar used for energy which is created by the body—specifically the pancreas—by breaking down the sugars and starches that are consumed.

Triglycerides are a type of fat (lipid) in the blood that is used for energy in between meals, created from extra calories. If more calories are consumed than are burned on  regular basis, an excess of triglycerides may be stored, causing hypertriglyceridemia (high triglycerides).

According to the Mayo Clinic, high triglycerides are often a symptom of obesity and metabolic syndrome and a sign of poorly controlled type 2 diabetes, hypothyroidism, liver or kidney disease, or rare genetic conditions. They can also be a side effect of taking beta blockers, birth control pills, diuretics, or steroids.

Having high triglycerides does not cause diabetes. However, having them increases the likelihood of developing diabetes. And both diabetes and high triglycerides increase the risk of heart disease which can lead to heart attack or stroke, so having both compound that risk.

While diabetes has several warning signs and symptoms, high triglycerides usually do not. That’s why it’s important to have them checked as part of a cholesterol test or lipid panel blood test that requires fasting. Per the Mayo Clinic results are categorized as follows:

• Normal—< 150 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL)
• Borderline High—150 to 199 mg/dL
• High—200 to 499 mg/dL
• Very High—500 mg/dL or greater

A healthy lifestyle can help reduce high triglycerides and manage diabetes, including maintaining a healthy weight and diet, regular exercise, reducing alcohol intake, and quitting smoking. Several medications are also available for lowering triglycerides, including fibric acid derivative medications and nicotinic acid, which also have an effect on cholesterol.

If diagnosed, both diabetes and high triglycerides can be managed and complications can be minimized. However, more than 7 million of those with diabetes are not yet diagnosed. And WebMD.com estimates that more than one third of adults in the U.S. have high triglycerides, and many do not know it.

Research is critical to improving the lives of diabetics, lowering triglyceride levels, and reducing heart disease. Meridien Research has medical research studies that are enrolling now at several of our clinics. For more information or to see if you or someone you know may qualify to participate, please contact us today at 1-888-777-8839 or visit our individual study pages.