Patient Resources

Preventing Diabetes and Hyperlipidemia

Health issues related to managing sugar and fat levels in the body can be controlled with the help of a physician.

For many, that’s good news because mismanagement of the body’s sugar and fat levels can lead to a plethora of health issues including two common ailments among Americans, diabetes and
Hyperlipidemia.

Diabetes is a condition in which blood glucose levels are above normal. It can cause health complications that disrupt eye, foot, skin, heart and hearing functions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. The CDC estimates 29.1 million people or 9.3 percent of the American population have diabetes.

Hyperlipidemia is a condition in which there is an abundance of fats in the blood stream. This condition is commonly referred to as having high cholesterol or high triglyceride levels.

Both ailments tend to go hand-in-hand. Together, they can lead to other potentially life-threatening health conditions.

According to the CDC:

  • 71 million American adults have high LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol
  • Only 1 out of every 3 adults with high LDL cholesterol has the condition under control
  • Less than half of adults with high LDL cholesterol get treatment
  • People with high total cholesterol have approximately twice the risk of heart disease as people with optimal levels

Diabetes and hyperlipidemia can be prevented and/or managed with a physician’s guidance and your own determination and discipline to implement and maintain positive habits.

Avoiding diabetes, hyperlipidemia

  1. Increasing fresh fruits and vegetables and avoiding over-reliance on prepared or boxed foods is essential. Such processed foods can contain hidden sugars and salts which can contribute to excess calories and sodium intake and negatively affect your healthy diet efforts.
  2. Maintaining a healthy diet, one that is rich in fruits, vegetables, fiber and other healthy choices, and supported by increased physical fitness activities, is key.
  3. It is important to monitor and decrease your simple sugar and carbohydrate intake. Sharply limiting soda and other sugary drinks can greatly reduce caloric intake, in turn, positively impacting your healthy diet efforts.
  4. Weight control is another step to preventing or managing diabetes and hyperlipidemia. Excess fat directly leads to problems with blood sugar, leading to pre-diabetes and diabetes.
  5. That’s why exercise and physical activity is imperative. Physical activity has many health benefits, positively affecting mood and overall well-being, improving sleep and supporting heart and lung function.

Not sure how to get active? Start slowly. Gradually build up to a goal of 30-45 minutes of exercise most days of the week. Be creative in fitting in exercise into a daily routine, splitting up the time throughout the day if needed. Make physical activity a family event. It can provide support and help teach children the importance of physical activity and healthy habits.

With a few lifestyle changes, and the guidance of your physician, you can prevent and manage diabetes and hyperlipidemia and lead a more healthy life.

– Dr. Molly Kleiman, Bellin Health Ashwaubenon