Lowering Cholesterol Drugs and Blood Sugar

by Varun

QUESTION: Dr. Alba,


It is common knowledge that doctors need to protect you heart in case of elevated blood sugar levels and hence give you medicines for cholesterol also if the same is high.

However, can you amplify whether there is any relation between the two? That is, if you reduce your cholesterol level does it translate to reduction in blood sugar levels?

Regards
Varun


ANSWER: Hi Varun,

The problem you are raising is quite complicated. This is because sometimes, doctors do not really know when the high blood sugar problems occur.

Furthermore, it is not well determined whether these problems have appeared before the high cholesterol problems are set.

In addition, keep in mind that when you are first diagnosed with diabetes, that is not the exact time of diagnosis.

You have been experiencing high blood glucose problems since many years back (around 10 to 15 years).

Therefore, that is enough time for the lipid disorders to appear. In other words, this time is enough to elevate blood cholesterol or triglycerides.

As a consequence, diabetes is often associated with hypercholesterolemia or hypertriglyceridemia.

  • Now, if you are wondering the exact mechanism, I could only say as following:

    Persistent high blood sugar leads to cholesterol synthesis in general. Particularly, glucose (the simplest type of sugar) is able to bind to the lipoproteins forming glucose-coated LDL cholesterol.

    The problem here is related to the long-time staying of glucose-coated LDL in the bloodstream, which can also be attached easily to the arteries.

    In addition, it may lead to the formation of the plaque and causing further damages to the blood vessels.

    Keep in mind that lipoprotein is a kind of protein that enables the transport of cholesterol in the bloodstream as it cannot be dissolved in the blood

    In general, the lowering cholesterol drugs aim to lower the high LDL levels, therefore reducing the risk for other damages (like heart disease, stroke or even death).

    You are asking whether these drugs can lower blood sugar also? The problem is that there are few cases in which the use of statins have been associated with high blood sugar.

    Although these are rare cases, FDA has ordered the physicians to look at the pamphlet (information letter of the drug) when it is written about this side effect.

    So, as you may see, we are stacked here. Physicians prescribe, let's say, statins to lower blood cholesterol in a non-diabetic patient. At the end of the day, this patient "starts" to be a diabetic.

    On the other hand, if statins are given to diabetics, "they say it is safe". I say it makes the things worst.

    So, depending on the particulars of the patients, one should not use such drugs as long as their condition is completely managed by natural means.

    When a person gives up and is weak in following such natural means, then, I go straight to drugs warning them for the side effects.

    The rest depends on you! All the best!

    Dr.Alba


    COMMENTS



    Submitted by: Bonny Damocles

    Dr. Alba's Comments on Cholesterol and BS

    COMMENT: Bravo, Dr. Alba!!!

    You truly are a very smart and wise doctor.

    I am looking forward to seeing more of your sharp answers to questions from diabetics, especially from type 2 diabetics like me.

    Thank you very much.

    Bonny Damocles


    COMMENT-REPLY: Hi Bonny,

    I am very glad to hear that such suggestions are helping diabetics like you.

    I want also to remind to you that they are only general suggestions, and cannot substitute your doctor's advice as I do lack your particular medical data.

    At the end, I would welcome every suggestions, questions or comments of yours begging pardon for our "non-native" English.

    Thank you again for following us!

    Dr.Alba


    Lowering Cholesterol Drugs and Blood Sugar

    Submitted by: Bonny Damocles

    Dr. Alba,

    Let's not worry about our "non-native" English. The point is we are doing our best to communicate with others as clearly and as well as we can. It is now up to the readers/questioners to ask for clarifications for everything that they find needing clarifications.

    Please keep up the excellent work you have been doing.

    Regards,

    Bonny Damocles

  • Click here to post comments or follow up

    Ask the Doctor now? Simply click here to return to Type 2 diabetes information.

    Explore More...