Triglycerides and Nerve Damage in Diabetics
There may be good news for diabetics. Doctors can predict which diabetic patients may come down with the nerve condition called neuropathy by measuring their triglycerides, according to new research. Diabetics with elevated triglycerides are much more likely to suffer from the condition, which can cause tingling, pain and numbness in the hands, arms, feet and legs, according to a study from the University of Michigan and Wayne State University. Diabetic neuropathy affects about 60 percent of the 23 million people in the U.S. who have diabetes.
When researchers looked at the data from more than 427 people who had diabetes as well as neuropathy, they found that those with elevated levels of triglycerides were much more likely to have a worsening of symptoms over the course of a year. Other factors--like a higher blood glucose or higher levels of other fats in the blood--did not appear to be significant. The research appeared online in the journal Diabetes.
"In our study, elevated serum triglycerides were the most accurate at predicting nerve fiber loss, compared to all other measures," says Kelli A. Sullivan, Ph.D., co-first author of the study, according to NewsRx Health & Science.
Getting those triglyceride levels down may help patients avoid the disorder. "Aggressive treatment can be very beneficial to patients in terms of their neuropathy," said Eva L. Feldman, MD, senior author of the study, according to NewsRx Health and Science.
There's another reason to work on lowering your triglycerides: high numbers put you at risk for cardiovascular disease.
"Lowering your triglycerides can be beneficial to your overall health," says Kelly A. O'Connor, registered dietitian and diabetes educator at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore.
How to Lower Your Levels
- Decrease the amount of fat in your diet.
- Use "good" fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) and avoid saturated fats. This means skipping the butter and using an oil such as olive, canola, peanut or sunflower instead. Walnuts and almonds are a good source of monounsaturated fat, but enjoy them in small amounts as they are high in calories.
- Avoid fast food restaurants and fried foods, O'Connor recommends, and cut down on commercial baked goods since they may contain trans fats.
- Keep your fat intake to between 30 and 40 grams per day, she says, and be sure to exercise regularly.
Sign Up for Free Newsletters
Ask Your Doctor the RIGHT Questions!
the most from your doctor visit.
Emailed right to you!
The Ask Your Doctor email series
may contain sponsored content.
18+, US residents only please.
Explore Original Articles About...
Get the MOST from QualityHealth
- Top Searches
- 1. Arthritis Management: Nature Heals
- 2. 5 Digestive To-Dos
- 3. Men: Should You Shave It or Leave It?
- 4. Today's Top Fitness Trends
- 5. Sugar and Osteoarthritis : The Link
- 6. Can't Afford Your Hospital Bills?
- 7. Stay Energized All Day Long
- 8. Phobias: Who Has Them and Why?
- 9. What If Your EpiPen Fails?
- 10. 5 Costly Medical Billing Mistakes
- 1. Hotter Temperatures Linked To Kidney Stones
- 2. Summer Bug Bites: What to Look For
- 3. Skin Health Advice with Dr. Kenneth Beer
- 4. Summer Safety Tips That Every Parent Needs To Know
- 5. Sugar and Your Immunity System
- 6. Do Weight Loss Supplements Work?
- 7. 5 Super Foods for Spring
- 8. The Hazards of Reusable Bags
- 9. How to Avoid Ingrown Hairs
- 10. Health Tip: Constantly Change Shoes
- 1. 4 Common Treatments for Epilepsy
- 2. What Does a Urogynecologist Do?
- 3. GERD Without Heartburn? It's Possible
- 4. Graston Technique: Can It Work on You?
- 5. Music Therapy Can Help Autism
- 6. 8 Ways to Fight MS-Related Fatigue
- 7. Can You Still Bleed After Menopause?
- 8. Be Your Own Health Care Advocate
- 9. Why Is Syphillis on the Rise?
- 10. Ideal Weight vs. Happy Weight
The material on the QualityHealth Web site is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment provided by a physician or other qualified health provider. See additional information.