by Caroline Benitez
When it comes to managing type 2 diabetes, monitoring blood sugar is probably the first step that comes to mind, but there’s another number worth keeping an eye on – cholesterol. For many patients with diabetes, LDL cholesterol is more likely to be elevated. Chronically high levels of this “bad” kind of cholesterol can accumulate on blood vessel walls and can lead to problems like heart attacks or stroke over time. As a result, having diabetes can mean that a person is 2-4 times more likely to experience these cardiovascular diseases.
In addition to regular screening and treatment with medication, lifestyle changes are key to tackling high LDL cholesterol. At Lakeland Volunteers In Medicine (LVIM), our patients are connected to a team of providers dedicated to turning their health around, including access to in-house nutrition counseling and diabetes education. Thanks to a partnership with the YMCA of West Central Florida, free gym memberships are available to patients interested in getting active through exercise. Creative solutions like these bring results- as of July 2020, 58% of diabetic patients were able to bring their LDL cholesterol to less than 100mg/DL on their most recent lab test.
LVIM provides free, high-quality, out-patient medical, dental, and mental health care to the working uninsured of Polk County in a compassionate manner. Through 19 years of excellent leadership, LVIM has grown into a thriving and crucial organization for the Polk County community serving the health care needs of over 4,300 eligible patients each year and providing over $9 million in services in 2019 alone. At LVIM the treatment is free, the care is priceless!
“Cholesterol Abnormalities and Diabetes.” Www.heart.org, 2019, www.heart.org/en/health-topics/diabetes/why-diabetes-matters/cholesterol-abnormalities–diabetes.
Diabetes Care Jan 2003, 26 (suppl 1) s83-s86; DOI: 10.2337/diacare.26.2007.S83