You know you must lower your level of cholesterol, but are you aware that if you take statin it can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes? According to a recent study which involved more than 9000 people in the age group of 60, the increased use of statin meant increase in risk of diabetes by as much as 40%. Using Statin was also closely associated with increased level of blood sugar and resistance to insulin. The risk is quite higher in obese and overweight people.
Considering the risk associated with increased blood sugar, diabetes and insulin resistance, the study highlights different problems involved with the use of statin. The condition can be well managed with the help of functional medicine. With diabetes and increase blood sugar, the risk for various chronic health disorders also increase which include Alzheimer’s and dementia.
It is not the first study which has revealed the direct link between increasing risk of type 2 diabetes and statin. Previously, research has proved that there was a 50% increase in diabetes risk among the female users
The Most Prescribed Drugs
Statins are the most prescribed drugs, around $20 billion of spending in just a year. 1 in every 4 Americans, over the age of 40 years, takes statin. The number has increased more than 80% in the last few decades. There are many associated side effects which include dizziness, problems sleeping, headaches and muscle weakness along with wasting.
Statins Do not Treat the Cause of Cholesterol
Statins can lower cholesterol, but they do not treat the cause of high cholesterol in people. The problem is mainly inflammation. In many people, high cholesterol level is a genetic disorder. The body utilizes cholesterol to manage any kind of damage in the arteries which are caused. Research reveals that inflammation is one of the main reasons for strokes and heart attacks and not high cholesterol.
Facts About Heart Disease and Cholesterol:
75% of people who suffer a heart attack usually have normal cholesterol.
Older patients who have low levels of cholesterol have greater risk of death than those who suffer from high cholesterol.
People of different countries, with higher cholesterol levels than the Americans suffer from lesser heart diseases.
Hypothyroidism is one condition known to affect more than 20 million American. The condition is known to raise cholesterol level. A gluten free diet is considered to be quite effective since gluten is considered to be inflammatory for several people.
It is also seen that diets which include high carbohydrates, and which are low in fat, increase bad LDL and can decrease protective HDL levels.
Using Functional Medicine to Lower Cholesterol
Functional medicine is quite effective in naturally lowering cholesterol level. This is possible because functional medicine is able to identify and also manage the main problem with the use of drugs which block symptoms.
Management involves finding the main cause of inflammation, getting nutritional support, exercise and an anti-inflammatory diet. Problems can include viral or bacterial infections, autoimmune diseases, poor blood sugar, leaky gut and many other chronic health problems.
High cholesterol is often associated with a diet which contains processed sugars and carbohydrates but not fat. Refined carbs and sugar which include processed white foods are known to move good cholesterol down. They in turn move the triglycerides up. This causes an increase in low density tiny particles which are responsible for plaque build-up. This is one of the many reasons for heart disease and also insulin resistance or the condition of pre-diabetes. In fact, it is sugar and not dietary fat which is the main cause of heart attacks.
But, the kind of fat consumed does matter too. If hydrogenated fats or trans fat is consumed, it might lead to increase in cholesterol. If monounsaturated fat and omega-3 fats are consumed, it leads to healthy cholesterol.
How Cholesterol Players Are Measured:
Cholesterol can be found in each cell. It helps in production of hormones, vitamin D and cell membranes. It is important for neurological function as well.
As we measure cholesterol, we are considering HDL and LDL. These are small packs of fat and also protein which help in moving cholesterol through the body.
High-density lipoprotein — HDL
This is known to be “good” cholesterol as it plays a major role in removal of arterial plaque.
Low-density lipoprotein — LDL
This is known to be “bad” cholesterol. This can lead to plaque formation which narrows the arteries. They are also responsible for reducing the flexibility of the arteries (atherosclerosis).
This is a dangerous fat, which is closely linked with diabetes and heart disease. High levels of triglycerides need to be controlled. It arises due to excessive consumption of processed carbs and sugar. It is also linked with too much drinking, less physical activities, smoking and obesity.
Lipoprotein (a) or Lp (a)
Lp (a) is about LDL part and a protein (apoprotein a). High Lp (a) levels means a greater risk for heart disease.
The following needs attention when testing cholesterol:
- Levels of HDL or “good” cholesterol vs LDL or “bad” cholesterol
- Triglyceride levels
- The ratio of triglycerides to HDL
- The ratio of total cholesterol to HDL
Inflammation is the Cause of Heart Disease
Systemic inflammation is one of the main reasons for health disorders and heart diseases. A diet which is rich in processed carbs, sugar, excessive drinking, gut infections, chronic infections and sedentary lifestyle. People who have an elevated systemic inflammation, usually measured with the help of blood marker C-reactive protein (CRP) usually have a greater risk of heart diseases. Normal cholesterol is quite protective for those who suffer from high CRP.
When you address high cholesterol, you can avoid different risks and some unpleasant side effects associated with statins.