Skip to Content

Type 1 Diabetes: Cholesterol Levels

Topic Overview

Cholesterol (or lipid) problems in people who have type 1 diabetes are usually related to the lack of insulin.

  • Lack of insulin increases the level of triglycerides. Normally, insulin makes a certain enzyme that removes triglycerides from the blood. When insulin is used to treat high blood sugar, the triglyceride level goes back to normal.
  • Lack of insulin can lower the level of "good" cholesterol (HDL, or high density lipoprotein). When insulin is given and well controlled, HDL numbers typically go back to normal.

This does not apply to people who have nephropathy, because after the kidney starts losing even small amounts of protein, cholesterol problems begin to develop.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
David C.W. Lau, MD, PhD, FRCPC - Endocrinology
Last Revised July 16, 2013

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2014 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

Section Links

Health Library