The Link Between High Cholesterol, Hypertension and Diabetes

The Link Between High Cholesterol, Hypertension and Diabetes

by Bevon Findley (SU)

Strangely Related

Researchers have long known that there is a strong link between hypertension (high blood pressure), hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol), and adult onset (Type II) diabetes. The complex relationship between them is still being studied, but we do know that patients with all three tend to have difficulty managing them. Like a row of dominos, changing the status of one tends to have an impact on one or both of the others.

Cholesterol is a wax-like, fat-like substance found within the cells of your body. Some of your cholesterol comes from food, while your body also produces cholesterol. Your body uses cholesterol to function in many ways, not the least of which is making hormones, cellular membrane functions, creating the chemical compounds that help you digest food, and producing Vitamin D.

Because of its wax-like behavior, though, too much can gather in globules inside of blood vessels. As more and more layers are laid down, blood vessels become narrower and narrower. This buildup can actually block the flow of blood into the heart, brain, or other organs. This is one of the reasons that high cholesterol is associated with an elevated risk for cardiovascular disease.

Diabetes, on the other hand, is a disease in which the body either no longer responds to insulin (used to metabolize carbohydrates, among other things), or cannot produce enough. In some cases, the pancreas is damaged by an autoimmune response or an accident. In others, the pancreas “burns out,” and is unable to produce insulin at all, leading blood sugar levels to rise. High blood sugar levels can damage and weaken tissues and organs, as well as hardening of blood vessels. This hardening of the arteries is called atherosclerosis.

High blood pressure occurs when the pressure, or force, of your blood moving through your circulatory system puts pressure on blood vessels. This can weaken them and damage organs as well. If the levels become and stay too high, blood vessels may leak or rupture, or create blood clots.

The Perfect Storm Inside the Body

Picture a garden hose. If the hose becomes partially plugged or the tube is narrowed (like with cholesterol buildup), greater force is exerted when the water shoots out (high blood pressure). If you add a substance that is then weakening the hose (high blood sugar), you can easily see that it is very likely the hose will leak or completely rupture somewhere along the line. Of course this is a very simplified analogy, but it gives you an idea of what makes this particular triad very dangerous.

The good news is that nutrition and diet can play a role in helping you to manage these conditions. This is especially true when added to other lifestyle changes, such as regular exercise or quitting smoking. Your doctor can also advise you about certain medications, your treatment options, and other forms of expert medical care.

If you have questions about the complicated relationship between diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol or need help managing your health, please contact Dr. Dean Lombardo at Live Lean! You can reach Dr. Lombardo at (888) 383-9197. Dr. Dean Lombardo serves Ocala, FL and the surrounding area. To learn more about Dr. Lombardo’s seminars, click here.