HDL and Cholesterol

Just got my blood work. A1c is unchanged…I have nearly starved myself as an attempt to get it down under 6. VERY disappointing. It is like I have a chain looped around 7.2 and starving myself isn’t going to change it. Doc has increased (doubled) insulin, so I guess I’ll see in October what affect it has. I’m ready to throw my hands up and just quit trying. On top of that my total cholesterol is 128 and HDL is 31. LDL is 62 and VLDL is 35 mg/dl. Can anyone tell me how to raise hdl over 55? Or even if I should worry about it?
I appologize for bothering you about this, but I really am very tired of striving without reward…

Danny, those sound like great cholesterol levels to me. You should be proud of yourself.

Normal VLDL cholesterol level is between 5 and 40 mg/dL.
Total cholesterol level should be 135 - 200 mg/dL.
LDL cholesterol ( bad cholesterol ) should be less than 130 mg/dL.
HDL cholesterol ( good cholesterol ) should be greater than 30 mg/dL.

How does your A1C compare to your meter readings? Did you see any difference in your BG numbers with your change in diet? My A1C is always higher than I think it should be compared to my meter readings and I try not to let it get me down.

Thanks, Libby. I am feeling frustrated with the effort to get all the numbers right. If I watch my 7 and 14 averages, my A1C sorta corresponsds fairly well. Doc did a blood profile today. Your commment helps me feel a little more satisfied with the results…maybe the effort did help, but A1C is unchanged. Too many days were breakfast, nothing for lunch, and cheese/crackers for supper. doc said I have very low levels of GaD antibodies, so may be a problem in a year or two, so may have to reclassify myself as LADA, but not now. Is it possible that if I can get A1c into the 5’s the HDL will increase? Doc also doubled insulin so maybe that will help everything improve. My doc is cautious sort of person. she likes starting low and increasing everything slowly until eventually she will get it all together, but takes months. I’m really not complaining. She’s taken excellent care of my health.
Hey, I’ve talked myself into a better mood.
anytime I can help please let me know, Libby

Hi Danny,
You sound so much like me back in the beginning. And your doc really is on track with making changes slowly. I know we really want those low A1C’s right away and really want excellent readings in everything right away. At least i did. But the simple truth is that our bodies actually have to take some time to show the changes in the good stuff you are doing. Something I would caution you about though is skipping meals. I know you think you are giving your body a break but for us diabetics it can change how our bodies react to things. Have your breakfasts. Have your lunch. And for dinner if you want cheese, that is fine, but you may add some vegetables and maybe a little fruit. As long as you spread your food throughout the day your body will function better. I seem to remember you are trying to lose a little weight. That is fine. Try to eat a balanced diet, watch your carb intake and keep on exercising. The weight will come off and as you eat all your meals, your body will respond better and better. You really are doing a great job. And your determination is absolutely excellent. I well understand frustration and disappointment when you don’t get the readings to say what you want exactly, but yours really aren’t bad. I am sending you a big hug and a great big pat on the back for all your effort. You make me feel better just knowing how hard you are working. Each of us takes a while to get where we want to be and I am absolutely positive you will be there where you want with the very next testing. Hang in there Danny, You ARE on target.

Well howdy, sandra. Thank you for the encouragement. maybe i obsess over problems, but the A1C and HDL are not what I expected, so i was disappointed and depressed. this is the first day of the new insulin regimen. My morning glucose was 133 and two hours after eating it is131, so I’m hopeful this will do the trick. Now, I am looking for something to increase my HDL.

I’m going to take your advice, Sandra. Not going to skip meals and keep it balanced.

My doc told me it is absolutely essential for people with diabetes to NOT skip meals, as it predisposes our livers to convert glycogen back into glucose and raise our blood glucose levels. As far as raising HDL, there are several things you can try to help: (1) lower consumption of trans-fats and interesterified fats; they have a tendency to lower HDL at the same time they raise LDL; (2) lower your consumption of saturated fats; (3) increase your consumption of omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish oil, flaxseed oil, hempseed oil, and borage; you can either consume the foods or the derivative supplements); (4) exercise (exercise increases HDL).

Hi Danny. I’d just echo a few things already said.

First, these are good numbers. I believe LDLs below 100 is good for a dibetic. You’re way under here. I think you want your HDL over 40, but you’re pretty darn close. Exercise is the only way I know to raise this further. Not sure what you’re current regiment is. I see tmana recommending omega 3s. I didn’t know they raised HDL. I thought they just lowered LDLs. Anyway, I take 3 of the fish oil extracts you can get from Costco every day. My last LDL was 81 (so you’ve got me beat) and my last HDL was 68 (okay, I got you there).

I don’t think starving yourself is the answer for your A1Cs. I think you need to simply watch your carb intake. You may also want to acquaint yourself with the concept of glycemic indexes, if you haven’t already. The South Beach Diet is famous for this stuff. If you’re not familiar, GIs are basically an indication of how fast the carbs are absorbed in you blood stream. The lower the GI, the slower the absorbtion and the more even your BGs stay, which should lower your A1Cs. Basically, steer toward meats and vegetables and limit sugars and starches.

Now that you’ve added insulin to your resources, you’ll want to get into carb counting, understanding your insulin needs per gram of carb, etc. I’m sure your local diabetes educator is helping you through that aspect.

Best of luck. Keep asking. We’re all here for you.

Thanks Mike. I am trying to get HDL above 55 and A1C below6%. I’ve decided diabetes is like have badly behaved children. If you focus on one problem the other children get into mischief, and I can’t seem to get them to behave. Lately, I’ve felt so frustrated with all this I considered throwing it all in the garbage and letting God sort it out. The kindness I’ve experienced on this site has been a terrific help to my mood and determination.

So far, the morning insulin seems to be doing the trick. I’ve had 35 carbs for brkfast and lunch and BS hasn’t gone above 138. I’m opptimistic my next a1c will be in the 6% range, so maybe I can find a way to raise HDL.


I am by NO MEANS a cholesterol expert, but here are a things that I heard along the way.

HDL (good cholesterol) can be increased by exercise and moderate consumption of red wine. I started walking to work etc, when I was told my HDL was low and that made a huge difference. So you don’t need to run marathons to increase it.

From this DiabetesPowerShow podcast, I learned that perhaps focusing on the ratio between bad and good cholesterol is more important than either of the numbers alone.

LDL divided by HDL should be less than 5

Some people have much lower numbers for both good and bad cholesterol and they should work to bring up the good cholesterol number-- it’s not enough to just not have high bas cholesterol.

By this theory, Danny you are doing great! Your ratio is TWO. But perhaps a little red wine and exercise might bring up the HDL :slight_smile:

Red Wine! yeah. I feel better a bout things today. Thanks kristin., but I’m still going to hunt for “a way” to raise HDL. BTW, excersize didn’t work too good in the spring. Of course, I was still adhereingto the ADA high carb diet, too.