Low Cholesterol

I have Type 2 and very low cholesterol (2.6). I've heard that Type 2 is usually associated with high cholesterol as part of Metabolic Syndrome. I'm confused by this test result. Can anyone explain it to me?

2.6 mmol/l is apparently around 47 mg/dl.

I'm sure, Megan, that there are some Type 2's with low cholesterol, though it isn't typical. But have you had testing to make sure that you are, in fact, Type 2 and not Type 1? Many of us diagnosed as adults were misdiagnosed.

2.6 mmol/L is about 100 mg/dl. That is not a normal level and suggests something abnormal and that you are at some health risk. During my statination days, when my doctors mistreated me with statins, my cholesterol plummeted to that level and I felt absolutely terrible.

How do you feel? I hope you aren't on a statin, that would be a huge mistake.

So, total side note question - 2.6 mmol/L is 47 mg/dL if its blood sugar but 100 mmol/L if its cholesterol. What gives? Shouldn’t unit conversion be constant regardless of what’s being measured?

Never ins, I figured it out. For anyone who cares, it comes from the difference in conversion from moles to milligrams. The composition of cholesterol is different from glucose, so the conversion factor is different.

I'm not on statins. I feel tired a lot, but nothing too terrible.

more than likely why you would feel terrible on a statin is b/c you developed the beginnings of rhabdomyolysis, not b/c you cholesterol was low. So long as your HDL is above 36 and you LDL is below 100, actually 80 for diabetics, you're good. No worries

A mole of a substance depends on the weight of the molecule the substance is made of. A mole of glucose weighs less than a mole of cholesterol, which explains the weight difference.

(To be more definitive, the mass of one mole of a substance, expressed in grams, is exactly equal to the substance's mean molecular mass).

(didn't notice you'de answered yourself below)


Is that a combined cholesterol reading? If so, it does sound very low. Combined readings include your LDL (bad), HDL (good) and Triglycerides. Under 5 total would normally considered good, but without knowing the breakdown it would be hard to say. 2.6 LDL only would not be considered low for a diabetic.

As has been pointed out; 2.6 mmol/L = 100 mg/dL

That's from the nice little charts here: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cholesterol-levels/CL00001

I stopped past my doctor's office and asked to see my file today. Here are my cholesterol readings:

Total: 2.6
Triglycerides: 0.6
HDL: 1.3
LDL: 1.0

Is that ok?

Your cholesterol is not at a normal level. You have a condition called Hypocholesterolemia. It could be caused by any number of things, but it is not normal and could place you at greater risk for things like depression, cancer, hemorrhagic stroke, aortic dissection and respiratory diseases. You are diagnosed with this condition when your total cholesterol is less than 4.1 mmol/L (160 mg/dl). Your total cholesterol is 2.6 mmol/L. I would really consider pressing your doctor to try to find out what is going on.

Let me translate those figures into US units

Total: 100
Trigs: 53
HDL: 50
LDL: 39

Your Total/HDL Ratio and Trigs are perfect. But I agree with Brian. Your HDL and LDL are very low. In fact far too low. Your body need cholesterol to repair itself.

Thanks guys. I didn't mention that these tests were carried out in September last year (around the time I was re-diagnosed with D). I vaguely remember missing a doc's appointment around the same time (we had an international guest speaker and there was a power failure so I spent the afternoon organizing a generator) but didn't think it was a problem.

I only realized the seriousness of the problem when I went to the doctor a few weeks ago and he remarked on my hypocholesterolemia. I thought that it might be due to my strict eating at the time (I was controlling my D by diet and lost quite a bit of weight) so I went to have a pinprick test done today to see if it had improved. The meter just read "Lo", so I guess I should make another doctor's appointment now....

Now this is interesting: apparently hypocholesterolemia can play a role in diabetes!

This is from the Livestrong website:

Cholesterol depletion can disrupt blood glucose control. For instance, a 2008 issue of "Endocrinology" reported that abnormally low cholesterol levels limit your body's ability to produce and secrete the pancreatic hormones insulin and glucagon. Insulin normally enables your cells to pick up glucose from the blood when blood sugar is high. Glucagon triggers the release of glucose in the blood when levels are low.

I thought you were type 1? Anyway, if your cholesterol is what is causing you diabetes, that would be good because maybe if you raise your cholesterol the diabetes will stop?

To make a long story short I was initially told T1 (DKA symptoms and high blood sugar after cortisone), then not diabetic (months later by an endo who ran lots of tests, and was for a couple of years), now apparently I'm T2 (by a doc who saw me once, others won't commit to a diagnosis). I consider myself "Diabetic Not Otherwise Specified".

I very much doubt the cholesterol is causing my diabetes, but I found it interesting because it had never occurred to me that insulin was dependant on cholesterol. Who'da thunk it?!?

In the documentary Statin Nation, it was mentioned that a very large study was conducted in Japan. It found that the people with the lowest cholesterol had a significantly higher incidence rate of cancer. Cholesterol is an important part of your immune system. Interfere with it at your own risk.

The Swiss have one of the highest cholesterol levels, yet their heart disease rate is amongst the lowest. Conversely the Australian Aborigines have an extremely high rate of heart disease and yet they have a very low cholesterol level.

Well I've just come back from the doctor. He told me not to worry about my cholesterol, that it was good and that it means I'm doing well. Quite a difference from the results of my Google search, but I guess I want to believe him! Either way I'm allowing myself to eat real butter again. :)

So I guess I can officially consider myself a "lean Type 2", without metabolic syndrome.