Endocrinology (including Diabetes)/cholesterol


QUESTION: Hi dear Sheri,
On last October my Cholesterol was 179. But the result on 16 April 2013 is as follows:
Cholesterol  258
Triglycerides 151
HDL 48
LDL 189
As I do jogging (5 days a week)and avoid eating saturated fat, why my Cholesterol is so high? Do I need to take medicines for it?Please note that my Glucose is normal and my HbA1C is 8.9%. I am a non-smoking 67 years old man weight 75 kg and 173 cm height.
Thanks in advance for your advice.

 For starters, an HbA1C value of 8.9% is not normal at all, even if your fasting glucose is.  A diagnosis of diabetes is made when your A1C value reaches 6.5%.  So, having blood glucose levels that rise too high after meals (which has to be happening in your case since you said your fasting glucose is normal) can cause your levels of blood fats to rise and your total cholesterol and LDL levels.  

The first thing you need to do is get your blood glucose levels under control.  The exercise is good for you to keep doing, but you may also need to add in some resistance training and make some dietary changes.  Eating too many carbohydrates (that can raise your blood glucose) can also raise your blood fats and your cholesterol levels.  Try to cut back on refined/processed carb intake.  Are you familiar with the glycemic index (GI)?  Foods with a higher GI value cause blood glucose levels to spike after meals and are best avoided.  You can find the GI of foods at www.glycemicindex.com.  I also have a lot of tips for making lifestyle changes to manage blood glucose on my web site and blog at www.shericolberg.com.  You may need medications to help you manage it as well.  After you get your blood glucose under control, then see how your cholesterol levels are doing.  Sheri

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: thanks sheri. i'll definitely do according to your advice.
please tell me whether i should take medicine for reducing my cholesterol.

  If you can get your cholesterol back down under 200 mg/dl like it was six months ago by managing your blood glucose levels, then you probably wouldn't need any medication.  If you can't get it down, though, you should talk to your doctor about whether you need a medication to lower it.  Sheri

Endocrinology (including Diabetes)

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Sheri Colberg, PhD


I am an exercise physiologist with a PhD who specializes in diabetes--as such I CANNOT answer general questions about other endocrine problems as I am neither an expert in all areas of endocrinology nor am I a medical doctor. My expertise lies in answering questions about diabetes (of any type) and physical activity, so please limit your questions to those areas. I can help you if you want to begin exercise or if you're already a diabetic athlete, and I am prepared to respond to questions about physical activity to which even your diabetologist may not know the answer. I can give suggestions about changes in your diabetic medications that differing types and intensities of exercise may necessitate, but I will have to refer you to your regular health care team to get final approval to make such changes. I can also answer questions about physical fitness, exercise metabolism, prediabetes reversal, and prevention of type 2 diabetes and diabetic complications.


I have both personal and professional experience in the areas of diabetes and exercise/physical activity. On a personal level, I have had type 1 diabetes since 1968, and I have been an avid exerciser since I was a child. Professionally, I have been conducting clinical studies on diabetes and exercise since 1992, largely with funding from the American Diabetes Association. I am also the author of 8 books related to diabetes, exercise, and more: The Diabetic Athlete (2001), Diabetes-Free Kids (2005), The 7 Step Diabetes Fitness Plan (2006), 50 Secrets of the Longest Living People with Diabetes (2007), The Science of Staying Young (2007), Matt Hoover's Guide to Life, Love, and Losing Weight (2008), Diabetic Athlete's Handbook (2009), and Diabetes? No Problema! (2009).

I am a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine, a professional member of the American Diabetes Association (and professional volunteer for the ADA), and a former member of the Board of Directors of the Diabetes Exercise & Sports Association.

I have published research and review articles in the following journals and magazines: Diabetes Care, Diabetes, Journal of Diabetes & Its Complications, Diabetes Self-Management, Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, Journal of Applied Physiology, The Physician and Sportsmedicine, Journal of Clinical Investigation, International Journal of Obesity, FASEB Journal, The Diabetes Educator, Journal of Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance, Clinical Exercise Physiology, Clinical Diabetes Reviews, Insulin, ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal, Biomechanics, On the Cutting Edge, Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics, Microvascular Research, Drug Benefit Trends, ACSM Certified News, Diabetes Health, SportEX Health, Diabetes Focus, Diabetes In Control, dLife-For Your Diabetes Life, Pediatrics for Parents, and My TCOYD (Taking Control of Your Diabetes) Newsletter. I have also been interviewed in myriad other magazines, such as Men's Health, Men's Fitness, Diabetes Forecast, Countdown Magazine, Joe Weider's Muscle & Fitness, Health, Tidewater Parent, Barron's News, Diabetes New Day, and Newsweek International.

I have an undergraduate degree (1985) from Stanford University, a Master's degree in exercise physiology (1987) from the University of California, Davis, and a Ph.D. (1992) from the University of California, Berkeley, in the same field. I also spent two years in an NIH-funded postdoctoral research position in endocrinology (studying obesity, diabetes, metabolism, and exercise) at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine (1993-1994).

Awards and Honors
Fellow, American College of Sports Medicine (FACSM) - 1996 Old Dominion University Darden College of Education Young Investigator Grant Award 2003 Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, Old Dominion University Chapter 2004-Present Great Women of the 21st Century by the American Biographical Institute 2005 Edition Old Dominion University Darden College of Education Largest Research Grant Award 2006 Old Dominion University Darden College of Education Publications Award (for greatest number) 2006 Saint Louis University, The Max K. Horwitt Memorial Lecture Distinguished Lectureship Award 2008 Old Dominion University Darden College of Education Publications Award 2009 Old Dominion University Darden College of Research Grants Award 2009

Past/Present Clients
I have consulted for numerous groups, including Can-Am Care, Numera|Social, California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training(about candidates with diabetes), Animas Corporation (an insulin pump company), Therasense, Inc. (makers of the Freestyle blood glucose meters), Council of Healthcare Advisors, and the City of Chesapeake (Virginia) Health Department.

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