Diabetes & Cholesterol: Should You Take Statins? The ADA Says…

packet of statins

Should people with diabetes be taking cholesterol-lowering drugs? Apparently yes, according to the new guidelines from the American Diabetes Association. The reason being that heart disease is the number-one killer for diabetics.

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So, how exactly does cholesterol fit into the equation? Well, statins – drugs that lower your cholesterol – prevent plaque buildup in the arteries and therefore lower your risk for developing heart disease.

Despite their benefits, not everyone with diabetes is required to take statins; however, if you’re under 40 or older than 75 and you have other medical conditions that could jeopardize your life, you should stick with a low dosage. For those between the ages 40 and 75, a higher dosage is recommended.

RELATED: Understanding Cholesterol: The “Good” & The “Bad”

If you have diabetes and you’re not already taking a statin, you might want to consider talking to your doctor about the possibility of adding one to your routine.

It’s important to point out that just like any other medication, statins have their share of side effects, including nausea, diarrhea, liver damage, muscle problems, neurological problems, and increased blood sugar, which can worsen your diabetes or put you at a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

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Although experts maintain that the pros outweigh the cons, be sure to talk to your doctor about any concerns you might have.