Hyperlipidaemia is a complication of diabetes

Lipid metabolism disorders - clinical picture

  1. Nutrition tips
  2. Lipid metabolism disorders
  3. Clinical picture

Definition of "lipid metabolism disorders"

Numerous congenital and acquired diseases can lead to hyperlipidemia (high blood lipid levels). This collective term covers the various lipid metabolism disorders that are associated with an increase in blood lipid levels. The most common lipid metabolism disorders are:

  • Hypercholesterolemia = too high cholesterol in the blood
  • Hypertriglyceridemia = too many triglycerides in the blood
  • combined hyperlipidemia = Hypertriglyceridemia + hypercholesterolemia

Overview of blood lipid values ​​*

Total cholesterol< 200200-250> 250
LDL cholesterol< 150150-190> 190
HDL cholesterol> 4035-50< 35
Triglycerides< 150150-200> 200

* Figures in mg / 100ml blood

Causes of lipid metabolism disorders

There are numerous causes of a lipid metabolism disorder (hyperlipoproteinemia). If they are genetic, one speaks of primary hyperlipoproteinemia.

However, they can also be the result of another disease such as diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism or kidney failure. One then speaks of secondary hyperlipoproteinemia.

The most common cause of hyperlipoproteinemia, however, is a wrong lifestyle!

Overeating, poor nutrition, obesity, lack of physical activity, stress and much more are decisive factors that favor the development of a lipid metabolism disorder. There are also drugs (e.g. high blood pressure drugs, cortisone) that have an influence on lipid metabolism.

The most common causes of secondary hyperlipoproteinemia are:


Risk factor "increased blood lipids"

A high serum cholesterol concentration due to an increase in LDL cholesterol is an important risk factor in the development of the coronary artery disease and myocardial infarction.

In the patients, not only the cholesterol but also the triglycerides are often elevated. These combined lipid metabolism disorder is often found in overweight patients who are also suffering from high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes, and is an additional risk factor for cardiovascular diseases.

Other risk factors

In addition to an increased cholesterol level and / or increased blood lipid levels, other risk factors also play a decisive role in the development of cardiovascular diseases:

The most important are:

The fatal thing is that with every additional risk factor, the overall risk increases many times over!

The blood vessels become narrower ...

At first, elevated blood lipids do not cause any noticeable discomfort, but over time they damage the blood vessels. Deposits of cholesterol and other substances on the vessel walls slowly narrow the inner diameter of the blood vessels and the vessel walls become more rigid and porous. One speaks then of arteriosclerotically changed vessels.

The blood can then no longer flow unhindered through an arteriosclerotically changed vessel. This can lead to circulatory disorders and associated complications anywhere in the body.

Complications threaten

The main medical conditions that occur in people with hyperlipoproteinemia include:

Angina pectoris

Due to the calcification of the coronary arteries, the heart muscle gets into circulation problems. The so-called angina pectoris (tightness of the chest) develops. Such a heart attack is announced, for example, by a piercing pain in the left side of the chest that radiates into the left arm.

Heart attack

If the narrowing and calcification of one or more branches of the coronary arteries leads to a complete closure of the same, the dependent area of ​​the heart muscle dies due to the lack of blood supply. A life-threatening heart attack develops.


If the brain is cut off from the vital blood supply or if this is severely restricted by the vasoconstriction, the worst consequence can be a stroke. As a second mechanism, the rupture of blood vessels that have become porous can lead to hemorrhage in the brain. Depending on how many and which areas of the brain are affected, permanent symptoms of paralysis, speech disorders or death can result.

Circulatory disorders in the legs

The arteries in the legs can also be so narrowed by deposits that the supply of blood is disturbed. The associated lack of oxygen initially leads to muscle pain. In the further course it can lead to occlusive disease.


With your family doctor you can make a determination of the morning Fasting blood fat and cholesterol values have it carried out. Not only should total cholesterol be determined, but LDL and HDL cholesterol should also be assessed in a differentiated manner. If there is an increase in total cholesterol and / or LDL cholesterol, other possible causes for such a cholesterol increase should be ruled out.

Other diseases that increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases can be largely ruled out through further examinations such as blood pressure measurement, EKG and blood sugar measurements. Depending on the overall risk, the target value for total or LDL cholesterol is now set.

The evaluation of the blood lipid level and the assessment of the health risk should differentiated, depending on the overall risk. Other risk factors such as obesity, additional metabolic diseases, smoking, alcohol abuse, etc. should also be included.