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From Denver, Colorado, USA:

What is hypolipidemia?


Is it possible that you made a phonetic error and meant hyperlipidemia? It sounds much the same and is especially related to Type 2 diabetes.

Strictly speaking, the term hypolipidemia means abnormally low levels of fat and cholesterol in the blood. It may refer to one of two rare inherited disorders of the proteins which transport lipids.

In abetalipoproteinemia and in famililial hypobetalipoproteinemia, the cholesterol level is below 65 mg/dl and triglyceride levels are also abnormally low. Clinically, there is fat malabsorption, an unsteady gait, and changes in the retina and in the red blood cells.

Tangier disease, or hypoalphalipoproteinemia, is characterised by orange cholesterol ester deposits in the tonsils, by corneal opacities and by peripheral neuritis, and cholesterol levels can be as low as 30mg/dl.

More commonly, hypolipidemia can be seen in various forms of liver disease, in hepatitis, in cancer, and in severe malnutrition. Except in the case of severe malnutrition, there is no relation of these states to Type 1 diabetes.

Hope this gives you a glimpse of a rather complex field.


Original posting 18 Dec 96


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