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Nov 2023

All you need to know about High triglycerides

Posted By Suborna Fermi Posted on Nov 29, 2023

Triglycerides are the most common type of fat in your body. High triglycerides levels can increase your risk of developing certain health conditions, such as heart attack, stroke, liver disease and pancreatitis. Being diabetic and obese can raise your triglycerides levels. However, medications, diet and exercise can help lower triglycerides levels. Read on to find out more about the triglycerides.

What are triglycerides?

When you eat food, the extra calories and sugars that your body does not need are reformed into triglycerides and are reserved in the fat cells by the body. Hormones then release triglycerides as soon as your body requires energy. If you consume more carbohydrate foods and burn less then you might develop high levels of triglycerides.

High triglycerides levels are known as hypertriglyceridemia, which is considered a high risk factor for narrowing arteries. This can lead to heart attack, stroke, and peripheral arterial disease. High triglycerides levels can also cause inflammation to the pancreas (pancreatitis), and liver disease.

Are triglycerides and cholesterol different?

Triglycerides and cholesterol, both are a type of fatty substance which is called lipid. However, while triglycerides are a type of fat, cholesterol is not. Your liver produces cholesterol that is essential to build cell walls and to support the nervous system. It is also important for hormone production and digestion.

What are the symptoms of high triglycerides?

High triglycerides do not cause any symptoms, that is why it is essential to get tested with a lipid profile test or cholesterol test routinely to assess high triglyceride levels. You might be required to fast for 10 to 12 hours before the test.

What causes high triglycerides?

The most common causes of high triglycerides include:

  • Lack of physical exercise
  • Thyroid disease
  • Diabetes
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease
  • A diet high in carbohydrates, saturated fat, and sugar
  • A BMI greater than 25
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Smoking
  • Excessive alcohol consumption

There are also a number of factors that can raise triglycerides levels, such as:

  • A family history of high triglycerides and cholesterol
  • HIV
  • Pregnancy
  • Menopause
  • Inherited lipid disorder

How often should you check triglycerides levels?

As you age, your risk of high triglycerides increases. Adults over 20 years, need to get tested every four to six years. Men aged 45 or more need a cholesterol test every year. Women aged 55 or more also need an annual cholesterol test. However, your doctor may order the test more frequently if you have diabetes, or a family history of high cholesterol or other risk factors of heart disease.

How high triglycerides are treated?

Healthcare advisers generally suggest certain medications to lower high triglycerides. Cholesterol lowering drugs, such as statins are recommended to people at high risk of heart disease and attack.

Lifestyle modification is an ideal way to maintain the healthy range of triglycerides and cholesterol. Having a heart-healthy diet, cutting saturated fats from your diet, limiting alcohol, quitting smoking, getting enough sleep, doing exercise, and managing blood pressure and blood sugar level can help lowering high triglycerides.