What Are Normal Triglyceride Levels
Normal fasting blood triglyceride levels are:
- Lower than 150 mg/dL for adults
- Lower than 90 mg/dL for children ages 10 to 19
Your doctor may diagnose you with high blood triglycerides if your fasting blood triglyceride levels are consistently 150 milligrams per deciliter or higher.
Talk to your doctor about what your numbers mean for you.
High Triglycerides: Getting Help
When it comes to cholesterol and triglycerides, perhaps the most important thing is to get regular screenings.
See your doctor and get checked out. If your triglycerides are high, you and your doctor can decide on a treatment plan — and you can make a few simple but effective changes to your lifestyle.
Some Less Common Conditions
We have two kidneys, and they’re responsible for cleaning our blood by filtering out waste products which are then removed from the body as urine.
Chronic Kidney Disease . This is the name for a gradual decline in kidney function. People with CKD often have abnormal blood fats raised LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, and lower HDL cholesterol. Heart and blood vessel diseases are common in people with CKD so statins and other cholesterol-lowering treatments are recommended if you have CKD.
Nephrotic syndrome. This happens when our kidneys become leaky. It results in protein leaking into the urine. People with nephrotic syndrome often have raised levels of cholesterol and triglycerides too.
The liver is a very important organ. It is where cholesterol and triglycerides are processed, made or broken down. Bile, a breakdown product of cholesterol, is made in the liver, stored in the gall bladder and released into the gut when we eat a meal. Its role is to help break down fat from food into small drops which can then be easily digested.
Sometimes the production of bile or its release into the gut can become blocked, for example, if gall stones develop from crystallised cholesterol. Symptoms include pain, especially after a fatty meal. The medical name for this is cholestasis, where bile is unable to flow from the liver, and it can cause blood cholesterol levels in the blood to rise.
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What Can Raise Your Triglycerides
Triglycerides can be raised due to what doctors refer to as ‘primary’ and ‘secondary’ causes, explained below. Some people have a combination of both.
It is very important that your doctors investigates all these potential causes so that you can start treatment.
Primary causes of raised triglycerides
‘Primary’ refers to inherited conditions which cause raised triglyceride levels.
Diets High In Calories Carbs And Fats
Triglyceride levels increase with a positive energy-intake balance . In other words, when you eat more than your body needs, the surplus is transformed into fat, including triglycerides. Its easier to overeat when your diet is high in calories and contains lots of carbs and saturated fats .
Low-fat, high-carbohydrate diets are among the most common causes of high triglycerides. But wait we said that high-fat diets are bad, so doesnt that mean a low-fat diet should be beneficial? Not quite .
Saturated, unhealthy fats are bad. But your body needs healthy fats such as those found in olive oil and fish oil to keep your triglyceride levels normal and to maintain your overall health. If you dont get enough dietary fats, your body will revert to transforming the sugars you consume into fats .
This goes against the popular but unfounded belief that your body wont store fat as long as you dont eat fats. In truth, high-carbohydrate diets can be much worse than high-fat diets for your triglyceride levels. Many scientists advocate that high-carb, low-fat diets likely also contributed to the obesity epidemic in America over the past few decades .
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Why Should I Lower My Cholesterol
Evidence strongly indicates that high cholesterol can increase the risk of:
- narrowing of the arteries
- transient ischaemic attack often known as a “mini stroke”
- peripheral arterial disease
This is because cholesterol can build up in the artery wall, restricting the blood flow to your heart, brain and the rest of your body. It also increases the risk of a blood clot developing somewhere in your body.
Your risk of developing coronary heart disease also rises as your blood’s cholesterol level increases. This can cause pain in your chest or arm during stress or physical activity .
What Exactly Are Triglycerides
Triglycerides are lipids or fats. They are, in part, what helps you sustain energy throughout the day. Your body makes triglycerides from unused calories, stores them, and releases them from fat cells into the blood when they are needed. They may also freely circulate in the bloodstream when introduced.
|Triglycerides Level Chart|
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What Is The Difference Between Good Cholesterol And Bad Cholesterol
Good cholesterol is known as high-density lipoprotein . It removes cholesterol from the bloodstream. Low-density lipoprotein is the bad cholesterol.
If your total cholesterol level is high because of a high LDL level, you may be at higher risk of heart disease or stroke. But, if your total cholesterol level is high only because of a high HDL level, youre probably not at higher risk.
Triglycerides are another type of fat in your blood. When you eat more calories than your body can use, it turns the extra calories into triglycerides.
Changing your lifestyle can improve your cholesterol levels, lower LDL and triglycerides, and raise HDL.
Your ideal cholesterol level will depend on your risk for heart disease.
- Total cholesterol level less than 200 is best, but it depends on your HDL and LDL levels.
- LDL cholesterol levels less than 130 is best, but this depends on your risk for heart disease.
- HDL cholesterol levels 60 or higher reduces your risk for heart disease.
- Triglycerides less than 150 milligrams per deciliter is best.
Atherosclerosis And Cardiovascular Disease
Despite being called good cholesterol, research suggests that very high levels of HDL may increase your risk of mortality.
In a 2017 Danish study , researchers analyzed the rate of mortality in groups of 52,268 European men and 64,240 women over an average of 6.4 years.
The researchers found the lowest mortality rates at HDL levels of 73 mg/dL in men and 93 mg/dL in women. Mortality rates increased significantly with HDL levels above 97 mg/dL in men and 135 mg/dL in women.
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Should My Child Have A Blood Lipid Test
A lipid screening is a test to look at the levels of the fats in the blood. In the past, doctors felt that children and teens were not at risk for high cholesterol levels. But we now know that children and teens are at risk. This is due to things such as:
Being inactive from too much screen time and not enough exercise
High-fat or high-sugar diets
Family history of high cholesterol levels
Children and teens with high cholesterol are at higher risk for heart disease as adults. Keeping blood cholesterol levels in the normal range reduces this risk.
How Are High Triglycerides Found
A blood test called a lipid panel measures triglycerides and cholesterol. You should have this test after fasting for at least 12 hours.
Adults should get this screening test every five years or sooner. If you have diabetes, a family history of high triglycerides, or other risk factors, you may need screening more often, according to the National Cholesterol Education Program Guidelines 13).
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What Are The Risk Factors For High Cholesterol
A number of factors can increase your chances of developing high cholesterol. Common risk factors include:
- having kidney or liver disease
- having a family history of familial hypercholesterolemia
It is possible to minimize some of these risks, such as by stopping smoking or maintaining a moderate weight. However, it is not possible to avoid some of these risk factors, such as getting older or having a family history of inherited high cholesterol.
Talk with your doctor about your individual risk factors and steps you can take to manage the factors that are in your control.
Rare Causes Of High Triglycerides
Certain medical conditions and states can cause high triglyceride levels, but they are not as common a trigger as some of the better-known causes. These include:
Familial hypertriglyceridemia: A rare genetic disorder that causes high triglyceride levels that exceed 1,000 mg/dL. As the name suggests, this condition runs in families with members having abnormal levels of high-density lipoprotein , low-density lipoprotein , and triglycerides.
Pregnancy: Triglyceride levels rise in expectant mothers and tend to peak during the third trimester. However, after giving birth, most women experience a return to normal levels.
Liver disease: The liver plays an important role in processing fats. If it becomes compromised in some way, such as in the case of fatty liver disease, overproduction and accumulation of fat in liver cells can occur. This leads to excessive amounts of inflammation and even death if no treatment is implemented. Proper liver function can be disrupted by alcoholism, malnutrition, pregnancy, poisoning, diabetes, hypothyroidism, kidney disease, and lupus.
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When To Seek Treatment
Deciding on whether you ought to be treated for high cholesterol or high triglyceride levels, whether that treatment ought to include drug therapy, and which drugs ought to be used is not always entirely straightforward. Still, if your cardiovascular risk is elevated, the right treatment aimed at your lipid levels can substantially reduce your chances of having a heart attack, or even of dying prematurely. So when it comes to treating cholesterol and triglycerides, it is important to get it right. You can read about current thinking on when and how treatment for blood lipids should be chosen.
Skip The Cakes And Pastries
Baked goods may taste good, but they are loaded with sugar and saturated fat that can make triglyceride levels climb. Bake goods and pastries may also contain dangerous trans fats. These types of fats should be avoided in all amounts. Read nutrition labels before you indulge in baked goods. If you strive for weight loss, to reduce high cholesterol, and to modify other factors for cardiovascular disease, limit your consumption of baked goods. Eat high-fiber, whole grain foods instead of baked goods. Just be mindful to stay within the carbohydrate intake limit your doctor has established for you to reach your triglyceride goals.
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High Total Cholesterol Normal Ldl High Hdl Normal Triglycerides
In this case, the high total cholesterol is less troublesome since its largely due to elevated HDL . The fact that HDL is high and LDL is normal also makes for a favorable HDL:LDL ratio. Although, extremely high levels of HDL cholesterol can be due to genetics. Generally, HDL levels shouldnt exceed 116 mg/dL for men and 135 mg/dL for women.2
How To Lower Your High Triglycerides Levels
Now that you know what causes high triglycerides, you are probably wondering how to go about lowering them. Making healthy lifestyle changes are the main course of action. There are several things you can do:
Medications and Supplements
Sometimes changes in lifestyle are not enough to lower your triglyceride levels. If that is the case, your physician may put you on medication or supplements. There are several types that might help:
- High doses of fish oil supplements containing omega-3 fatty acids
- Statins like Zocor or Lipitor, which are designed to balance good and bad cholesterol levels
- Fibrate medications such as Lopid, TriCor or Fenoglide, but should not be taken with statins
- Niacin or nicotinic acid, but caution should be used because of potential negative interactions with other medications.
Make sure you follow your doctor’s orders carefully. Several of the medications and supplements on the market can lower triglycerides.
Note: Even if your doctor prescribes you supplements or medications to thwart what causes high triglycerides, you should still make healthy lifestyle choices and changes as it has been shown that if you do not make healthy lifestyle changes, your chances of stroke or heart attack will not necessarily decrease. Exercise and good diet are your best bet to deterring causes of high triglycerides and achieving faster and better results.
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How Can You Lower Your High Triglycerides
You can make diet and lifestyle changes to help lower your levels.
- Lose weight and stay at a healthy weight.
- Limit fats and sugars in your diet.
- Be more active.
- Quit smoking.
- Limit alcohol.
You also may need medicine to help lower your triglycerides. But your doctor likely will ask you to try diet and lifestyle changes first.
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Causes Of High Cholesterol
Elevated LDL cholesterol levels can be caused by several factors, including heredity conditions such as familial hypercholesterolemia. More commonly, elevated cholesterol levels are related to poor diet, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, age, smoking, and gender .
Several medical conditions, including diabetes, hypothyroidism, liver disease, and chronic kidney failure can also increase cholesterol levels. Some drugs, especially steroids and progesterone, can do the same.
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How To Lower Cholesterol
If you have high cholesterol, your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes, medications or both.
Here are some ways to manage your cholesterol.
Eat heart-healthy food
What you eat can make a big difference to your cholesterol levels.
Cut back on foods high in saturated fats like:
- oily fish.
Drink less alcohol
Drinking too much alcohol can increase your LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. So drinking less is a good way to lower your cholesterol.
The Ministry of Health recommends no more than 10 standard drinks per week for women and no more than 15 for men. One standard drink is equal to:
- a standard can of 4% beer
- a small glass of wine
- a small single shot of spirits
If you have high cholesterol or you’ve been diagnosed with a heart condition, you may need to drink less than this.
Smoking makes your LDL cholesterol stickier and reduces the amount of HDL cholesterol in your blood. It also damages the artery walls. This increases the build-up of plaque in your arteries and can cause risk of heart attack and stroke.
Quitting smoking is a great way to lower your cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of heart disease.
Sitting less and being more active are great ways to reduce high cholesterol.
This doesnt mean you have to join a gym or take up running it just means you need to move your body more throughout the day. Ideally you should do 30 minutes of activity a day.
You could try:
Read more about the benefits of exercise.
Cholesterol And Healthy Eating
What we eat has an impact on our cholesterol levels and can help reduce our risk of disease. The Heart Foundation recommends following a heart-healthy eating pattern, which means eating a wide variety of fresh and unprocessed foods and limiting highly processed foods including take away, baked goods, chocolate, chips, lollies and sugary drinks. Not only does this help to maintain a healthy and interesting diet, but it provides essential nutrients to the body.
A heart-healthy eating pattern includes:
- plenty of vegetables, fruit and wholegrains
- a variety of healthy protein-rich foods , legumes , nuts and seeds. Smaller amounts of eggs and lean poultry can also be included in a heart-healthy eating pattern. If choosing red meat, make sure it is lean and limit to one to three times a week
- unflavoured milk, yoghurt and cheese. People with high cholesterol should choose reduced fat varieties
- healthy fats and oils. Choose nuts, seeds, avocados, olives and their oils for cooking
- herbs and spices to flavour foods, instead of adding salt.
This way of eating is also naturally high in fibre, which is good news, because a high intake of dietary fibre can also reduce levels of bad cholesterol in the blood.
Also, be mindful of how much you are eating. Portion sizes have increased over time and many of us are eating more than we need which can increase our cholesterol and risk of heart disease.
Serving size can vary depending on age, gender and specific nutrition needs.
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Normal Cholesterol High Triglycerides
Even though your latest physical may have shown that your cholesterol levels are normal, you may still be at risk for heart disease if your triglycerides level is high.
A 20-year study conducted by the University of Washington School of Public Health and Community Medicine found that a pattern of elevated levels of triglycerides, the main form of fats circulating in the bloodstream, even when cholesterol levels are normal, can mean a two- to three-fold increase of deaths by cardiovascular disease.
Blood triglycerides come from two main sources: the food you eat-especially sugar, animal products and saturated fats-and from your liver. Although its not exactly clear how, high triglyceride levels can result in hardening of the arteries or thickening of the artery walls , which can raise your risk for stroke, heart attack, and heart disease.
- Normal triglyceride levels are less than 150 milligrams per deciliter
- Borderline high is 150-199 mg/dl high is 200-499 mg/dl
- Very high 500 mg/dl. A triglyceride level of 150 mg/dl or above is considered a risk for metabolic syndrome-a constellation of conditions resulting from too much fat around the waist-which in addition to raising your risk for heart disease, it can also increase your risk for diabetes.
Treatment Options For High Triglycerides
Having high triglycerides can raise serious health concerns, so its important to boost HDL cholesterol and lower triglyceride levels. Here are some tips in order to lower triglycerides.
- Lose weight.
- Cut out sugar the American Heart Association recommends only five percent of your daily calories come from added sugar.
- Increase your fiber intake.
- Limit fructose fructose is a type of sugar that can contribute to high triglyceride levels.
- Eat a moderately low-fat diet a moderately low-fat diet has been shown to be more effective at lowering triglyceride levels, compared to a strict low-fat diet. The AHA recommends that 25 to 35 percent of your daily calories should come from fat.
- Be mindful of the fat you eat there are good fats and bad fats. Avoid saturated and trans fats, and consume more monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fat typically found in olive oil, for example.
- Increase your fish intake try salmon and sardines.
- Take triglyceride-lowering drugs if necessary and recommended by your doctor.
- Quit smoking.
- Control diabetes if you have it.
By following these tips and working close with your doctor, you can have much success in lowering your triglyceride levels and protecting your heart.
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