Complications Of High Cholesterol
Since high cholesterol alone typically doesnt cause any symptoms, people only experience complications when their high cholesterol contributes to the development of severe heart disease, often in the form of heart attack or stroke. Over the long term, high cholesterol can cause plaque to form in your arteries, which can then narrow and lead to a cardiovascular emergency.
Why The Test Is Performed
Triglycerides are usually measured together with other blood fats. Often it is done to help determine your risk of developing heart disease. A high triglyceride level may lead to atherosclerosis, which increases your risk for heart attack and stroke.
A very high triglyceride level may also cause swelling of your pancreas .
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What Causes Levels To Fluctuate
Triglyceride levels fluctuate naturally in response to many factors, including calorie intake and time of day. Eating a meal can cause an increase in triglycerides, which the body may store to use later when it needs energy.
These fluctuations are typically short-lived, but they are part of the reason why doctors may ask a person to fast before getting a lipid profile blood test.
Some health conditions may increase the risk of higher triglyceride levels. According to the
- hormone medications
- immunosuppressant drugs
Anyone who is uncertain about the side effects of their specific medication should speak with their doctor.
A person can use a few treatments to help lower their triglyceride levels.
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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
What Are Ldl And Hdl
LDL and HDL are two types of lipoproteins. They are a combination of fat and protein. The lipids need to be attached to the proteins so they can move through the blood. LDL and HDL have different purposes:
- LDL stands for low-density lipoproteins. It is sometimes called the “bad” cholesterol because a high LDL level leads to a buildup of cholesterol in your arteries.
- HDL stands for high-density lipoproteins. It is sometimes called the “good” cholesterol because it carries cholesterol from other parts of your body back to your liver. Your liver then removes the cholesterol from your body.
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Note On Existing Studies
More research is needed to fully understand whether very high HDL levels increase the risk of death.
The authors of a 2019 study suggest that genetic mutations linked to very high HDL levels, impaired HDL function at high levels, and potential bias in research due to flaws in study design may contribute to the potential link found in some studies.
What Is A High Triglyceride Level
High triglycerides can be dangerous to your health. Unfortunately, high triglycerides, like high cholesterol, rarely causes symptoms. Its vital to get routine lipid blood tests to check cholesterol numbers.
Your healthcare provider determines total cholesterol by looking at a combination of triglycerides, HDL and LDL numbers. If your triglycerides and LDL cholesterol are high, but your HDL is low, you have an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
For the most accurate reading, you should fast 8 to 12 hours before a lipid blood test. A healthy number for triglycerides is below 150 milligrams per deciliter .
Your healthcare provider classifies high triglyceride levels as:
- Mild: 150-199 mg/dL.
- Severe: Greater than 500 mg/dL.
What Can Affect My Ldl Level
Things that can affect your LDL level include:
- Diet. Saturated fat and cholesterol in the food you eat make your blood cholesterol level rise
- Weight. Being overweight tends to raise your LDL level, lower your HDL level, and increase your total cholesterol level
- Physical Activity. A lack of physical activity can lead to weight gain, which can raise your LDL level
- Smoking.Cigarette smoking lowers your HDL cholesterol. Since HDL helps to remove LDL from your arteries, if you have less HDL, that can contribute to you having a higher LDL level.
- Age and Sex. As women and men get older, their cholesterol levels rise. Before the age of menopause, women have lower total cholesterol levels than men of the same age. After the age of menopause, women’s LDL levels tend to rise.
- Genetics. Your genes partly determine how much cholesterol your body makes. High cholesterol can run in families. For example, familial hypercholesterolemia is an inherited form of high blood cholesterol.
- Medicines. Certain medicines, including steroids, some blood pressure medicines, and HIV/AIDS medicines, can raise your LDL level.
- Other medical conditions. Diseases such as chronic kidney disease, diabetes, and HIV/AIDS can cause a higher LDL level.
- Race. Certain races may have an increased risk of high blood cholesterol. For example, African Americans typically have higher HDL and LDL cholesterol levels than whites.
How Often Should I Get A Cholesterol Test
When and how often you should get a cholesterol test depends on your age, risk factors, and family history. The general recommendations are:
For people who are age 19 or younger::
- The first test should be between ages 9 to 11
- Children should have the test again every 5 years
- Some children may have this test starting at age 2 if there is a family history of high blood cholesterol, heart attack, or stroke
For people who are age 20 or older::
- Younger adults should have the test every 5 years
- Men ages 45 to 65 and women ages 55 to 65 should have it every 1 to 2 years
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High Ldl Hdl Ratio And Low Triglycerides Can Be Caused By Many Reasons
If your LDL HDL ratio is in between 0.5 Ratio and 3 Ratio and your Triglycerides is in between 0 mg/dL and 150 mg/dL then you need not worry as these are the normal ranges for LDL HDL ratio and Triglycerides respectively. But if your levels are lesser or greater than the above values, then there may be some problem in your body.
Low Levels Are Usually Protective
It is well known that high triglycerides are dangerous, but little is known about the influence of low levels on health. Studies suggest that in healthy people, low triglyceride levels are beneficial. Low triglycerides are also good for people with diabetes and might also be protective against heart attacks .
One study even suggests that the lower a persons triglycerides are, the less likely they will be to die from any cause. In this study, almost 14k people were followed for 24 years. The scientist found that levels below 89 mg/dL thats almost twice lower than the borderline-normal value of 150 mg/dL were associated with a 41% lower risk of dying than high levels
So can your levels ever be too low to do any harm?
We still dont have any definitive answers, but we can look for some clues.
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How The Ldl Hdl Ratio And Triglycerides Tests Are Done :
If your doctor wants LDL HDL ratio and Triglycerides tests on you, you may need to go through these tests. During the LDL HDL ratio and Triglycerides blood tests, a pathologist will put a needle into your veins and take out a small quantity of blood. A pathologist is a physician in the medical field who thoroughly studies the causes and effects of disease. Within a few hours you will get your LDL HDL ratio and Triglycerides Test reports by your pathologist.
Understanding Cholesterol: Hdl Ldl And Triglycerides
There are two types of grocery shoppersthose who race in with a list in hand and meticulously grab every item on the list before checking out and leaving, and those who meander up and down every aisle, not sure what they want until they see it on the shelf.
But within those two types, theres another shopper you may have seenthe label-reader. This person is health-conscious and examines the nutrition labels of food items before placing them in the cart.
One of the most important categories to check for on a food label is cholesterol.
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance found in your blood. Your body needs some cholesterol, but too much can build up on the walls of your arteries and can lead to heart disease and stroke. Checking your risk for heart disease and stroke is as simple as getting a lipidpanel, which tests your blood cholesterol.
There are four important things checked in a lipid panel:
- Total cholesterol
- Low-density lipoproteins
HDL is known as the good cholesterol because it helps remove cholesterol by carrying it back to the liver where it can be eliminated from the body. Its good to have a high HDL number. LDL is known as the bad cholesterol because having too much LDL may cause a buildup of plaque in your blood vessels. Triglycerides are also a type of fat found in your blood. High triglycerides, low HDL, and/or high LDL numbers can increase your risk for heart attack and stroke.
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My Cholesterol Is Normal But My Triglycerides Are High: Why Is That
So both your HDL and LDL levels are where they should be, but your triglycerides are still high why is that?
Triglycerides become elevated due to excess calories that do not get burned off, and in turned get stored in fat cells. Statins are medications that primarily lower LDL cholesterol, but depending on the medication dose, can lower Triglycerides from 20 to 40 percent, Sai Hanumanthu MD, with the TriHealth Heart Institute explains.
There are steps you can take to lower your triglyceride levels while promoting good cardiovascular health, including:
- Losing 5 to 10 pounds if overweight
- Avoiding alcohol
- Avoiding foods high in saturated fats
- Limiting simple carbs that have high processed sugars .
- Participating in 30 minutes of exercise per day
All these suggestions and routine follow up with a medical professional will lower you triglyceride level, even despite a low total cholesterol, Dr. Hanumanthu says.
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How Can I Lower My Ldl Level
There are two main ways to lower your LDL cholesterol:
- Therapeutic lifestyle changes . TLC includes three parts:
- Heart-healthy eating. A heart-healthy eating plan limits the amount of saturated and trans fats that you eat. Examples of eating plans that can lower your cholesterol include the Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes diet and the DASH eating plan.
- Weight Management. If you are overweight, losing weight can help lower your LDL cholesterol.
- Physical Activity. Everyone should get regular physical activity .
- Drug Treatment. If lifestyle changes alone do not lower your cholesterol enough, you may also need to take medicines. There are several types of cholesterol-lowering drugs available, including statins. The medicines work in different ways and can have different side effects. Talk to your health care provider about which one is right for you. While you are taking medicines to lower your cholesterol, you still should continue with the lifestyle changes.
Some people with familial hypercholesterolemia may receive a treatment called lipoprotein apheresis. This treatment uses a filtering machine to remove LDL cholesterol from the blood. Then the machine returns the rest of the blood back to the person.
NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
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Lipid Profiles And What They Mean
Lipid profiles include Triglyceride, HDL, LDL, mid-band, and very-low-density lipoprotein . The values from them are used to stratify cardiovascular risk.
The latest European Society of Cardiology and European Atherosclerosis Society guidelinesrecommended LDL-C as the primary lipid analysis followed by Triglyceride and HDL.
Non- HDL-Cholesterol or non-HDL-C is total cholesterol minus the HDL. Non-HDL-C is used to estimate the total amount of atherogenic lipoproteins in plasma. The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence recommends non-HDL-C as a better risk indicator than LDL-C.
The featured study aims to know if using information from the lipid profile may be a better predictor of small dense LDL.
The Pros And Cons Of Total Cholesterol Hdl Ldl And Triglyceride Testing
Time to get your cholesterol checked. Okay, but which test should you get? Its not so simple anymore. Here is a rundown of some of the choices and their pros and cons:
Total cholesterol. This is the simplest and least expensive test. The test doesnt require any sophisticated lab work, either. The simple, do-it-yourself home cholesterol tests measure total cholesterol.
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- Research health conditions
- Prepare for a doctors visit or test
- Find the best treatments and procedures for you
- Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
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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 .
Dangers Of Low Triglycerides
Low triglyceride levels are generally not dangerous. In fact, research supports the idea that low triglyceride levels can offer certain health benefits.
In one 2014 study, researchers found that lower non-fasting triglyceride levels were associated with a reduction in all-cause mortality in almost 14,000 study participants.
Another smaller 2017 study found that low triglyceride levels were linked to improved brain function in older adults without dementia.
However, incredibly low triglyceride levels may be linked to other conditions, as mentioned above. Some of these conditions in and of themselves may be dangerous, so it becomes important to treat the underlying condition thats causing low triglycerides.
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Why Is Tg/hdl Important
TG/HDL is important because it is an important predictor of risk for heart disease. It is also a marker of insulin resistance, and insulin resistance is the major cause of prediabetes, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes.
The Womens Ischemia Syndrome Evaluation study studied 544 women referred for CV disease evaluation . The TG/HDL ranged from 0.3 to 18.4. It was a powerful predictor of all mortality and cardiovascular events.
This chart shows the WISE study range of TG/HDL. Individuals with lower TG/HDL had lower CV disease risk.
Prevention Of High Cholesterol
Regularly monitoring your cholesterol levels can also help prevent your numbers from getting too high or low. In general, healthy adults should check their cholesterol every four to six years, but your doctor may ask to check your cholesterol more often depending on your age, overall health, and other risk factors. There are other ways to prevent high cholesterol, too
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How Can A High Ldl Level Raise My Risk Of Coronary Artery Disease And Other Diseases
If you have a high LDL level, this means that you have too much LDL cholesterol in your blood. This extra LDL, along with other substances, forms plaque. The plaque builds up in your arteries this is a condition called atherosclerosis.
Coronary artery disease happens when the plaque buildup is in the arteries of your heart. It causes the arteries to become hardened and narrowed, which slows down or blocks the blood flow to your heart. Since your blood carries oxygen to your heart, this means that your heart may not be able to get enough oxygen. This can cause angina , or if the blood flow is completely blocked, a heart attack.
Normal Range Of Ldl Hdl Ratio : 05
Ideal values of LDL HDL ratio depending on age :
|Ideal LDL HDL ratio value
|< 5 years
|> 100 years
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The American Heart Association Recommends
All adults age 20 or older should have their cholesterol checked every four to six years. If certain factors put you at high risk, or if you already have heart disease, your doctor may ask you to check it more often. Work with your doctor to determine your risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke and create a plan to reduce your risk.