Medications Can Lower Ldl And Triglycerides
To get cholesterol and triglycerides into the target zone, many people with diabetes need to add medications to their healthy eating and exercise plans. Reducing elevated LDL cholesterol is typically the top priority. To achieve the target goals, many people need to take a medication in the statin category.
The American Diabetes Association recommends that statin therapy be added for people who have:
- a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and whose LDL cholesterol doesn’t hit the target of 100 mg/dl or less with healthy lifestyle change.
- cardiovascular disease and who don’t reach the LDL cholesterol target of 70 mg/dl or less.
Statin medications are most effective at lowering LDL cholesterol. All medications should be prescribed and monitored by a health care provider.
Common statins include:
Other medications that lower both LDL cholesterol and triglycerides:
- Prescription-strength niacin
Other medications prescribed to lower LDL cholesterol:
- Bile acid sequestrants, such as Questran or Colestid
- Welchol , a bile acid sequestrant that can also lower blood glucose
Other medications prescribed to lower triglycerides:
- Prescription-strength fish-oil pills
Other medications to lower cholesterol and blood pressure:
Medications that have been found to increase triglycerides:
- Birth-control pills
- Tamoxifen, a breast cancer drug
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.
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 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.
How Are Triglycerides Different From Cholesterol
Triglycerides and cholesterol are both fatty substances called lipids. But triglycerides are fats cholesterol is not. Cholesterol is a waxy, odorless substance made by the liver. It is used to build cell walls, helps the nervous system and plays an important role in digestion and hormone production.
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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.
Why An Hdl Test Is Done
An HDL test is also known as an HDL-C test. Its one of several tests your doctor can use to check your cholesterol levels. This full set of tests is known as a complete cholesterol test, a lipid profile, or a lipid panel. Doctors routinely use this group of tests to determine the risk of developing heart disease.
The HDL test specifically looks at the level of HDL in your blood. An HDL test may also be ordered as a follow-up test if you have high results on your cholesterol-screening test.
The American Heart Association recommends that all adults age 20 or older have their cholesterol checked every four to six years. Your doctor may order an HDL test as part of a regular checkup.
Doctors may perform the test regularly for people who are at risk for heart disease, including those who:
- have diabetes
- have a family history of heart disease
- have high blood pressure
- are men over the age of 45
- are women over the age of 55
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How To Lower Triglycerides And Cholesterol Naturally
Your genes, diet, and lifestyle all affect your triglyceride and cholesterol levels. Some people naturally produce more triglycerides and cholesterol than others. This is based on their genetics and family history. Still, these levels are just part of your overall lipid levels, and lifestyle changes are one of the best ways to keep your numbers within a healthy range.
Do You Need Medication To Control High Cholesterol
Whether youll need to take medication to lower your cholesterol depends on your levels, as well as on your other risk factors for heart disease, including your sex, age, health history, and family medical history.
Until recently, doctors decided whether or not to treat high cholesterol based on these numbers, explains Holly Andersen, MD, an attending cardiologist at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill-Cornell Medical Center in New York City. Now, when it comes to deciding if youd benefit from taking medication to lower your cholesterol, your score is no longer a solo consideration, Dr. Andersen says. The change is a result of the November 2013 guideline on the assessment of cardiovascular risk issued jointly by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology. These recommendations advise doctors to consider a patients overall health for heart disease, not just cholesterol numbers.
Some of the factors used to measure your heart disease risk are:
- Your age, gender, and race
- Whether you smoke
- Blood pressure
- Whether you have diabetes
Your physician may plug your numbers and other factors into the ACC/AHA ASCVD Risk Estimator to determine your 10-year risk of heart disease or stroke. If you have the data, you can calculate the risk yourself using an online tool like this Heart Risk Calculator.
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Lipid Levels And Heart Health
Cholesterol and triglycerides are necessary for your body to function properly. However, if too many triglycerides or LDL particles are in the bloodstream, they can stick to the walls of arteries and clog them, causing a disease called atherosclerosis, a major risk factor for heart attack and stroke. HDL cholesterol helps “escort” LDL particles out of the bloodstream, so an increased level of HDL lowers your risk of coronary diseases.
Understanding The Highs And Lows Of Cholesterol
You know that too much is dangerous. But what is cholesterol, anyway? Where does it come from? And is it all bad?
Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is found in every cell in the body. Its either made by the body or absorbed from food. Your body needs cholesterol to make important steroid hormones such as estrogen, progesterone and vitamin D. Its also used to make bile acids in the liver these absorb fat during digestion.
So some cholesterol is necessary but bad cholesterol is something you can do without. Excess bad cholesterol in the bloodstream can deposit into the bodys arteries. These deposits are called plaques and result in atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. This is the major cause of heart attacks, strokes and other vascular problems.
Your total cholesterol level is a measure of the total amount of cholesterol circulating in your bloodstream, which includes several components:
- LDL cholesterol: LDL stands for low-density lipoprotein. This is known as the bad cholesterol, which directly contributes to plaque buildup in the arteries. Very low density lipoprotein, or VLDL cholesterol, is another type, which is a precursor to LDL.
- Total cholesterol is VLDL cholesterol plus LDL cholesterol plus HDL cholesterol.
- HDL cholesterol: HDL stands for high-density lipoprotein. Experts think at optimal levels it might help the body get rid of LDL cholesterol.
And guess what? This buildup can start as early as your 20s.
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The Effects Of Alcohol On Triglycerides And Ldl
Moderate alcohol intake can increase HDL cholesterol, and that’s a plus. It also might increase insulin sensitivity and cause other positive health responses. The recommendation for alcohol use is mild or moderate consumption. Using alcohol in moderation is considered one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men.
Note: The beneficial effects of alcohol are not great enough to endorse the use of alcohol if you do not already drink. Talk with your health care provider about the pluses and minuses of alcohol for you and your health.
Taking Medications To Lower Triglycerides
However, most medications and even supplements can come with significant side effects. Always ask your doctor before starting any new supplements or medications.
In addition to supplements, several studies show certain medications may reduce triglycerides. Recommendations to take medications focus on reducing the risk of pancreatitis as well as heart disease.
The evidence to support the idea that lowering triglycerides with medications can provide cardiac protection is mixed. Many isolated studies show no benefits, but a meta-analysis of multiple studies suggests minor benefits.42
Ask your doctor if any of these medications may be right for you:
Statins The most commonly prescribed class of cholesterol-lowering drugs has a mild triglyceride-lowering effect ranging from 10% reduction at low doses to 30% at higher doses.43
Fibrates Drugs such as gemfibrozil can lower triglycerides by 30-50%.44 These drugs should be used with caution when taken along with statins or warfarin due to drug interactions. Those with a history of gallstone disease should not take fibrates.
Although fibrates do lower triglycerides, it is not clear that they reduce cardiac events or the risk of death.
Prescription niacin Niacin can reduce triglycerides by up to 30%.45 Niacin may cause liver disease, and may worsen insulin resistance or blood sugar control in those with type 2 diabetes. Those with peptic ulcer disease should not take niacin.
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What Are Risk Factors For High Triglycerides
Factors that may raise triglyceride levels include:
- Excessive alcohol use.
- American Academy of Family Physicians. High Cholesterol. Accessed 11/182/2021.
- American Heart Association. Cholesterol. Accessed 11/18/2021.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Getting Your Cholesterol Checked. Accessed 11/18/2021.
- Hormone Health Network. Triglycerides. Accessed 11/18/2021.
- MedlinePlus. Triglycerides Test. Accessed 11/18/2021.
- Merck Manual Consumer Version. Overview of Cholesterol and Lipid Fats. Accessed 11/18/2021.
- National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. High Blood Triglycerides. Accessed 11/18/2021.
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What Do The Results Mean
Cholesterol is usually measured in milligrams of cholesterol per deciliter of blood. The information below will help you understand what your test results mean. In general, low LDL levels and high HDL cholesterol levels are good for heart health.
|Total Cholesterol Level|
|Less than 40 mg/dL||A major risk factor for heart disease|
The LDL listed on your results may say “calculated.” This means that your LDL level is an estimate based on your total cholesterol, HDL, and triglycerides. Your LDL level may also be measured “directly” from your blood sample. Either way, you want your LDL number to be low.
A healthy cholesterol level for you may depend on your age, family history, lifestyle, and other risk factors for heart disease, such as high triglyceride levels. Your provider can explain what’s right for you.
Learn more about laboratory tests, reference ranges, and understanding results.
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What Is Remnant Cholesterol
Weve talked about TG, HDL, and a bit about LDL. Theres another thing we ought to coverremnant cholesterol.
Remnant cholesterol is the most dangerous type of cholesterol particle. Its also called triglyceride-rich lipoproteins , which consists primarily of VLDL and IDL .
Image from the Cholesterol Code by Dave Feldman.
Remnant cholesterol is short-lived in the plasma of a healthy person. RC particles appear only briefly after a meal. They are then metabolized into other lipoproteins by the breakdown of triglycerides inside an RC particle. This breakdown is accomplished by lipoprotein lipase lining the luminal surface of capillaries.
RC is also higher in the serum of those with CV disease risk . It is calculated by subtracting LDL and HDL cholesterol levels from total cholesterol number .
Difference Between Ldl And Triglycerides
Low-density lipoprotein is a type of lipoprotein, which helps in the transportation of cholesterol in our body.
Triglyceride is a form of dietary fat synthesized in the liver as well as taken in with certain food types such as meat, dairy products, and cooking oils.
Elevated levels of both these substances in blood are known to be clinical measurements which give a hint towards hypercholesterolemia.
Eie-TRIGLYCERIDE via Commons Wikimedia
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Low Hdl High Triglycerides
Low HDL, High triglycerides is a common cholesterol disorder. However, many people stay focused on LDL cholesterol. Often, they have no clue why they have low HDL, high triglycerides and how to raise HDL cholesterol and lower triglycerides level.
There are three types of cholesterol you should know about:
1. HDL cholesterol, also known as the good cholesterol.
2. LDL cholesterol, also known as the bad cholesterol.
The cause may be a lack of an enzyme needed to help metabolize fat and get it out of the bloodstream. In some cases the problem appears along with another disorder such as hypothyroidism, pancreatitis, or diabetes. If a primary disease is identified and treated, the triglyceride levels should drop to normal.
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How To Reduce Triglycerides In The Body
- Consuming a balanced diet rich in fruits and leafy vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products and small portions of lean meat and fish
- Losing weight if overweight or obese
- Limiting sugary foods, modified carbohydrates, tobacco smoking, and alcohol
- Routine medical check-ups with lipid profile
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How To Lower Cholesterol And Triglycerides
Triglycerides are a type of lipid, or fat, your body produces to store extra calories and provide energy. Cholesterol is another lipid that circulates in your blood. Your body uses cholesterol to build cells and produce hormones.
Both triglycerides and cholesterol are essential for your health but having levels that are too high puts your health at risk. Living a healthy lifestyle helps to keep your cholesterol and triglyceride levels within a normal range.
Does Your Total Cholesterol Number Even Matter
As one of the most ordered lab tests, total cholesterol can provide a high level glance at how your body is handling lipids, or fats. According to the CDC, roughly nine percent of all doctors visits include a cholesterol test.1 So, how should you interpret your total cholesterol value? Is the whole greater than the sum of its parts?
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What Is Ldl Cholesterol
Low density lipoprotein is a type of lipoprotein, which helps in the transportation of cholesterol in our body. This is often referred to as a bad cholesterol type since it can get deposited on blood vessel walls as thick and dense plaques and attracts macrophages which will eventually obstruct the vessel lumen causing Atherosclerosis.
Increased LDL levels markedly increase the risk of coronary artery disease.
Every person who is suspected to have Hypercholesterolemia should get a lipid profile done once in every month, which will reveal a laboratory measurement of LDL cholesterol in the body.
Lowering Your Triglyceride Levels
Making some simple lifestyle changes can go a long way in helping bring down your triglyceride levels, including:
- Losing weight. Dropping just five to ten pounds can help lower your triglycerides.
- Avoiding sugary and refined foods. Stay away from simple carbohydrates, such as sugar and foods made with white flour.
- Eliminating trans and saturated fats. Trans fats are found in fried foods and commercial baked products like cookies and crackers and saturated fats are found in meats. Instead, choose healthier monounsaturated fats found in plants, such as olive, peanut and canola oils, and fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon and mackerel.
- Limiting alcohol consumption. Alcohol is high in calories and sugar and effects triglycerides. Even small amounts of alcohol can raise triglyceride levels.
- Maintaining regular exercise. Regular exercise can increase HDL cholesterol levels and lower LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity on most days of the week.
If making some lifestyle adjustments isnt enough to control your triglyceride levels, a medication may be necessary. Talk with your doctor to determine the best course of action for you to ensure a healthy heart.
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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.