Controlling High Triglycerides: Medical Treatment
People with heart disease and high triglycerides may need medication to bring down their levels.
- Fibrates can lower triglycerides. They modestly improve cholesterol levels, too.
- Fish oilwith omega-3 fatty acids can help keep triglycerides under control. Ask your doctor whether you should use prescription fish oil. Omega-3 acids from plant sources like flaxseed may help.
- Niacin can lower triglycerides by up to 50%. It’s available as a non-prescription supplement and as a prescription drug.
Remember that to stay healthy and keep your triglycerides down, you still have to focus on improving your lifestyle.
When you talk to your doctor, discuss all of the medicines, supplements, and vitamins you take. Some common drugs — like beta-blockers, birth control pills, and diuretics — can cause high triglycerides as a side effect. It’s possible that one of them could be causing your problem.
Inflammation And Autoimmune Diseases
Changes in your body that result from certain diseases can also have an effect on your triglyceride levels. Your body may produce triglycerides to decrease inflammation and ward off infection. However, this can lead to an overabundance of triglycerides in your body.
These types of autoimmune conditions include:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Low Triglycerides But High Ldl
Triglycerides and low-density lipoproteins are both found in your bloodstream. Along with high-density lipoproteins, these particles make up your cholesterol profile. According to the American Heart Association, high levels of triglycerides and LDL cholesterol are associated with an increased risk of coronary diseases. Optimally, triglyceride levels should be below 150 mg/dl, and LDL should be below 100 mg/dl.
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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).
Can High Cholesterol Be Prevented Or Avoided
Making healthy food choices and exercising are two ways to reduce your risk of developing high cholesterol.
Eat fewer foods with saturated fats . Choose healthier fats. This includes lean meats, avocados, nuts, and low-fat dairy items. Avoid foods that contain trans fat . Look for foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These foods include salmon, herring, walnuts, and almonds. Some egg brands contain omega-3.
Exercise can be simple. Go for a walk. Take a yoga class. Ride your bike to work. You could even participate in a team sport. Aim to get 30 minutes of activity every day.
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Dos And Donts In Managing High Triglycerides:
- DO exercise regularly.
- DO eat more fruits and vegetables and high-fiber foods such as oat bran. Cook with monounsaturated fatsolive, peanut, and canola oils.
- DO stop smoking.
- DO lose weight by changing your diet and doing aerobic exercise, such as walking, jogging, bicycling, or swimming. Exercise at least 30 minutes daily.
- DONT forget to treat other medical conditions such as diabetes and underactive thyroid.
- DONT drink more than two alcoholic drinks per day.
- DONT change your diet or medicines without your doctors approval.
Good And Bad Cholesterol
You will often hear doctors and dietitians talk about two different types of cholesterol low-density lipoprotein cholesterol , and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol . This way of talking about cholesterol is a convenient shorthand, but strictly speaking, it is not really correct.
Strictly speaking, as any good chemist will tell you, cholesterol is just cholesterol. One molecule of cholesterol is pretty much the same as another. So why do doctors talk about good and bad cholesterol?
The answer has to do with lipoproteins.
Lipoproteins. Cholesterol are lipids, and therefore do not dissolve in a water medium like blood. In order for lipids to be transported in the bloodstream without clumping together, they need to be packaged into small particles called lipoproteins. Lipoproteins are soluble in blood, and allow cholesterol and triglycerides to be moved with ease through the bloodstream.
The behavior of the various lipoproteins is determined by the specific kinds of proteins that appear on their surface. Lipoprotein metabolism is quite complex, and scientists are still working out all the details. However, most doctors concern themselves with two major types of lipoproteins: LDL and HDL.
LDL Cholesterol Bad Cholesterol. In most people, the majority of the cholesterol in the blood is packaged in LDL particles. LDL cholesterol is often called bad cholesterol.
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What Do The Results Of A Lipid Panel Mean
Blood test reports, including lipid panel blood test reports, usually provide the following information:
- The name of the blood test or what was measured in your blood.
- The number or measurement of your blood test result.
- The normal measurement range for that test.
- Information that indicates if your result is normal or abnormal or high or low.
Why Are High Triglycerides Bad
Very high levels of triglycerides are associated with liver and pancreas problems.
But studies show conflicting results on the role of high triglycerides and the risk of heart disease. Not all experts agree that triglycerides play a significant role in heart problems.
High triglycerides tend to show up along with other problems, like high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, high levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol, and low levels of “good” HDL cholesterol. So itâs hard to know for sure which problems are caused by high triglycerides alone.
For instance, some people have a genetic condition that seems to cause high triglyceride levels. But they donât have an increased risk of heart disease. Still, there is some evidence that high triglycerides, on their own, increase the risk of disease. Other studies show that high triglycerides may only play a minor role when other heart disease risks are taken into account.
With ongoing studies, scientists hope to find out whether drugs that lower triglycerides also reduce the risks of heart disease.
Overall, it’s important to remember that improving diet and lifestyle will lower triglycerides and lower the overall risk of heart and blood vessel problems.
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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:
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.
Living With High Cholesterol
If you have high cholesterol, you are twice as likely to develop heart disease. That is why it is important to have your cholesterol levels checked, especially if you have a family history of heart disease. Reducing your LDL bad cholesterol through good diet, exercise, and medicine can make a positive impact on your overall health.
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Triglycerides In Your Blood
In addition to cholesterol, your blood also contains a type of fat called triglycerides, which are stored in your bodys fat deposits. Hormones release triglycerides to make energy between meals.
When you eat, your body converts any extra energy it doesnt need right away into triglycerides.Like cholesterol, your body needs triglycerides to work properly. However, there is evidence to suggest that some people with high triglycerides are at increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
If you regularly eat more energy than you need, you may have high triglycerides.
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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What Should I Expect During My Lipid Panel Blood Test
You can expect to experience the following during a blood test, or blood draw:
- Youll sit in a chair, and a healthcare provider will check your arms for an easily accessible vein. This is usually in the inner part of your arm on the other side of your elbow.
- Once theyve located a vein, theyll clean and disinfect the area.
- Theyll then insert a small needle into your vein to take a blood sample. This may feel like a small pinch.
- After they insert the needle, a small amount of blood will collect in a test tube.
- Once they have enough blood to test, theyll remove the needle and hold a cotton ball or gauze on the site to stop the bleeding.
- Theyll place a bandage over the site, and youll be finished.
The entire procedure usually takes less than five minutes.
Causes Of High Triglycerides
A study that looked at 5.6k people who participated in a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that about one-third of US adults had high triglyceride levels .
A similar study of 5.6k people found that only about 2% of adults experienced extremely high levels , the leading cause of pancreas inflammation in the US .
High triglyceride levels can be caused by lifestyle and dietary factors, genetics, and other diseases .
On a mechanistic level, triglycerides will rise too much if :
- Your liver is producing too much triglyceride-dense VLDL cholesterol
- Your diet is excessive and unhealthy
- You have low lipoprotein lipase activity, which is the enzyme that breaks down triglycerides
All the potential causes outlined below affect one or more of these conditions.
Causes listed below are commonly associated with high triglycerides. Work with your doctor or another health care professional to get an accurate diagnosis.
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Beyond Statins: Managing High Cholesterol And Triglycerides
High cholesterol is an extremely common problem, affecting as many as 93 million people over age 20 in the United States , according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . But because high cholesterol has no symptoms and can only be detected with a blood test, many people may not realize they have it.
High cholesterol and its close cousin high triglycerides another type of fat, or lipid, in your blood can increase your risk for heart disease and stroke, which is a problem because theyre leading causes of death in the U.S., according to the American Heart Association .
Everyone really needs to pay attention, because if they dont have high cholesterol, they probably know someone who does, says Partha Nandi, MD, host of the Dr. Nandi Show and chief health editor of WXYZ-TV ABC Detroit. Whats key is that you have to get your cholesterol checked.
What Are High And Normal Triglyceride Levels
A lipid panel is done to test the blood for levels of triglycerides total cholesterol LDL cholesterol and HDL cholesterol. This test will require you to fast for about 8 to 12 hours before taking it. The normal and high ranges of triglycerides between the different age groups are:
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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.
How Are Fats And Cholesterol Connected In Cats
Fats, including cholesterol, are carried in the blood in complex compounds that also contain protein: so-called lipoproteins.
These include triglycerides, cholesterol and phospholipid linked to apopproteins, which are manufactured in cells of the liver and intestines. Apolipoproteins are synthesized in the liver or in intestinal cells.
There are four major lipoprotein classes in cats, as follows:
Chylomicrons and Very low density lipoproteins carry triglycerides in the blood
Low density lipoproteins and High density lipoproteins carry cholesterol in the blood. In cats, HDL outnumbers LDL by 5:1, while in humans, LDL is the main carrier of cholesterol.
Many humans are aware of these abbreviations from their own blood test results, but its important to remember that the significance of abnormal levels is very different in humans compared to cats.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Hypertriglyceridemia
Hypertriglyceridemia is usually asymptomatic until triglycerides are greater than 1000-2000 mg/dL. Signs and symptoms may include the following:
GI: Pain in the mid-epigastric, chest, or back regions nausea, vomiting
Alexopoulos AS, Qamar A, Hutchins K, Crowley MJ, Batch BC, Guyton JR. Triglycerides: Emerging Targets in Diabetes Care? Review of Moderate Hypertriglyceridemia in Diabetes. Curr Diab Rep. 2019 Feb 26. 19 :13. . .
Wu CW, Lin PY, Liu YF, Liu TC, Lin MW, Chen WM, et al. Central corneal mosaic opacities in Schnyder’s crystalline dystrophy. Ophthalmology. 2005 Apr. 112:650-3. .
FREDRICKSON DS, LEES RS. A SYSTEM FOR PHENOTYPING HYPERLIPOPROTEINEMIA. Circulation. 1965 Mar. 31:321-7. .
Mahley RW, Rall SC Jr. Type III hyperlipoproteinemia : the role of apolipoprotein E in normal and abnormal metabolism. Scriver CR, Beaudet AR, Sly WS, Valle D, eds. The Metabolic and Molecular Bases of Inherited Disease. 8th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill 2001. 2835-62.
Kane JP. Structure and function of the plasma lipoproteins and their receptors. Fuster V, Ross R, Topol EJ, eds. Atherosclerosis and Coronary Artery Disease. Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott-Raven 89-103. 1996: .
Mahley RW, Huang Y, Rall SC Jr. Pathogenesis of type III hyperlipoproteinemia . Questions, quandaries, and paradoxes. J Lipid Res. 1999 Nov. 40:1933-49. .
Feussner G, Piesch S, Dobmeyer J, Fischer C. Genetics of type III hyperlipoproteinemia. Genet Epidemiol. 1997. 14:283-97. .
What Is The Best Drink To Lower Triglycerides
Best drinks to improve cholesterol
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Monitor Your Triglyceride Levels With Everlywell
High-calorie diets, unhealthy lifestyles, and certain medical conditions can often lead to elevated triglyceride levels. However, managing your cholesterol and triglyceride levels is crucial to maintaining your overall health.
Thatâs why regularly testing your lipid levels is so important. Detecting elevated triglyceride levels allows you to begin making changes to prevent severe health risks.
But life gets hectic, and sometimes even important things like visiting your healthcare provider can fall by the wayside. Fortunately, thereâs a simple way to stay on top of your health from the comfort of your home.
Welcome to Everlywell.
Weâre making it easier than ever to get a handle on your health and gain crucial insight into your lipid and triglyceride levels. The at-home Cholesterol & Lipids Test from Everlywell measures your triglyceride levels, in addition to three types of cholesterol lipids to give you a clear picture of your wellness needs.
Each test kit contains everything you need to safely and effectively measure your lipid levels, including lancets for collecting a blood sample and a prepaid address label for sending your sample to the lab for testing.
Whether your healthcare provider has expressed concerns about your triglyceride levels or you’re simply curious to find out where yours stand, the Everlywell at-home Cholesterol Test & Lipids Test can give you the insight you’re looking for.
Do Bananas Help Lower Triglycerides
The researchers also say that people with high triglycerides should focus on eating more vegetables fruits that are lower in fructose such as cantaloupe, grapefruit, strawberries, bananas, peaches high-fiber whole grains and especially omega-3 fatty acids, which are found primarily in fatty fish such as salmon, …
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