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What Does Triglyceride Level Mean

What Are Normal And High Triglyceride Levels

Triglycerides

The National Cholesterol Education Program sets guidelines for triglyceride levels:

  • Normal levels: Less than 150 milligrams per deciliter
  • Borderline high:150 to 199
  • High: 200 to 499
  • Very high: 500 or more

Elevated levels may lead to heart disease, especially in people with low levels of “good” cholesterol and high levels of “bad” cholesterol. The same is true if you have type 2 diabetes.

Experts once debated how important triglycerides are, but it now seems clear that higher levels are linked to problems such as heart disease.

One thing is clear, though: A good diet and exercise plan can lower triglyceride levels, improve cholesterol, and decrease the chance of heart disease.

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.

Low Levels May Be Associated With Worse Outcomes In Some Conditions

In one study, people with heart failure and lower levels were more likely to die from heart complications. The levels associated with risk were around 120 mg/dL on average, while levels of 130-149 mg/dL were considered protective .

Upon further analysis, the researchers concluded that only women with heart failure and low triglycerides may be at an increased risk of dying. According to them, low triglyceride levels may point to more advanced stages of heart failure .

In another study, people with lung scarring had triglycerides under 57 mg/dL, which was about 60% lower than the values of healthy controls .

Similarly, people with autoimmune disease had 50-70% reduced triglyceride levels compared to healthy people in a different study. Researchers suggested that low triglyceride levels might actually be a marker of autoimmunity and an overactive immune response .

Its important to note here that low triglycerides in all of these cases are not causing any of these conditions. They are the effect of these conditions. For example, in heart failure, low triglycerides may be due to liver damage due to diminished oxygen supply or increased levels of inflammation.

There is no proof that low triglyceride levels are harmful in and of themselves.

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What Is Considered Low Triglycerides

There isnt an official cutoff for low triglycerides. Most labs will consider any value below 150 mg/dL normal and values below 90 mg/dL as optimal.

If you are healthy and your values are lower than normal, you probably have nothing to worry about on the contrary.

But based on the studies above, in certain conditions, levels that are 50-70% lower than the average healthy persons might signal a more serious course of disease or higher levels of inflammation .

How To Lower Triglycerides Naturally

Do You Know Your Triglyceride Levels? Why Is It Important?

Triglycerides can be lowered without drugs. For example, they can be lowered naturally through diet changes, decreasing consumption of alcohol or sugary beverages, by increasing physical activity, by losing weight, and other ways. As little as 5% to 10% reduction in body weight may lower triglycerides. The table below summarizes how much benefit different changes can effect.

Also Check: What Is A Normal Cholesterol Level For A Diabetic

Why Do I Need This Test

You may need this test as part of a routine checkup. You may also need this test if you’re overweight, drink too much alcohol, rarely exercise, or have other conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes.

If you are on cholesterol-lowering medicines, you may have this test to see how well your treatment is working.

Normal Range Of Triglycerides Found Among Men : 0

Ideal values of Triglycerides depending on age :

Age
68.969

*Ideal values are calculated based on our database of patient records

If you want your blood test report to be interpreted by Triglycerides specialist, you can upload your report. Our Triglycerides expert will provide you with the most accurate interpretation of your blood test results and treatment within 12 hours. Upload blood test report now

Some examples of conditions that increase or decrease Triglycerides levels include:

  • Taking certain drugs such as corticosteroids
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Excessive alcohol use

If you want your blood test report to be interpreted by Triglycerides specialist, you can upload your report. Our Triglycerides expert will provide you with the most accurate interpretation of your blood test results and treatment within 12 hours. Upload blood test report now

Read Also: What Is Known As Good Cholesterol

Finding Out Your Triglycerides Levels

Triglycerides are measured with a simple blood test. Triglyceride levels should be measured when you have a cholesterol test as they can also contribute to your risk of developing heart disease, and other disease of the heart and blood vessels. The triglyceride test measures the triglycerides carried in chylomicrons and VLDL cholesterol. National guidelines in the UK no longer recommend a fasting blood test .

What should your triglyceride levels be?

HEART UK experts state that we should aim for a non-fasting triglyceride level below 2.3mmol/L.

If your doctor has asked you to fast for a test then your triglyceride level should be below 1.7mmol/L. This “fasting test” number is lower because only the triglycerides made by the liver and carried in the VLDL cholesterol will be measured not the triglycerides you get from food. As you have not eaten, there will be no chylomicrons present in your blood.

How Are Triglycerides Different From Cholesterol

Triglycerides and HDL

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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How Are High Triglycerides Treated

The best ways to lower triglycerides include losing weight, eating fewer calories, and exercising regularly . Diet changes that may help include avoiding fats and sugar and refined foods . Also avoid alcohol and limit fats found in meats high in saturated fat, egg yolks, and whole milk products. Trans fats, found in fried foods and commercial baked products, are unhealthy. Eat healthy monounsaturated fatsolive, peanut, and canola oils. Eat fish high in omega-3 fatty acids instead of red meat.

If diet changes and exercise dont work, medicines such as nicotinic acid , fibrates , and omega-3 fatty acids can help lower triglycerides. Niacin side effects limit its use. Cholesterol-lowering medications known as statins can also lower triglycerides, but their effect is limited.

Its also important to control diabetes since a high sugar level will also increase triglycerides.

What Are Triglycerides

When you eat, the extra calories, sugar, and alcohol that your body doesnt need right away are converted into triglycerides and stored in fat cells. When you need energy, hormones release triglycerides.

If you typically consume more high carbohydrate foods than you burn, you could have a high triglyceride level.

High triglyceride levels are considered a high-risk factor for narrowing of the arteries , which can lead to stroke, heart attack, and peripheral arterial disease . If your triglyceride levels are high, you could be at high risk for pancreatitis and liver disease.

Read Also: What Transports Cholesterol Throughout The Body

When To Get Tested

Screening: as part of a lipid profile during a regular medical exam at least once every four to six years for adults for children, at least once between the ages of 9 and 11 and again between the ages of 17 and 21

Monitoring: may be done more frequently if you have risk factors for heart disease and/or if you are being treated for unhealthy lipid levels

What Other Tests Might I Have Along With This Test

Updates on HDL and Triglycerides

Your healthcare provider may also order other tests to look at how well your heart is working. These tests may include:

  • Electrocardiogram, or ECG, which tests your heart’s electrical impulses to see if it is beating normally
  • Stress test, in which you may have to exercise while being monitored by ECG
  • Echocardiogram, which uses sound waves to make pictures of your heart
  • Cardiac catheterization. For this test, a healthcare provider puts a tube into your blood vessels and injects dye. X-rays are then done to look for clogs in the arteries of the heart

Your provider may also order tests for high blood pressure or blood sugar, or glucose.

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What Is This Test

This group of tests measures the amount of cholesterol and other fats in your blood.

Cholesterol and triglycerides are lipids, or fats. These fats are important for cell health, but they can be harmful when they build up in the blood. Sometimes they can lead to clogged, inflamed arteries, a condition call atherosclerosis. This may keep your heart from working normally if the arteries of your heart muscle are affected.

This panel of tests helps predict your risk for heart disease and stroke.

A lipid panel measures these fats:

  • Total cholesterol
  • High total cholesterol

If you are already being treated for heart disease, you may have this test to see whether treatment is working.

Health Effects Of High Triglycerides

High triglycerides may place you at increased risk for coronary heart disease, especially if you have high blood pressure or diabetes or you smoke. According to Harvard Health: “Research is now showing that high triglycerides are an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease, no matter what the HDL is.”

Elevated triglyceride levels are also strongly associated with a number of conditions that clearly do increase cardiovascular risk, such as diabetes, metabolic syndrome, elevated LDL levels, and obesity. This means that most people who have high triglycerides are at elevated risk for these conditions, too, and should take aggressive steps to reduce this risk.

In addition, very high triglyceride levels can produce pancreatitis, or inflammation of the pancreas, which can be a dangerous condition.

Recommended Reading: How To Lower High Cholesterol Naturally

When Should You See A Doctor

Because high triglyceride levels usually do not cause any symptoms, theyre typically spotted when a doctor orders a blood test that includes a lipid panel.

If you do not have high risk factors, including health conditions and some lifestyle factors, a doctor will order a lipid panel every few years to check cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

If your lipid panel results show above normal triglyceride levels, a doctor may suggest lifestyle changes focused on diet and exercise. If diet and exercise do not have the desired effect, they may recommend medication such as statins or fibrates.

What Are Very High Triglycerides

Triglycerides – What are Triglycerides – Triglyceride Levels – High Triglycerides

Just as it sounds, having very high triglycerides means that you have too much of this type of fat in your blood. Your doctor may call this condition severe hypertriglyceridemia.

It is detected through a simple blood test called a lipid panel or lipid profile. This test measures your:

  • Overall cholesterol
  • HDL cholesterol

You will likely be asked to get your blood taken after fastingwhen you havent had any food or drink for eight, and sometimes up to 12 hours. This will show your triglyceride level when your body has cleared any cholesterol from meals youve eaten. A triglyceride level done without fasting can also be very revealing because it often shows that your body is not clearing the cholesterol from food.

Your health care provider will likely use your fasting results to guide treatment, but cases can be very different

Like other types of cholesterol, triglycerides are measured in milligrams per deciliter of blood. There are four categories of triglyceride levels according to the American Heart Association. Someone is diagnosed with very high triglycerides when the amount of triglycerides found in the blood is 500 mg/dL or more under 150 mg/dL is considered normal.

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Why Do I Need The Triglyceride Level Test

The triglyceride level test will help your doctor determine your risk of developing heart disease. It helps estimate the level of LDL cholesterol in your blood. It can show if you have inflammation in your pancreas and if youre at risk of developing atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis occurs when fat builds up inside your arteries. It can increase your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

You should have a lipid profile done every five years as part of your regular medical exam. The lipid profile tests your levels of the following:

If youre receiving treatment for a high triglyceride level, your doctor will order this test more frequently to monitor the effectiveness of your treatment. If you have prediabetes or diabetes, its important to monitor your triglyceride level regularly because triglycerides will increase when you arent properly maintaining your blood sugar levels.

Children may also need this test if theyre at an increased risk of developing heart disease. This includes children who are overweight or who have a family history of heart disease, diabetes, or high blood pressure. Children at increased risk of developing heart disease will need this test between 2 and 10 years of age. Children under 2 are too young for testing.

What Can You Do At Home To Treat High Triglycerides

The main way to deal with high triglycerides is to eat better and get more exercise. Here are some guidelines to help you manage your level:

Moderate exercise: Try to exercise 5 or more days each week. Lack of movement makes it hard for your body to process blood sugar and triglycerides as it normally does. So itâs important for you to get up and get moving more each day. Skip the escalator or elevator and climb stairs. Get off the bus or subway one stop early and walk. Find activities you enjoy: Walk, swim, or ride a bike. Join a gym. Talk to your doctor before you begin any exercise plan.

Watch your weight: If youâre carrying extra pounds, losing 5% to 10% of your weight can lower triglycerides. People with a healthy weight are more likely to have normal levels. Belly fat is associated with higher numbers.

Eat less bad fat and carbs: Try to lower the saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol in your diet. Cutting back on carbohydrates will help, too. Foods high in saturated fat, such as red meat, boost levels. Butter and cheese contain these same triglyceride-boosting fats. Choose lean meats or protein alternatives, such as chicken and unprocessed turkey, that are lower in saturated fat.

Another healthy option: Make meatless meals. Vegetarian pastas, chilis, and stir-fries are a delicious alternative to meat dishes. Avoid dishes loaded with cream or cheese in favor of recipes that use vegetable or olive oil and feature plenty of vegetables.

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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.

What Are The Symptoms

My LDL Cholesterol is High, But I

High blood triglycerides usually do not cause any symptoms. Untreated or uncontrolled high blood triglyceride levels may increase your risk of serious complications such as coronary heart disease and stroke.

Very high blood triglycerides can raise the risk of acute pancreatitis, or inflammation of the pancreas that causes severe pain in the abdomen.

Read Also: How To Lower Cholesterol And Triglycerides Without Medication

What Is Being Tested

Triglycerides are a form of fat and a major source of energy for the body. This test measures the amount of triglycerides in the blood.

Most triglycerides are found in fat tissue, but some triglycerides circulate in the blood to provide fuel for muscles to work. After a person eats, an increased level of triglycerides is found in the blood as the body converts the energy not needed right away into fat. Triglycerides move via the blood from the gut to adipose tissue for storage. In between meals, triglycerides are released from fat tissue to be used as an energy source for the body. Most triglycerides are carried in the blood by lipoproteins called very low-density lipoproteins .

High levels of triglycerides in the blood are associated with an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease , although the reason for this is not well understood. Certain factors can contribute to high triglyceride levels and to risk of CVD, including lack of exercise, being overweight, smoking cigarettes, consuming excess alcohol, and having medical conditions such as diabetes and kidney disease.

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