Treatment Of High Triglycerides
In most cases, high triglycerides are managed by making lifestyle changes. You may be advised to:
- Exercise for at least 30 minutes every day.
- Eat less, particularly high fat foods.
- Increase the amount of fibre in your diet.
- Avoid high sugar foods such as lollies. Choose foods with a low glycaemic index such as legumes and wholegrain products.
- Eat more fish. Choose fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, mackerel, tuna and trout. Omega-3 in high doses can reduce triglyceride levels.
- Cut back on alcohol. The kilojoules and sugar in alcoholic drinks can raise triglyceride levels.
- Lose excess body fat using a combination of healthy eating and regular exercise.
- Manage coexisting health conditions such as diabetes or hypertension effectively.
How Do Triglycerides Circulate In The Blood
Pure cholesterol cannot mix with or dissolve in the blood. Instead, the liver packages cholesterol with triglycerides and proteins called lipoproteins. The lipoproteins move this fatty mixture to areas throughout the body.
Types of these lipoproteins include very low-density lipoproteins , high-density lipoproteins and low-density lipoproteins .
Limit Your Sugar Intake
Added sugar is a big part of many peoples diets.
While the American Heart Association recommends consuming no more than 100150 calories of added sugar per day, one study found that the average American eats about 308 calories of added sugar daily .
Added sugar is commonly found in sweets, soft drinks, and fruit juice.
Extra sugar in your diet may be turned into triglycerides, which can lead to an increase in blood triglyceride levels, along with other heart disease risk factors.
A 2020 review that included data on 6,730 people found that those who consumed sugar-sweetened beverages regularly were over 50% more likely to have high triglycerides, compared with those who did not drink them regularly .
Another study found that consuming high amounts of added sugar is also associated with higher blood triglyceride levels in children .
Fortunately, several studies have shown that low carb diets can lead to a decrease in blood triglyceride levels .
Even a simple change such as replacing sugar-sweetened beverages with water could decrease triglycerides in some people .
Minimizing added sugar in your diet from sugary beverages and sweets can reduce your blood triglyceride levels.
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Treatment Options For High Triglycerides
The best treatment for the high level of triglycerides is healthy lifestyle. The first thing you should do is lose weight because it will also give you energy and improve your health condition. It is important to reduce the amount of calories because they are responsible for triglycerides in your blood. Do not eat sugar, food made with white flour, greasy and red meat, whole milk products and yolks.
Also avoid fried food, cookies and products which contain trans fat. In addition, do not drink alcohol because it has a lot of calories. You should include olive, canola and peanut oil in your diet. It is also recommended to eat fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Moderate exercises are also good for fighting against high triglycerides. You should exercise every day at least for ten minutes.
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.
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What Is The Alarming Level Of Triglycerides
Below 150 mg/ dl is the normal triglyceride level and above 150 is considered as high . So here again I would say that the alarming level of serum triglycerides depends upon a persons overall health. Like one who has a history of high TGs or family history of heart issues or already has any heart disease should consult a cardiologist for better opinion on whether the level can be managed with lifestyle or medicine should be started.
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How Are Triglycerides Measured
Your doctor may give you a common test called a lipid panel. It checks for different types of cholesterol, including the levels of the “good” kind and the “bad” kind. The American Heart Association recommends that everyone 21 and older get a lipid panel at least every 5 years.
The levels are checked after an overnight fast. Fat from a recent meal can muddy the picture.
These tests are important because you rarely have any symptoms when your triglycerides are high, unlike with many other conditions.
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Risk Factors For High Triglycerides
Research shows that triglyceride levels predict cardiovascular disease, a principal cause of morbidity and mortality in Western society. People with high triglycerides may be at significant risk for cardiovascular disease even if their LDL cholesterol levels are at goal.
A 2010 study conducted at Harvard Medical School evaluated the relative contributions of triglyceride and HDL cholesterol in the risk of coronary heart disease after LDL cholesterol levels were reduced. The study, involving 170 cases and 175 controls, suggests that high triglycerides and low HDL cholesterol levels were associated with coronary heart disease even in patients with lower LDL cholesterol levels. The odds of coronary heart disease increased by approximately 20 percent per 23 milligrams per deciliter increase in triglycerides.
Having high triglycerides also makes you more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. Its not that high triglycerides actually causes diabetes, but it shows that the body isnt turning food into energy properly. Normally, the body makes insulin, which escorts glucose into the cells where its used for energy. The insulin allows the body to use triglycerides for energy, but when someone is insulin-resistant, the cells wont let insulin or glucose in, thereby causing both glucose and triglycerides to build up in the blood.
Conventional Treatment for High Triglycerides
How Do Triglycerides Get Into The Blood
When we eat foods containing triglycerides, such as meat, dairy products, cooking oils and fats, they are absorbed by our intestines and packaged into parcels of fats and protein called chylomicrons . These carry the triglycerides in the blood stream to our tissues to be used for energy straight away, or stored for later.
The body also makes its own supply of triglycerides in the liver. This form is carried in a different type of lipoprotein known as VLDL cholesterol.
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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.
Prescription Drugs For Cholesterol And Triglycerides
From statins like Lipitor to PCSK9 inhibitors like Repatha to niacin and beyond, several kinds of medications are regularly prescribed to treat high cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Which is most appropriate for you depends on several factors, but its likely your healthcare provider will want you to begin taking prescription medication if diet and exercise are not enough to lower your levels, or if your risk for cardiovascular disease is particularly elevated.
Keeping your lipidcholesterol and triglyceridelevels from getting too high is an important part of preventing atherosclerosis, coronary artery disease , stroke, and peripheral artery disease.
This article will help you learn about the possible prescription options your healthcare provider might suggest so you can take an active role in your treatment discussions and decisions.
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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.
Metabolic Syndrome Risk Factors
High triglyceride levels are associated with a collection of disorders known as metabolic syndrome. A person with metabolic syndrome has an increased risk of developing diabetes, stroke or heart disease.A person is classed as having metabolic syndrome when they have any three of the following factors:
- Central obesity excess fat in and around the stomach
- High blood pressure
- Higher than normal blood glucose levels
- Low HDL cholesterol
- High blood triglycerides.
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Lifestyle Management For High Triglycerides
If your triglyceride levels fall into the borderline high category, says Jacoby, Its extremely likely that making lifestyle improvements alone will control your levels. Most often, people with moderate levels have metabolic problems, including prediabetes and diabetes, which also respond well to healthy lifestyle changes.
The AHA/ACC guidelines recommend the following lifestyle changes to lower levels:
- Reduce your body weight
- Reduce your carbohydrate consumption
- Eat omega-3 fatty acids
Combining a low-carb diet with exercise and fish oil is often enough to get control of your triglycerides, says Jacoby, and can have the additional benefit of addressing metabolic problems and reducing body weight. For the majority of people with moderate to severe elevations, triglyceride levels are very responsive to a heart-healthy lifestyle. Its worth trying to normalize through those changes and then move on to medications if lifestyle isnt sufficient, he says.
Acute Pancreatitis Associated With Significant Hypertriglyceridemia: A Special Situation
Treatment of acute pancreatitis in patients with massive hypertriglyceridemia comprises strict fasting and intravenous fluid replacement as basic measures. Whether plasmapheresis is indicated has to be decided on a case-by-case basis. With this approach TG levels can be lowered rapidly, which may interrupt the underlying pathomechanism so that the pancreatitis takes a milder course . However, there are no randomized studies on this topic . Moreover, a recent analysis showed that TG levels decline quickly without plasmapheresis . Furthermore, patients with acute pancreatitis frequently present with various triggering factors , making it difficult to distinguish the role played by hypertriglyceridemia from those of other factors. In addition, plasmapheresis is not suitable as a long-term treatment in patients with hypertriglyceridemia because TG levels quickly rebound after hemofiltration.
Patients with FCS in whom hypertriglyceridemia is apparently a key factor in the pathogenesis of acute pancreatitis should immediately be treated with plasmapheresis. In the long term, a diet change from standard fats to medium-chain TG may be beneficial, as MCTs are metabolized independent of chylomicrons and do not result in an increase in TG levels after a meal . This is all the more relevant when women with hereditary disorders such as FCS become pregnant, as estrogens can trigger a significant increase in TG levels .
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Will A Keto Diet Lower Triglycerides And Cholesterol
No, keto diets have been shown to increase cholesterol levels. The Mediterranean diet, however, has been shown to lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of cardiac events.
The Mediterranean diet promotes eating vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and healthy fats daily eating fish, poultry, beans, and eggs weekly reducing portions of dairy and limiting red meat.
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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How Often Should My Triglycerides Be Tested
If youâre a healthy adult, you should get a lipid profile every 4-6 years. Children should have it done at least once between the ages of 9 and 11, and one more time between 17 and 21. If youâre making changes to your diet or taking medication for high cholesterol or triglycerides, experts advise you to get a lipid profile afterward.
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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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.
Hypertriglyceridemia Management According To The 2018 Aha/acc Guideline
The 2018 AHA/ACC Guideline on the Management of Blood Cholesterol was a welcome update from the 2013 ACC/AHA Guideline on the Treatment of Blood Cholesterol to Reduce Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Risk in Adults.1 Our new guideline reinforces the importance of a heart-healthy lifestyle, the use of statins as the first line agent in primary and secondary cardiovascular prevention and the importance of risk stratification to identify those who benefit most from these measures. Also of note, our new guideline features a specific section on hypertriglyceridemia. This section is composed of one class I and three class IIa recommendations followed by a synopsis and supportive text to assist clinicians in recognising and treating patients with hypertriglyceridemia.
Identify and Address Secondary Factors
The class I recommendation first identifies a population 20 years of age or older who have moderate hypertriglyceridemia defined as fasting or nonfasting triglycerides 175-499 mg/dL and advises searching for and treating secondary factors . The remaining three recommendations build on this.
Table 1: Secondary Factors
Use of Statin Therapy in Moderate Hypertriglyceridemia
Use of Statin Therapy in Severe Hypertriglyceridemia
The third recommendation endorses the initiation of statins in those with severe hypertriglyceridemia with ASCVD equal to or greater than 7.5% in concert with addressing secondary factors.
Other Therapies in Severe Hypertriglyceridemia
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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.
Risk Factors Of High Triglycerides
People who come in the category mentioned below should take extra care of their health so that they can prevent the risk of high triglycerides and other heart diseases.
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