What Abnormal Results Mean
High triglyceride levels may be due to:
- Other medicines, such as female hormones
- Poorly controlled diabetes
- Disorder passed down through families in which there are high amounts of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood
Overall, the treatment of elevated triglyceride levels focuses on increased exercise and changes in the diet. Drugs to lower triglyceride levels may be used to prevent pancreatitis for levels above 500 mg/dL.
Low triglyceride levels may be due to:
- Low fat diet
Pregnancy can affect test results.
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.
How To Get Your Cholesterol Levels Checked
You can buy a test kit that will allow you to check your cholesterol levels at home, but they vary in how accurate they are. Kits that are approved by the FDA and say theyre traceable to a CDC program may be more accurate.
Given the lack of quality control on home health measurements like at-home testing kits, Dr. Fleg says, blood lipids should be measured by an accredited medical laboratory.
The AHA agrees, recommending that a primary care or family doctor assess blood lipid test results.
Getting an accurate cholesterol number is just one aspect of your overall cardiovascular health. You also have to understand what the number means for you personally.
Informed about your health history, family health history, and other risk factors, your doctor will be able to interpret the results better than a test kit. And by keeping track of all your cholesterol readings, your doctor will be able to catch any changes and advise you the best ways to address them.
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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.
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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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.
Why Are High Triglycerides Bad
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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Factors That Affect Cholesterol Levels
Several factors can affect your cholesterol levels. This includes age and gender, diet, weight, exercise, and genes. For starters, its normal for cholesterol levels to rise as we get older. Women also tend to have lower cholesterol levels than men. That is until they reach menopause. After that, womens LDL levels often rise and the HDL may drop.
Furthermore, being overweight and lack of exercise can increase your TG. However, simply being more active and managing a healthy weight will help lower your TG and raise your HDL.
What you eat plays a big role in your cholesterol levels. Consuming saturated fats, trans fats, and cholesterol can all increase your cholesterol levels. Finally, if high cholesterol runs in your family, you may be at a greater risk for developing it.
How Is High Cholesterol Diagnosed
Lipoprotein panel is a type of blood test that can measure cholesterol levels. Before the test, the patient may need to fast for 9-12 hours. The test gives information about different types of cholesterol:
- Total cholesterol: Shows the total amount of cholesterol in the blood. It includes both low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol.
- LDL cholesterol: Transports cholesterol particles throughout the body. LDL cholesterol is often called the bad cholesterol because it builds up in the walls of the arteries, making them hard and narrow.
- HDL cholesterol: Picks up excess cholesterol and takes it back to your liver.
- Non-HDL: Number is total cholesterol minus HDL. Non-HDL includes LDL and other types of cholesterol such as very lowdensity lipoprotein .
- Triglycerides: Another form of fat in the blood that can increase your risk for heart diseases, especially in women, is triglycerides.
Too much of the bad kind, or not enough of the good kind, increases the risk that cholesterol will slowly build up in the inner walls of the arteries that feed the heart and brain.
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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.
- Dont smoke.
- Manage coexisting health conditions such as diabetes or hypertension effectively.
Causes Of High Triglycerides
In many cases, habitual overeating causes high triglycerides. Occasionally, the trigger is an underlying condition such as:
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Some types of liver disease
- Some types of kidney disease
- Some genetic disorders, including the inherited disease familial hypertriglyceridemia and familial combined hyperlipidemia .
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The Effectiveness Of Revive’s Lipid Supplement
One of the ingredients that make Revives Lipid Supplement so effective is the 2 g. per serving of beta-sitosterol. Beta-sitosterol is a phytosterol found naturally in canola oil, avocados, and soybean oil, which prevents cholesterol from being absorbed by the body.
Also included is 1.5 g per serving of citrus bergamot. Research and study shows that bergamot improves triglyceride levels. The next two ingredients are 500 mg each of pantethine and artichoke extract. Pantethine has been shown to lower triglyceride levels in several clinical trials, as has artichoke extract.
Revives formula also contains resveratrol, a compound in red wine known to foster longevity, which also demonstrates an ability to control lipid levels. Finally, each serving contains 100 mg of bilberry fruit extract. Bilberry, high in polyphenols , has been shown to improve hyperlipidemia. Hyperlipidemia is the medical term for extremely high levels of lipids or fat particles, like cholesterol and triglycerides, in the blood.
When taken as suggested, Revives Lipid Supplement may be an effective way to manage blood lipids. It may be one of the easiest ways for you to:
- Maintain optimal HDL to LDL ratios
- Lower triglyceride levels
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 eat fish.
- 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.
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Is There Anything Else I Should Know
If you are diabetic and your blood sugar is out of control, triglycerides may be very high.
Triglycerides change dramatically in response to meals, increasing as much as 5 to 10 times higher than fasting levels just a few hours after eating. Even fasting levels vary considerably day to day. Therefore, modest changes in fasting triglycerides measured on different days are not considered to be abnormal.
Certain drugs such as corticosteroids, protease inhibitors for HIV, beta blockers, and estrogens can increase blood triglyceride levels.
There is increasing interest in measuring triglycerides in people who have not fasted. The reason is that a non-fasting sample may be more representative of the âusualâ circulating level of triglyceride since most of the day blood lipid levels reflect post-meal levels rather than fasting levels. However, it is not yet certain how to interpret non-fasting levels for evaluating risk so, at present, there is no change in the current recommendations for fasting prior to tests for lipid levels.
Cholesterol Chart For Adults
Your doctor may recommend a plan of treatment for high cholesterol that includes lifestyle modifications and potentially medication. This will vary based on factors like other medications you may be taking, your age, sex, and general health.
Here are some medications more commonly prescribed for high cholesterol:
- Statins.Statins lower the LDL cholesterol levels by slowing the production of cholesterol by the liver.
- Bile acid sequestrants.Bile acid sequestrants are substances used in digestion. These resins can reduce cholesterol levels in the blood by binding to bile acids and removing them, forcing the body to break down LDL cholesterol to create bile acids instead.
- Cholesterol absorption inhibitors.Cholesterol absorption inhibitors can block the absorption of cholesterol from the diet, sometimes in conjunction with statins.
- Bempedoic acid.Bempedoic acid helps to stop an enzyme in the liver, ATP citrate lyase, from making cholesterol. This drug is often combined with statins for increased benefit for those with familial hypercholesterolemia, an inherited condition that can cause early heart disease.
- PCSK9 inhibitors. Also used frequently with familial hypercholesterolemia, PCSK9 inhibitors, which are injected drugs, help the liver absorb and remove more LDL cholesterol from the blood.
Medications can also be used to treat contributing factors to cholesterol like triglycerides. These may be used in addition to some of the medications above.
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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.
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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Establish A Regular Meal Pattern
Insulin resistance is another factor that can contribute to high blood triglycerides.
After you eat a meal, the cells in your pancreas send a signal to release insulin into the bloodstream. Insulin is then responsible for transporting sugar to your cells to be used for energy.
If you have too much insulin in your blood, your body can become resistant to it, making it difficult for your body to use insulin effectively. This can lead to a buildup of both sugar and triglycerides in the blood.
Fortunately, setting a regular eating pattern can help prevent insulin resistance and high triglycerides. For instance, research shows that not eating breakfast can lead to decreased insulin sensitivity .
An American Heart Association statement suggested that irregular eating patterns seemed less likely to achieve healthy cardiometabolic levels. They recommended intentional eating at regular times .
However, the evidence is mixed when it comes to meal frequency.
A 2013 study demonstrated that eating three meals per day significantly decreased triglycerides compared with eating six meals per day (
Regardless of how many meals youre eating daily, eating regular meals can improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood triglyceride levels.
While studies are mixed on how meal frequency affects blood triglyceride levels, research suggests that sticking to a regular meal pattern can decrease many heart disease risk factors and prevent insulin resistance.
Medications May Be Needed For High Triglyceride Levels
Sometimes, healthy eating and regular exercise cant lower high triglyceride levels. This may be the case, for example, if you have familial hypertriglyceridemia or if you already have heart disease. Your doctor may prescribe medication such as fibrates or nicotinic acids. Drugs to help lower high blood cholesterol may also be prescribed, if necessary.Suggestions for managing high triglyceride levels with medication include:
- Always take prescription medications exactly as instructed.
- See your doctor if you are having side effects from the medication. Known medication side effects may include indigestion, diarrhoea, fever or muscle problems.
- Dont assume that medications will somehow overcome the hazards of an unhealthy lifestyle. A healthy diet, regular exercise and maintaining an appropriate weight for your height are the most important management strategies for high triglycerides.
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What Should My Cholesterol Level Be If I Have Triglycerides
The amount of cholesterol in the blood is measured in milligrams per deciliter . Here are the recommended cholesterol values for your age and gender: Triglycerides are not cholesterol, however they are a component of a lipoprotein panel . Triglyceride levels should be less than 150 mg/dL. If you have triglycerides that are higher than this, then you should discuss with your doctor what causes these high levels with respect to your treatment plan.