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Triglycerides - An Overview

When your doctor tells you that your body mass index (BMI) or blood pressure is high, you know exactly what he's talking about, right? But when he suggests that you lower your triglycerides, you might be wondering. What is triglyceride and why is it important?

What is Triglyceride?

Triglycerides are another type of fat found in our blood. They are transported by our blood to different body tissues where they are either used as energy or stored in fat cells for future use. In short, triglycerides are a major form of energy storage. They come from the foods we eat and are made by the heart.

After eating, your body's triglyceride levels increase dramatically. This is because when you eat sugary foods, drinks or alcoholic beverages, sugars that are not immediately used as energy are converted into triglycerides and stored as fat. Just like cholesterol, triglycerides do not harm our bodies when they are in normal amounts. So when does triglyceride pose a health risk?

High Triglycerides

Triglycerides when they are in high levels can be harmful to our cardiovascular system, especially the liver. High triglyceride levels improve blood circulation or viscosity and can contribute to hardening or narrowing of the arteries - putting you at risk for stroke, heart disease and myocardial infarction or heart attack. The next question now is what causes high levels of triglycerides?

Causes of High Triglycerides

The triglyceride levels are measured by a blood test known as a "complete lipid profile". According to National Heart, US Lung & Blood Institute, triglyceride levels are measured by milligrams for each deciliter blood (mg / dL) and can range from NORMAL (500 mg / dL).

Here are some of the reasons why your triglyceride levels reach incredible levels:

  • Body weight. It is understood that obese people or those who rarely exercise are those with high levels of triglycerides. As your weight increases, your triglyceride levels increase.
  • Excess calories. Consuming or consuming foods / drinks that are high in carbohydrates, sugars, starch and saturated fat also increases triglyceride levels.
  • Age. As you get older, the levels of triglycerides in your body increase.
  • Disease. Certain medical conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease and hypothyroidism can also play a role in increasing triglycerides in your blood.
  • Medications. There are drugs like steroids, diuretics or water pills and birth control pills that can cause triglyceride levels.
  • Descendants. Some people genetically suffer from high levels of triglycerides as they work within their genes.
Symptoms of High Triglycerides

You may not realize that you already have high levels of triglycerides because they show no symptoms. But if it is caused by a genetic condition, xanthomas may develop. Xanthomas are fat deposits that appear under the skin. In some cases, you may have pancreatitis or pancreatic inflammation due to high levels of triglycerides that can prevent loss of appetite, sudden and severe stomach aches, fever, nausea and vomiting.

While some of the factors that contribute to high levels of triglycerides are unavoidable such as age and race, the main factor is your diet and lifestyle.


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