Triglyceride increased: what does it mean, causes
Most people interested in their health, heard and know about cholesterol and lipoproteins. However, not everyone knows about triglycerides, increasing which can also cause increase risk of heart disease and blood vessels.
What are triglycerides?
Triglycerides (TG) are chemical compounds that are digested to provide it with energy for metabolism. TG is the most common form of fat in the body. They are a main ingredient in vegetable oils and animal fats. A molecule of triglyceride consists of a glycerol and three fatty acids. In the intestine these parts split, and after entering the blood combine with cholesterol to form chylomicrons. It is a source of energy for the cells of the body. As the site of storage and release of chylomicrons in need of energy are used fat cells and hepatocytes.
Elevated triglycerides is a risk of developing atherosclerosis – narrowing of the arteries that is associated with the formation of fatty plaques that can lead to myocardial infarction, stroke and peripheral arterial disease. Highly elevated levels of TG can also be the cause of fatty liver and pancreatitis.
Why is the level of TG?
Increased levels of triglycerides can be caused by certain diseases, including:
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- poorly controlled diabetes mellitus;
- kidney disease;
- cirrhosis or other liver disease;
- genetic predisposition in which the body produces excessive amounts of triglycerides;
- the use of certain drugs (eg, beta-blockers, diuretics, contraceptives).
Triglyceride levels also can increase alcohol consumption, in which the liver synthesizes more fatty acids. However, there are certain useful properties of moderate alcohol consumption, which can balance this increase. Moderate drinking may slightly increase the levels of good HDL and red wine, containing antioxidants, may reduce the risk of heart disease. However, do not think that this means that people should start drinking alcohol to get this effect. Elevated levels of triglycerides are often observed in:
- People with obesity or overweight.
- Women, especially pregnant women and those taking estrogen or hormone replacement therapy.
- People who have heart disease appeared until they reach the age of 50.
Usually people with elevated triglycerides ischemic heart disease may develop at a younger age. Because of this disease no obvious symptoms, a good idea is routine blood testing for lipid levels. The levels of blood triglycerides are measured using a simple blood test. Quite often they are defined in the composition of lipid comprising triglycerides, cholesterol, HDL and LDL.
Before testing after not eating for 8 – 12 hours, since the levels of lipids in the blood is affected by recent food intake, which can lead to falsely inflated results. The normal level of triglycerides is less than 1.7 mmol/l are considered Borderline values of 1.7 – 2.0 mmol/L. Levels of triglycerides above 2.0 mmol/l are considered high, they are associated with an increased risk of atherosclerosis. Extremely high values (above 6 mmol/l) can cause pancreatitis.
The risk of higher TG
Whatever the reason, the presence of very high levels of TG associated with increasing risk of developing heart disease, myocardial infarction or stroke. We also know that elevated triglycerides can combine its effect with other risk factors of atherosclerosis, including obesity, high blood pressure and hypercholesterolemia.
What can I do about high triglycerides?
The goal of any treatment program at rising triglycerides is as follows:
- Reducing the amount of triglycerides in the blood.
- Controlling conditions that may increase their level (these include obesity, diabetes, hypothyroidism, kidney disease).
If a person has elevated triglycerides, returning their levels to normal range may reduce the risk of myocardial infarction, stroke and peripheral artery disease. Controlling elevated levels of triglycerides and cholesterol is a life – long challenge for these patients, which for their solution first and foremost requires lifestyle changes.
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A healthy lifestyle includes a balanced diet, regular exercise, Smoking cessation and weight reduction. These measures may be sufficient to reduce triglycerides, but some people need additional medications.
Modification of lifestyle
Of lifestyle changes aimed at reducing the level of triglycerides should include the following steps:
1. Physical activity – regular exercise can reduce triglycerides and raise levels of good cholesterol.
2. Improving diet:
- Reducing caloric intake by restricting the amount of unhealthy fats. Fats should make up 25 – 35% of caloric intake.
- Eating fiber-rich vegetables and whole grains and limiting the consumption of simple carbohydrates (white bread, pasta, potatoes).
- Limiting the use of alcoholic beverages, which can cause rising levels of triglycerides in some people.
- Eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids belong to some species of fish (salmon, tuna, sardines, lake trout), fish oils or flax seeds.
- Avoidance of refined carbohydrates.
3. Weight loss and maintaining normal body weight – reduction in weight by only 5 – 10% may significantly reduce the TG level.
4. Quitting Smoking.
When it comes to reducing triglyceride levels, these lifestyle changes are as effective as and receiving with this purpose of medicines. They can return the levels of triglycerides to normal levels in many patients. In addition, these steps also help to improve the overall health of the person.
The lack of effectiveness of modifying lifestyle doctor to lower triglycerides can assign the following drugs:
- Omega-3 fatty acids – they can be found not only in foods but also in medicines that are usually well tolerated and reduces triglyceride levels by 50%.
- Fibrates – medicines that act by weakening the ability of the liver to release triglycerides.
- Niacin or vitamin B3 – reduces the activity of chemicals required by the body to make triglycerides.
- Statins – used to lower LDL cholesterol but may also reduce levels of triglycerides.