You may have heard of the condition where you have high triglycerides or even have been told that you have them. But what is the common range for triglycerides, and what are they? Simply put, they are part of the overall cholesterol picture, but most of us only know of the HDL (high density lipoprotein – good cholesterol) and LDL (low density lipoprotein – bad cholesterol) levels.
What Are Triglycerides?
Triglycerides are the chemical form of fat, found in both the human body and in foods. We need them, because these are the fats that your body uses for energy. When you consume calories, your body will try to use all of them for energy. Any surplus is turned into triglycerides and stored, which is what you use in between your meals for energy. However, if you eat more than you burn, then you would have high triglyceride levels as well.
The Danger of High Triglycerides:
If your level of tryglycerides is high, you are likely to have high blood sugar, high blood pressure, and a lot of fat around your waist. This, in turn, increases your chances of having diabetes, a stroke, or a heart disease. Essentially, you must keep your triglyceride level at a certain level.
What Is the Common Range for Triglycerides?
You need to have a blood test to measure your triglyceride level. The common range for triglycerides, which is also classed as healthy, is for this to be lower than 150. If this is 200 or above, then you will need to make some lifestyle changes to lower your triglyceride level.
Causes of High Triglycerides:
Sometimes, high triglyceride levels are caused by genetic problems, but other issues can also be at play. These include:
- Thyroid problems, particularly hypothyroidism
- Poorly controlled diabetes
- Kidney disease
- Poor nutritional habits, which are one of the main causes of high triglycerides. People who do not eat the right foods or who eat too much are more likely to have this problem. Obese people inevitably have high triglycerides
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Medication like Tamoxifen, steroids, estrogen, diuretics, oral contraceptives, and beta-blockers
Triglycerides Signs and Triglycerides Symptoms:
Usually, having high triglycerides is virtually asymptomatic. Most people don’t know they have this condition unless they get tested. However, it is possible for high triglycerides to lead to pancreatitis, which means the pancreas becomes inflamed. This leads to fever, vomiting, nausea, loss of appetite, and severe, sudden abdominal pain.
If you have been told that you have high triglycerides, then you are likely to have to make lifestyle changes. In almost all cases, the reason why levels are elevated is because you eat too much too often. Sometimes, you may also be prescribed medication to help you lower your levels a bit more quickly. Statins are usually the drugs of choice to help people lower their cholesterol levels, as well as their triglycerides. Research is currently being conducted into fibrates and niacin (nicotinic acid), with both showing very promising results. However, by and large, people cannot rely on medication to lower their levels unless they also commit to taking the necessary actions in their own lifestyle.