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What Is a Hypertriglyceridemia?
- Dangers associated with high triglyceride levels include obesity, diabetes, kidney failure and more
- Working to reduce total cholesterol levels is important because they’re associated with high triglycerides
- Regular exercise and a heart healthy diet are some of the best ways of maintaining healthy triglyceride levels
While we hear a great deal about cholesterol in the news and in ads for prescription medications, we do not hear as much about triglycerides. As you may know from a recent cholesterol check, your score includes LDL, HDL, and triglyceride levels. The LDL numbers are normally given the most attention, but if your triglyceride levels are too high this can cause a condition known as hypertriglyceridemia.
What are Triglycerides?
Before you can understand hypertriglyceridemia, you should first understand the importance of triglycerides. These end up in your body when you eat more calories than you burn. These excess calories end up being stored in your fat cells and released as a way to boost your energy levels in between your meals. During your blood test for cholesterol, you want your reading to be below 150 mg/dL. If the number if higher, you should take action to lower the numbers. A reading of more than 500 mg/dL is considered very high.
Research has shown that when you have high levels of triglycerides in your blood, you are more likely to develop atheroscherosis – a condition that could make you more vulnerable to strokes and heart attacks. Plus, high levels also tend to suggest other conditions which could put you at risk for developing heart disease, such as high blood pressure and obesity.
Triglycerides and Hypertriglyceridemia
When the levels of triglycerides or fat are too high in your blood, this could lead to hypertriglyceridemia. This disease can be caused by a number of factors. As you get older, your risks are higher. Obesity can also increase your risks, as can drinking too much alcohol. Other types of health problems, including kidney disease and diabetes, can also place you at greater risk of developing this problem. Research also suggests that hypertriglyceridemia runs in families.
Although the condition is most commonly linked to high levels of triglycerides in the blood, people who do have these high levels do not always develop this condition or experience its complications.
Hypertriglyceridemia and Pancreatitis
Besides the other risks associated with high levels of triglycerides, this disorder can lead to a condition known as pancreatitis. This disease causes the enzymes found in the pancreas to begin attacking the organ. It can be a very serious, life-threatening condition and requires immediate medical attention.
The primary symptom of pancreatitis is severe abdominal pain coupled with vomiting and nausea. You may also run a fever as your body attempts to fight off whatever it perceives to be damaging your pancreas. In some acute cases, the condition will go away in a few days. If the condition persists, however, you could risk becoming dehydrated because you may not be able to ingest and keep down fluids because of your nausea and pain.
Pancreatitis can also lead to serious complications. Infections, cysts, and abscesses can form in the pancreas. Larger cysts and most of the abscesses tend to be removed for the safety of the patient. When the condition lowers your blood pressure too much, you can go into shock. Other changes in the body as a result of the disorder can lead to respiratory failure. If acute pancreatitis becomes chronic meaning you have repeated attacks, this repeated inflammation of the organ can put you at greater risk of developing pancreatic cancer.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
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