What are triglycerides?
Triglycerides are of vital importance to life, and moreover they are a type of fat, also called “lipids” in the body. They are products of digesting, which can break down fats in food. When eating, body will convert calories unused into triglycerides. As a result, when you are thinking of fat developing and being stored in the body, it will remind you of triglycerides.
What’s considered normal?
The American heart association suggests that adults themselves need to have a lipid panel at least every 5 years, especially elders. Lipid panel can check for different types of cholesterol and triglycerides, bad or good. A simple test can see whether your triglycerides keep in a healthy range.
Guidelines for triglyceride levels from The National Cholesterol Education Program:
Very high: 500 or more
High: 200 to 499
Borderline high: 150 to 199
Normal levels: Less than 150 milligrams per deciliter
High levels will lead to heart disease, especially in people with high level of bad cholesterol and low level of good cholesterol. As we all know, triglycerides and cholesterol are different types of lipids in blood, cholesterol used to build cells and certain hormones. So, both of them are important to the body. But in terms of controlling them in normal range, we have several ways. Except for exercise and diet, medical treatment is a more effective way.
What are medical treatments?
Sometimes, just by using good habits is not enough, medication is also needed. Several types of medicine can help you control or reduce the level of triglycerides, including:
High doses of omega-3s (only under the doctor’s treatment to lower triglycerides)
Some doctors may prescribe a type of drugs called “statins” to lower bad cholesterol and triglycerides, especially, when having both high cholesterol and triglycerides. If triglycerides are very high even after lifestyle changing, doctors may first use medicine to lower patients’ triglycerides to prevent damage to the pancreas.
Fibrates (fibric acid derivatives) need to be used with caution to people who are also taking statins. It is a greater risk for a life-threatening muscle problem, which can lead to kidney failure. So it is important that kidneys and liver are healthy before patients take combination of these medicines.
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