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What are high triglycerides?

Triglycerides are a type of lipid found in your bloodstream. The level of triglycerides is one of the four numbers you will see on a standard cholesterol test. Most dietary fats are triglycerides, which are initially stored in fat cells and later released to circulate in the bloodstream. High levels of triglycerides in the bloodstream, also termed as hypertriglyceridaemia, can be really harmful to the body.

What are its main associated signs and symptoms?

Generally, high levels of triglycerides do not cause any specific symptoms.

However, they lead to an increased risk of certain diseases such as:

What are the main causes?

High triglycerides can be caused by a number of factors or underlying conditions including:

  • Obesity.
  • Uncontrolled diabetes.
  • An underactive thyroid.
  • Liver and kidney disease.
  • Genetic influence.
  • Regularly eating more calories than you burn.
  • Sedentary lifestyle.
  • Drinking a lot of alcohol.
  • Smoking.
  • Medications like diuretics (that remove excess water from the body), steroids, birth control pills and immunosuppressants (medicines that suppress the immune system).
  • Women on hormonal therapy or those suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome are at high risk of having increased levels of triglycerides.

How is it diagnosed and treated?

  • High levels of triglycerides are diagnosed on the basis of medical history and other investigations.
  • Lipid profile test is recommended to examine and detect high triglycerides in your bloodstream. A triglyceride level of below 150 mg/dL is considered normal.
  • Your doctor will instruct you to fast for 12 hours before your blood samples are collected.
  • Treatment of high triglyceride levels aims at addressing the underlying conditions and controlling them.
  • One has to maintain a healthy body weight to balance hormonal levels and treat any underlying kidney or liver disease.
  • Your doctor may prescribe you certain medications like statins, niacin or omega-3 fatty acid supplements.


  • Avoid smoking or drinking.
  • Eat a healthy diet.
  • Go for regular walks and do enough exercises.
  1. Medicines for High Triglycerides
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