Triglycerides are one of the several types of fats present in the body. In fact they are the main storage form of fat, which the body utilizes as an energy source. For maintaining healthy body, it is necessary to have optimal level of triglyceride. But having high triglyceride level can be detrimental to the health.
Triglyceride is produced by the liver from the food that we eat. It is mainly derived from carbohydrates, saturated fats such as sweet, red meat and dairy products. If we eat food that is too high in fats, naturally the liver will process more of triglyceride.
- Normal triglyceride: less than 150.
- Moderately high: 150-200.
- High: 200-500.
- Very high: 501 and more.
Symptoms Of High Triglycerides
High level of triglyceride seldom exhibits any obvious symptoms, except in a genetic condition where the deposits of fat develop under the skin. This skin tags are called Xanthomas. The tiny pin head bumps appear when there is sustained high level of triglyceride in the blood. They appear mostly below the eyelids, on the back, buttock, chest, knees and elbows.
Very high level of triglyceride for a prolonged time results in condition known as Lipemia retinalis. The retinal arteries and veins appear pale or milky white as observed during an eye examination.
Pancreatitis is another life threatening condition that can result when there is very high level of triglyceride. There is extreme pain and tenderness in epigastric region, an area between the upper right and left quadrant of abdomen. Vomiting, nausea, perspiration, fast pulse and fever are associated symptoms.
A person who has high triglyceride level for a prolonged period may find difficulty to memorize things. They appear more depressed than persons of same age having normal level of triglyceride.
Constant high level of triglyceride can lead to atherosclerosis. The artery gets blocked completely or partially due to deposition of cholesterol. If there is blockage of arteries in brain, it can cause stroke. If the coronary arteries are blocked it can precipitate symptoms of heart disease such as chest pain, breathlessness on exertion, heaviness over chest. Angina pain and heart attack are common consequence of elevated level of triglyceride.
What Causes Elevated Triglyceride Levels?
- Hereditary: if your mother or father or siblings are suffering from high triglyceride problem, you are at a risk of having elevated serum triglyceride level.
- Obesity: being overweight is known to elevate blood cholesterol and triglyceride.
- Diabetes mellitus: people suffering from uncontrolled diabetes with constant elevated sugar level in blood may have increased level of triglycerides.
- Stress and depression: during stress, fat metabolizes very slowly resulting in prolonged stay of circulating triglyceride in the blood. This is a contributory factor for heart ailments.
- Diet rich in carbohydrates; sugars, sweets, cakes and pastries etc can elevate Triglyceride level.
- People who smoke and drink have high level of triglycerides.
- Living sedentary life.
- Excessive use of caffeinated beverages.
- Diseases such as hypothyroidism, kidney diseases, liver disease, Cushing syndrome etc.
- Certain medications such as steroids, diuretics, birth control pills.
- Staying up late in the night may disturb the sleep cycle which can may affect production and regulation of triglyceride and cholesterol in your body.
Natural Remedies For High Triglycerides
Diet and change in life style helps to reduce triglyceride level substantially in most cases. Not only triglyceride, but cholesterol and its fractions such as LDL cholesterol also reduce.
- Reduce your weight if the cause is obesity.
- Eat less of sugar and sweets.
- Limit the intake of saturated fats.
- Alcohol and smoking are strict no-no if you have high level of triglyceride.
- Increase your activity if you are a living a sedentary life.
- Walking or jogging or other sports activities will help to reduce weight as well as raised triglyceride and cholesterol level.
- Check your blood sugar and control your diabetes.
- Meditation and yoga helps to relieve stress and depression.
- Take necessary treatment for diseases such as hypothyroidism etc.
- Do not overeat and avoid eating junk food.
- If triglyceride level is extremely high, your doctor may prescribe statins and other medications to reduce high level of triglyceride and cholesterol level.