Do I need to treat my triglycerides?

Cardiology, Diabetes Lab Tests, High Cholesterol, Medicine

Your triglycerides are elevated!, What is the importance of this?

Treating your cholesterol can reduce your chances of having a heart attack. But what about triglycerides? Are they the same thing as cholesterol?

The simple answer is no.

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Triglycerides are one of many items on the blood tests your doctor checks as part of your yearly physical.

They appear in your lipid panelThe typical cholesterol panel includes

This test combines both your good and bad cholesterols into one number.
These are the two different forms of cholesterol. LDL is the bad form and HDL is the good form.
Normal triglyceride levels are under 149 mg/dl.

Doctors treat your cholesterol to lower your chances of having a heart attack or a stroke. But unlike cholesterol, there is little scientific evidence that treating high triglycerides lowers this risk.

Do I need to worry about my triglycerides?

Triglycerides are a marker of your overall health. They tend to go up as a result of a bad diet. Eating poorly also causes diabetes and weight problems. If your triglyceride level is high, you should focus on a low-fat diet, weight loss and treating your diabetes and high cholesterol before considering any medication for triglycerides.

One reason why you should try to lower your triglyceride level is to avoid pancreatitis. When triglycerides rise over 500 mg/dl, they can cause this dangerous inflammation of your pancreas. High levels in this range should be treated aggressively with both diet and medication.

About the Author
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Jose Taveras M.D.

Dr. Taveras is a non-invasive cardiologist in the Montefiore-Einstein Center for Heart and Vascular Care in Bronx, New York. He trained in both internal medicine and pediatrics and is currently an assistant professor of medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He is the co-creator of Doctablet.

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Last Modified: Jul 2, 2017 @ 1:25 pm

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Do I need to treat my triglycerides?
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Do I need to treat my triglycerides?
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Treating your cholesterol can reduce your chances of having a heart attack. But what about triglycerides? Are they the same thing as cholesterol?
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Doctablet®
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