Serum Triglycerides

Serum triglycerides refer to a type of fat in your blood that occur when man consumes more calories than the body needs. The fats are burned for energy between meals and they are stored in the fat cells. Serum triglycerides lesser than 150 mg are desirable. However higher levels indicate chances of liver disease, heart attack and diabetes. The levels can be lowered with the right combination of diet and changes in lifestyle.

The desirable serum triglycerides level is less than 200 mg/dl. This indicates lower chances of coronary heart disease. Levels more than 200 mg/dl raises the risk of heart disease. A level between 200 to 239 mg/DL is a borderline high. Here you need to take on precautionary steps as soon as possible. Anything above 240 md/Dl increases the chances of coronary heart disease significantly. The aim should always be to keep the levels below 200.

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The first step is to limit the intake of calories. You need to limit the consumption of fatty foods, sugary and cholesterol rich foods as well as alcohol. You can go for foods that have unsaturated fats and whole grains. You can increase consumption of fruits, vegetables and low fat diary products. Recommended level of protein is 50 gms per day.

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However diet is not the only concern. You also need to bring in lifestyle changes as well to decrease the triglyceride levels. You can begin by doing exercise daily for at least 20 minutes. Simple exercises like taking a brisk walk for 30 minutes can help to lower the levels. If you have excess weight then you need to get rid of it. Here getting rid of visceral fat is important. This is a type of fat that surrounds the different organs. If you are smoking then you need to get rid of it immediately.

In case the triglyceride levels don’t come down even after lifestyle changes and diet then the doctor will prescribe medications. Some of the common medications are fibrates, statins, omega 3 fats and niacin. Out of these, omega 3 supplements and niacin are available over the counter.

In women, pregnancy could skew the results of the test that checks the levels. In some other cases, the levels may increase due to factors such as diabetes, kidney disease and underactive thyroid. You need to treat these conditions to bring the levels under control.

Many people think that cholesterol and triglycerides are one and the same. However both of them are different lipids that flow in the blood stream. Whole triglycerides provide energy to the body and store unused calories, cholesterol helps to create hormones and build up cells. Both of these lipids cant dissolve in blood, the circulate in the body through the blood stream and help to transport the lipoproteins.

A simple blood is all that is needed to check the levels of triglycerides in the body. You may need to fast 9 to 12 hours before the blood test. This means you don’t have to eat anything but you can drink water during the interval.

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