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Stick With Your Treatment for High Triglycerides

When your triglycerides are high, you may feel overwhelmed by all the things you should do each day: eat less fat and sugar, exercise more, take medicine.

Don’t panic if you’re having a hard time sticking with your treatment plan. For every obstacle you face, there’s a way to overcome it.

Recommended Related to Cholesterol Management

Treatments for Advanced Atherosclerosis

Drugs are usually the first choice of treatment, even in the late stages of atherosclerosis. Sometimes, though, more aggressive treatment is needed. Narrowed arteries can frequently be reopened with one of two treatments: stenting or bypass surgery. Because these atherosclerosis treatments come with risks, they are typically reserved for emergencies or when medications fail.

Read the Treatments for Advanced Atherosclerosis article > >

Obstacle: You hate to exercise.

Solution: See if your doctor can recommend a physical therapist with experience turning couch potatoes into fit people. Your health insurance company will probably cover the cost if your doctor refers you. If your insurer doesn’t cover physical therapy, check out personal trainers at your local gym. They’re usually more affordable. Either way, you want a workout program customized to your likes and your schedule. You’re more likely to make exercise a part of your healthier life if it’s convenient and enjoyable. It also helps to work out with a buddy who shares your goals.

Obstacle: You’re having a hard time staying on your diet.

Solution: Try a new approach to your plate: Fill half with vegetables or fruit. Then, fill a quarter with high-fiber grains like quinoa or brown rice. Add a few ounces of protein -- fish, chicken, lean meat, or beans – to the last quarter. Enjoy a serving of low-fat milk, yogurt, or cheese on the side. Still struggling? Ask your doctor to refer you to a nutritionist who can help you plan a balanced diet. You may need to make smaller changes than you think.

Obstacle: You can't remember to take the medicine your doctor prescribed.

Solution: Put your pills in a weekly pill organizer, and keep it on your kitchen counter. Try to take your medicine at the same time each day, for instance with breakfast or dinner. Program a reminder into your cell phone, or write it on your calendar. Also, stick a note in your suitcase, reminding you to pack your medicine. It’ll jog your memory the next time you pack for a trip.

Obstacle: You don’t like how your medicine makes you feel.

Solution: Find out if it’s possible to switch to another drug or adjust your dose. Like all medicine, triglyceride treatments can have side effects. Usually they’re minor. You may feel nausea, weakness, or bloating. Some medication can have an after taste. There are several types of drugs that help lower triglycerides, including fibrates, prescription-strength fish oil, niacin, and statins. Each can affect people differently, so keep trying until you find the one that works best for you.

If you follow your treatment plan carefully, you could see start to see a drop in your triglycerides within a few days.  Stay positive, and focus on the goals you and your doctor have set. You’ll get there!

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD on November 08, 2012

Is This Normal? Get the Facts Fast!

Is Your Cholesterol Level Heart Healthy?
What is your LDL (low-density lipoprotein) level?

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or
Answer:
Desirable
0-199
Borderline
200-239
High
240+

Your level is currently

Congratulations! Your total cholesterol level is in the Desirable range, and your level of "bad" LDL cholesterol is optimal.

Congratulations! Your total cholesterol level is in the Desirable range, and your level of "bad" LDL cholesterol is near optimal.

Your total cholesterol level is in the Desirable range, but your level of "bad" LDL cholesterol is borderline high. If your LDL goes higher, your total cholesterol level could become Borderline High. Consider reducing the amount of foods you eat with saturated fats and increasing physical activity. If you get more exercise, your level of "good" HDL cholesterol may increase, which could also help to keep your levels of LDL and total cholesterol in check.

Your total cholesterol level is in the Desirable range, but your level of "bad" LDL cholesterol is High. This may mean that your level of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or "good" cholesterol, is too low. It is best to have a high level of "good" HDL and a low level of "bad" LDL. The HDL helps keep your LDL level in check. Ask your doctor for your HDL level. If your HDL is low, increasing your physical activity can increase it, which may help reduce your LDL level.

Your total cholesterol level is in the Desirable range, but your level of "bad" LDL cholesterol is Very High. This may mean that your level of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or "good" cholesterol, is too low. It is best to have a high level of "good" HDL and a low level of "bad" LDL because the HDL helps keep your LDL level in check. Ask your doctor for your HDL level. If your HDL is low, increasing your physical activity can increase it, which may help reduce your LDL level.

Your total cholesterol level is Borderline High, but fortunately your level of "bad" LDL cholesterol is optimal. This could mean you have a high level of high-density lipoprotein, or "good" HDL cholesterol, which protects against heart disease. Or you could have other non-measured increases in LDL-like particles that can increase heart disease. Your LDL level also could be optimal if you are taking a statin medication. Please check with your doctor to get your complete lipid profile and see if you may need additional treatment. In the meantime, find more information on WebMD's Cholesterol Health Center.

Your total cholesterol level is Borderline High, but fortunately your level of "bad" LDL cholesterol is near optimal. This could mean you have a high level of high-density lipoprotein, or "good" HDL cholesterol, which protects against heart disease. Or you could have other non-measured increases in LDL-like particles that can increase heart disease. Your LDL level also could be optimal if you are taking a statin medication. Please check with your doctor to get your complete lipid profile and see if you may need additional treatment. In the meantime, find more information on WebMD's Cholesterol Health Center.

Your total cholesterol level is Borderline High. Your level of "bad" LDL cholesterol is Borderline High, too. Working to bring down your total cholesterol decreases your LDL cholesterol level. You can do this by exercising more and eating less food with saturated fats. Check food labels!

Your total cholesterol level is Borderline High. Your level of "bad" LDL cholesterol is High. Working to bring down your total cholesterol decreases your LDL cholesterol level. You can do this by exercising more and eating less food with saturated fats. Check food labels!

Your total cholesterol level is Borderline High. But your level of "bad" LDL cholesterol is Very High. Working to bring down your total cholesterol decreases your LDL cholesterol level. You can do this by exercising more and eating less food with saturated fats. Check food labels!

Your total cholesterol is High, but your level of "bad" LDL cholesterol is optimal. This could mean you have a high level of high-density lipoprotein, or "good" HDL cholesterol, which protects against heart disease. Or you could have elevated secondary lipids, such as non-HDL particles that increase the risk of heart disease. Your LDL level also could be optimal if you are taking a statin medication. Please check with your doctor to get your complete lipid profile and see if you may need additional treatment. In the meantime, find more information on WebMD's Cholesterol Health Center.

Your total cholesterol is High, but your level of "bad" LDL cholesterol is near optimal. This could mean you have a high level of high-density lipoprotein, or "good" HDL cholesterol, which protects against heart disease. Or you could have elevated secondary lipids, such as non-HDL particles that increase the risk of heart disease. Your LDL level also could be optimal if you are taking a statin medication. Please check with your doctor to get your complete lipid profile and see if you may need additional treatment. In the meantime, find more information on WebMD's Cholesterol Health Center.

Your total cholesterol level is High. Your level of "bad" LDL cholesterol is Borderline High. Working to bring down your total cholesterol decreases your LDL cholesterol level. You can do this by exercising more and eating less food with saturated fats. Check food labels!

Your total cholesterol level is High. Your level of "bad" LDL cholesterol is High, too. Working to bring down your total cholesterol decreases your LDL cholesterol level. You can do this by exercising more and eating less food with saturated fats. Check food labels! If you are struggling to bring down your total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels, your doctor may prescribe medication, such as statins. Following medication, dietary, and exercise instructions should result in improvements.

Your total cholesterol level is High, and your level of "bad" LDL cholesterol is Very High. Working to bring down your total cholesterol decreases your LDL cholesterol level. You can do this by exercising more and eating less food with saturated fats. Check food labels! If you are struggling to bring down your total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels, your doctor may prescribe statins or other cholesterol-lowering medications.

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