What Women Should Know About High Triglycerides

Anyone can develop high levels of triglycerides, a type of blood fat, but certain factors can make them likelier in women.

You're more likely to have high triglycerides if you are overweight, don't exercise, have diabetes, have increased waist circumference, or have a family history of high triglycerides. That's true for men and women alike. Hypothyroidism, lupus, and treatment with corticosteroids can also raise triglyceride levels.

Women are more likely to get high triglycerides if they:

 

 

Lowering High Triglycerides

Your lifestyle can make a big difference in your triglyceride levels.

Ask your doctor what lifestyle changes you should make, the best ways to do that, and how long it will take to make a difference in your triglyceride levels.

Getting more exercise, losing extra weight, and upgrading your diet -- such as avoiding processed and sugary foods -- are likely to be on your to-do list.

You should also ask your doctor whether any of your medications (such as birth control pills or hormone replacement) are linked to your high triglycerides. If so, your doctor will probably recommend changing your prescription.

If those changes aren't enough, your doctor may prescribe medications such as niacin, statins, fibrates, and omega-3 fatty acids. Even so, lifestyle changes will be part of the plan to lower your triglycerides for good.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Suzanne R. Steinbaum, MD on December 14, 2016

Sources

SOURCES:

American Heart Association: "Triglycerides: Frequently Asked Questions," "Triglycerides and Cardiovascular Disease."

Boulder Medical Center: "Estrogen Replacement Therapy."

Diabetes Teaching Center at the University of California, San Francisco: "Your Blood Lipids."

East Carolina University: "High Triglycerides: What are High Triglycerides?"

Harvard Medical School: "Gender Matters: Heart Disease Risk in Women." "His and Hers Heart Disease."

The Jewish Hospital: "Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT): The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly."

Michael McDermott MD, director, Endocrinology and Diabetes Practice, University of Colorado Hospital.

National Institutes of Health: "Postmenopausal Health Concerns."

Northwestern University: "Overview of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)."

NYU Langone Medical Center: "Triglyceride Levels Predict Stroke Risk in Postmenopausal Women."

Phys.org: "In Pregnancy, A Large Waistline And High Triglycerides: Early Screen For Gestational Diabetes."

The University of Chicago Medicine: "Defining PCOS."

University of Colorado Health Sciences Center: "Cholesterol and Triglycerides What You Should Know."

University of North Texas: "Association of Osteoporosis and Metabolic Syndrome in Older African American, Mexican American, and Non-Hispanic Caucasian Women: A Comparison."

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