When your triglyceride levels are too high, you may not have symptoms. It's a "silent" problem with big implications, such as a four-fold increase in the likelihood of having a heart attack or stroke.
If you already know that your triglyceride levels are too high, the actions you take now might even save your life.
Triglycerides and Blood Sugar
Untreated diabetes is a major health threat. To manage it well, you may need to track everything you eat, test your blood sugar, exercise, lose extra weight, take medication as directed, and keep up with your medical appointments.
Many people don't know that they have diabetes. Your doctor should check on whether you do, and if so, help you get both your diabetes and your triglycerides under control.
Triglycerides and the Liver
High triglyceride levels can be a clue that you have fatty liver disease. Poor eating habits lead not only to high levels of fat in the bloodstream (triglycerides) but increased storage of fat throughout the body, including in the liver. Elevations in liver function tests (like ALT and AST) can indicate that fatty liver is present. Fatty liver usually does not cause symptoms, but unless reversed, fatty liver can lead to permanent liver damage and cirrhosis.
Triglycerides and the Pancreas
If your triglyceride levels are “very high” -- above 500 mg/dL -- you are more likely to get inflammation in your pancreas.
Treatments for High Triglyceride Levels
If you have high triglycerides, your doctor's treatment should include healthy eating and exercise. Avoiding processed and sugary foods is paramount; these dietary changes alone can have a tremendous impact on your triglyceride levels. Your doctor may also recommend taking omega 3 fatty acid supplements.
Begin today. Talk to your doctor or other health care provider about exactly what you need to do to start living a healthy lifestyle to lower triglycerides, help prevent a heart attack or stroke, avoid or manage diabetes, and reduce your chances of developing liver disease and pancreatitis.