WHAT ARE TRIGLYCERIDES?
Triglycerides are the form of fat, which your body stores when you eat more calories that you use during your daily activities.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO HAVE NORMAL TRIGLYCERIDES, LDL VALUES?
Deposits of cholesterol on the inside walls of your arteries occurs from too much LDL cholesterol and triglycerides in your bloodstream. These deposits are termed PLAQUES, and narrow the opening of the artery so less blood can flow to the tissues. This is called ATHEROSCLEROSIS.
WHAT IS HDL CHOLESTEROL?
HDL cholesterol (aka “good fat”) takes the bad cholesterol out of your blood and keeps those fats from building up in your arteries.
HOW ARE FATS IN BLOODSTREAM MEASURED?
A simple blood test, called a fasting lipoprotein profile, is ordered to measure the levels of total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides.
WHAT ARE MY GOAL VALUES?
Everyone has slightly different target values, based upon risk factors for heart disease, but an example of goals are noted in the chart below
WHAT IS THE TREATMENT OF HYPERLIPIDEMIA?
The first step is therapeutic lifestyle change, which includes a healthy diet and exercise. Losing 5-10% of your body weight can improve your overall health, and reduce your risks for cardiovascular disease. Quitting smoking is recommended, as smoking lowers good HDL levels and causes harm to blood vessel walls.
WHAT MEDICATIONS ARE USED TO TREAT HIGH CHOLESTEROL?
Four types of medications are typically used to lower blood lipid levels
1) Statins – block liver enzymes your body uses to make cholesterol and consequently primarily lower LDL cholesterol
2) Fibrates – raises HDL chol and lowers triglyceride levels
3) Niacin – slows the liver production of blood fats, very effective to raise HDL
4) Bile acid sequestrants – help body get rid of cholesterol
5) Omega-3 fatty acids – prescription omega 3s are FDA approved and help reduce triglyceride levels
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