What Are The Consequences Of High Triglycerides – Triglycerides are a form of fat in the blood that is stored for later energy use. While triglycerides are necessary, they can be a problem if you eat more calories than your body burns, and you can experience high triglycerides.

High triglycerides are a common health problem that affects about 25 percent of adults in the United States (1). High triglycerides can increase the risk of liver, pancreatic, kidney, and cardiovascular problems. The good news is that you can lower your triglyceride levels and reduce your risk of related health problems naturally.

What Are The Consequences Of High Triglycerides

What Are The Consequences Of High Triglycerides

In this article, you will learn what triglycerides are. You will understand the problem with high triglycerides. I will discuss the proper ratio of cholesterol and triglycerides. You will learn about the risk factors for high triglycerides. I will explain the functional causes of high triglycerides. I will share the top natural support strategies for high triglycerides.

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Triglycerides are a form of fat or lipid found in the blood. Excess unused calories from food will be converted into triglycerides. Because they are not needed immediately, triglycerides are stored in fat cells.

When the body needs energy between meals, certain hormones release these stored triglycerides. This is a normal and necessary process. However, it can become a problem if you eat more calories than your body can burn, and you experience high triglycerides.

High triglycerides are also called hypertriglyceridemia. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 25 percent of adults in the US have high triglycerides of more than 150 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) (1).

High triglyceride levels are often associated with liver and pancreatic problems. A 2012 study published in the Indian Journal of Endocrine Metabolism found that high triglycerides can lead to acute pancreatitis (2). A 2014 research published in Biomedical Reports has found that high triglycerides can increase the risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (3).

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High triglycerides along with low cholesterol can also affect the kidneys. A 2016 study published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine found that low triglycerides and HDL cholesterol can lead to kidney problems (4).

High triglycerides can also increase the risk of heart disease. A 2018 study published in Nutrient found that high triglycerides may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease (5). However, other research, including a 2011 review published in Atherosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology found that the relationship between triglycerides and cardiovascular problems is unclear (6). Links may be more complex and we need to consider other factors as well.

High triglycerides often co-occur with other health problems, including high “bad” LDL and “good” HDL cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity. It can be difficult to know which health problems are caused solely by high triglycerides and which are the result of other problems or a combination of many problems. It’s no wonder that we, functional medicine practitioners, like to address the root cause of all problems rather than just one problem.

What Are The Consequences Of High Triglycerides

According to the National Cholesterol Education Program, normal and high triglyceride levels can be defined as normal triglycerides below 150 mg/dL, high triglycerides between 150 and 199 mg/dL, high triglycerides between 200 and 499 mg/dL, and very high triglycerides of 500 mg/dL. dL and more (7). However, we need to check our cholesterol levels and cholesterol-triglyceride ratio to understand our health status and health risks.

Understanding High And Borderline High Cholesterol

Triglycerides and cholesterol are fats or lipids in the blood. But they are different. As you have learned, triglycerides store calories in fat cells to be used for energy later. Cholesterol, on the other hand, is needed to build cells and make certain hormones.

HDL cholesterol, on the other hand, is also called the ‘good cholesterol’ because it helps bring cholesterol to the liver and prevents plaque in the arteries. HDL cholesterol is important for reducing the risk of blood clots, heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.

LDL cholesterol is often referred to as ‘bad cholesterol’. LDL transports cholesterol as well as fat-soluble nutrients like vitamins A, D, E and K2 into the arteries. Some types of LDL cholesterol are susceptible to oxidation in arterial walls. Oxidized cholesterol can cause arterial plaque that restricts blood flow and causes blood clots to block blood flow to the brain or heart and risk stroke or heart attack.

There are 2 main types of LDL particles: small solid particles and large floating particles. Small solid particles are common with insulin resistance and are more prone to oxidation and plaque formation. Large buoyant particles are more resistant to oxidation and are not considered a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

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The same factors, such as insulin resistance, that cause the tendency to develop small dense LDL particles also cause an increase in triglycerides. Simply lowering cholesterol levels with medication does not address oxidative stress and plaque formation. According to a 2011 study, published in Current Cardiological Reports, some people can have normal LDL cholesterol levels due to statin drugs but still have high triglycerides and risk of heart problems (8).

I recommend looking at all lipid levels, including total cholesterol, LDL and HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. I recommend the following guidelines for optimal markers:

However, these numbers still don’t tell the whole story. People with high triglycerides often have low HDL cholesterol. Looking only at HDL numbers, we may miss some health risks. Looking at all the numbers but not the ratio between triglycerides and cholesterol, we can also miss some problems.

What Are The Consequences Of High Triglycerides

We also need to look at the ratio of triglycerides and HDL cholesterol. It is calculated by dividing the triglyceride result by the HDL cholesterol level. Your triglyceride to HDL cholesterol ratio should ideally be less than 2 and ideally close to 1 or even less than 1. The higher your HDL or the lower your triglyceride level, the lower your ratio will be. Lower levels indicate lower health risks.

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To determine the risk factors for clogged arteries, I recommend several main laboratory tests to look at. Get a Comprehensive Blood Analysis is a great blood test that allows us to look at all factors of your health.

Now that you know the risk factors for high triglycerides, I want to discuss the functional causes of high triglycerides. While these factors do not necessarily cause high triglycerides, they can increase the risk of high triglycerides or increase the risk of health problems that can cause high triglycerides.

Functional causes of these high triglycerides include insulin resistance, oxidative stress, inflammation, hypothyroidism, subclinical hypothyroidism, vitamin D deficiency, zinc deficiency, chronic infections, and certain medications. Let’s discuss each of these factors.

Insulin resistance means that the body cannot respond to insulin as it should and as a result, cannot handle all the glucose in the blood. Insulin resistance can cause blood sugar problems and increase the risk of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.

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Insulin resistance can also increase the risk of high triglycerides. High triglycerides can also cause insulin resistance which makes the two interrelated. A 2006 study published in Diabetes Care found a link between fasting triglycerides and insulin resistance (10). On the other hand, a 2005 study published in the Archives of Medical Research found that regulating plasma triglyceride levels can improve insulin resistance and diabetes (11).

Oxidative stress refers to a disturbance in the balance between free radicals, or reactive oxygen species, production, and the body’s antioxidant defenses. Radiation, chemical exposure, car fumes, pollution, and pesticides are just a few examples that can cause oxidative stress.

These factors, along with poor diet and lifestyle choices, can also increase chronic inflammation. Some of the factors that can lead to chronic inflammation include refined sugar, refined oils, artificial ingredients, junk food, processed and other inflammatory foods, lack of sleep, high stress, lack of exercise, and environmental toxins.

What Are The Consequences Of High Triglycerides

Oxidative stress and chronic inflammation can increase the risk of high triglycerides. A 2014 study published in Redox Report found a link between oxidative stress and high triglycerides as a risk factor for subclinical atherosclerosis in people with prediabetes (12).

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Hypothyroidism means you have an underactive thyroid that can’t produce enough thyroid hormone. In functional medicine, we don’t wait until your numbers are bad enough to diagnose hypothyroidism.

If your number is lower than what is considered normal, you have subclinical hypothyroidism which increases your risk of hypothyroidism and can cause symptoms and health problems. This is when we like to solve these problems and prevent further problems.

Hypothyroidism and subclinical low thyroid levels can increase the risk of high triglycerides. A 2011 study published in The Open Cardiovascular Medical Journal found that your lipid profile, including triglyceride levels and triglyceride/cholesterol ratio, can be affected by thyroid function (13). A 2018 study published in Frontiers in Endocrinology (Lausanne) also found a link between thyroid problems and lipid metabolism (14).

Vitamin D is an important vitamin for bone, muscle, and immune health. Your body synthesizes from sunlight. It is also found in certain foods,

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