Hypertriglyceridemia is a medical term used for raised level of triglyceride in the blood. Triglyceride is one type of lipid (fat) present in blood. The organic composition of triglyceride consists of three chains of fatty acid attached to one glycerol molecule. The body derives triglyceride from vegetable as well as animal products. The unused calorie from carbohydrate and protein is also converted into triglyceride.
After its absorption from intestine triglyceride is used for the purpose of fuel and rest is stored in the fat cells. Although optimum amount of triglyceride is needed as an energy source for the body cells, its abnormal rise in blood can increase risk of coronary artery disease, heart attack, pancreatitis and stroke.
Causes And Risk Factors For Hypertriglyceridemia
Before we know the cause of hypertriglyceridemia, let us know the normal level of triglyceride in blood. The reading may slightly differ from one laboratory to another.
- Normal level: Less than 150mg/dl.
- Moderately high: 150-199mg/dl.
- High: 200-499mg/dl
- Severe high: More than 500mg/dl.
Following are the causes and risk factors of hypertriglyceridemia:
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Cigarette smoking
- Excessive consumption of alcohol extremely increases risk for high triglyceride level.
- Eating too much of simple sugar and diet low in protein.
- Family history of hypertriglyceridemia.
- Genetic orientation for abnormal lipid metabolism.
- Hypothyroidism, kidney disease, uncontrolled diabetes.
- Certain medicines such as diuretics, anti-hypertensives, birth control pills containing estrogen can increase level of triglyceride in the body.
Signs And Symptoms Of Hypertriglyceridemia
Hypertriglyceridemia does not produce any symptoms in majority of cases and it is found on routine blood examination for lipid levels. However, severe form of hypertriglyceridemia that is more than 500mg/dl may produce certain signs and symptoms and it can pose a risk for heart attack, stroke, pancreatitis, high blood pressure.
- Pain in middle of abdomen and radiating to back and chest. This may be accompanied with nausea and vomiting. Such pain can be caused due to acute pancreatitis. Almost 7 percent of cases of acute pancreatitis are related to hypertriglyceridemia. It is more common after drinking alcohol.
- Yellow colored skin tags may develop due to too much collection of fat under the skin. This is called xanthomas in medical terminology.
- Patient with severe hypertriglyceridemia may have yellow tags of fat deposits around the eyelids. They are called xanthaleasmas. In fact appearance of xanthaleasmas is indicative of this condition. Patient must check his blood for triglyceride level on appearance of such tags of fat.
- Hypertriglyceridemia is associated with a condition called metabolic syndrome. It includes high level of triglyceride, high blood sugar, increased fat in abdomen, high blood pressure, and low level of HDL good cholesterol.
Natural Treatment For Hypertriglyceridemia
Medications, diet and lifestyle intervention remains the corner stone therapy in management of hypertriglyceridemia.
- Patient must modify his lifestyle which includes; cessation of smoking, cutting down alcohol intake, weight reduction, reducing intake of sugar and sugary products. Patient must reduce consummation of saturated fats.
- Exercise regularly is one of the most needed steps in reducing overall lipid in blood which also includes hypertriglyceridemia.
- Medications such as niacin, derivatives of omeg 3 fatty acids, and statins are used to lower hypertriglyceridemia.
Aside from the above measures certain home remedies are valuable in lowering triglyceride level in blood. They are:
- Garlic: Eat 2 to 3 raw garlic cloves daily in the morning.
- Coriander seeds: Add one teaspoon of coriander seeds in two glasses of water. Boil water and cool. Strain the concoction. Drink this water once in a day.
- Cinnamon: It is time tested remedy for controlling high blood sugar and high lipids in blood. Its powder can be added to various dishes that you prepare and eat. You can add ½ tea spoon of cinnamon powder in water and boil it for a while. When cool, strain the liquid and drink one cup of this water daily.
- Eat foods that are high in omega 3 fatty acid. The role of omega 3 in clearing VLDL (fat) as well as lowering triglyceride production by liver is well documented. Eat fish, flax seeds, green leafy vegetables, and use soybean oil for cooking.