Talking Triglycerides


Filed under Health & Wellness

You’ve probably gone to the doctor to have your cholesterol levels checked at some point. If you haven’t, now is the perfect time for you to learn more about the hidden heart dangers of cholesterol and other lipids, or types of fat in the blood. September is National Cholesterol Education Month, and results from a recent National Lipid Association (NLA) survey indicate Americans have a lot to learn.

You might have heard of LDL, “bad” cholesterol, and the health problems it can cause, but there are two more lipids the NLA wants you to know about: HDL, “good” cholesterol, and another important lipid, triglycerides.

Triglycerides are a type of fat produced by your body as it digests the things that you eat and drink. High levels of triglycerides (normal is below 150 mg/dL) can lead to serious illnesses including heart disease, kidney disease and stroke. The risk of developing heart disease doubles when triglycerides levels rise above 200 mg/dL. When triglycerides are above 200 mg/dL and HDL is below 40 mg/dL, the risk for heart disease increases four-fold.

Patients who are overweight or have other risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure, low HDL and elevated blood sugar, are more likely to have high triglycerides.

This year, as part of National Cholesterol Education Month, the NLA is encouraging all Americans to talk to their doctor about “good” and “bad” cholesterol as well as their triglycerides.

Results from the NLA’s recent “Moving Beyond Cholesterol” survey paint a troubling picture of lipid knowledge in the Unites States. The survey found that fewer than half of patients have ever discussed the subject of lipids with their doctors. Of those that did, the majority said the discussion lasted five minutes or less. Only a third of patients who walked away from lipid discussions felt well informed.

“We need to do a better job of educating patients about the dangers of cholesterol and triglycerides,” says Dr. Jerome Cohen of St. Louis University Health Center. “Doctors and patients need to work together to ensure patients understand the results of their lipid profile, and their appropriate goals and treatment options.”

High triglycerides, low HDL and high LDL levels are typically treated through a combination of healthy eating, increased exercise, and when necessary, one or more medications.

Visit to learn more about cholesterol and triglycerides or to find a lipid specialist who can assess your lipid profile and set up a treatment plan that’s right for you. The life you save could be your own.

Numbers To Know: LDL: Less than 100 mg/dL HDL: Above 40 mg/dL for men, above 50 mg/dL for women Triglycerides: Less than 150 mg/dL

Article courtesy of ARAcontent

Comments are closed.