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Triglycerides (cont.)

Lifestyle Changes (Diet, Exercise, Lowering Risk Factors) for Elevated Triglycerides

Patient Comments

Lifestyle modifications can be very effective in lowering blood triglyceride levels and are often the first-line treatment for borderline high levels. Lifestyle changes and self-care steps that have been proved to be effective in reducing triglyceride levels include:

  • weight loss,
  • regular aerobic exercise,
  • limiting intake of food with trans fats and saturated fats; substitute with polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fats rather than carbohydrates or sugar,
  • reducing alcohol intake, and
  • consuming fatty fish such ash mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna and salmon, which are high in omega-3 fatty acids.

It is also important to control diabetes or other conditions that may be the underlying cause of elevated triglycerides. Reduction in other risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as quitting smoking, is also important to decrease the risk of complications from elevated blood lipid levels.

Medical Treatment for Elevated Triglycerides

Lipid altering medications are used to reduce levels of undesirable blood lipids, such as LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, and increasing blood levels of desirable lipids, such as HDL cholesterol. There are different types of lipid altering medications, but only some of these are effective in lowering triglycerides.

The treatment goals for any individual with elevated blood lipids must take into account the severity of the abnormalities and the specific lipid levels that are abnormal, as well the medical history and presence of additional risk factors for cardiovascular disease. A treatment goal may be, for example, the lowering of LDL cholesterol levels while raising HDL cholesterol levels. If triglyceride levels are in the very high range, treatment may primarily address this problem in order to avoid pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), which can be a complication of extremely high triglyceride levels.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/6/2016

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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Triglycerides:

Triglycerides - Treatment

What treatment did you receive for elevated triglycerides?

Triglycerides - Lifestyle Changes

What lifestyle changes, for example, diet, weight loss, exercise) have been effective in lowering your triglyceride levels?

Triglycerides - Medication

What medication are you taken, or have you taken to lower your triglyceride levels, and have they been effective?

Triglycerides - Elevated

What were your triglyceride levels, and what action did you take to lower the levels. Please share your experience.

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