Triglycerides are a type of fat which is important to your body. As with many fats, triglycerides play an important role in heart health. This type of fat is created when you eat foods and your body turns those calories into energy and burns it as fuel. Fuel that isn't used up turns into triglycerides. It's good to learn why your triglycerides range matters so that you can lead a healthier lifestyle, without the worry of heart disease.
In this modern age of health eating and weight loss mania, it can be easy to mistake fats for something negative, but lipids are an important part of your body. Cholesterol is another type of lipid, but one that works differently from triglycerides.
Understanding the Normal Range:
It isn't enough to know that your body needs lipids to survive, you also need to have an understanding of why your triglycerides range matters and what is considered normal. In a healthy adult, the normal level is less than 150 mg/dL. If your triglycerides are between 150 to 199 mg/dL, your doctor may suggest some ways to lower them. The range of 200 to 499 mg/dL is a worrisome area, which will require a plan of action in terms of nutritional changes. Having 500 mg/dL or above is severely high, and may require medication.
How To Determine Your Level:
Once you know why your triglycerides range matters, you can stay on top of these levels to remain healthy, and keep your heart healthy. In order to determine where your level is now, your doctor will perform a blood test. Before the test you will be asked to fast for nine to twelve hours so that sugar levels are not altered. The test is painless, aside from a needle prick in order to take some blood. A few vials may be needed, and your doctor will likely have you sit and wait to make sure that dizziness and nausea don't ensue, following the test.
The blood sample is sent to a lab where tests are performed and mailed or called in to your physician. Your doctor will then contact you with your results.
Treating High Triglycerides:
Eating a healthy fiber rich diet, with a low fat consumption can be helpful in maintaining a more regular lipid count. Regular exercise also helps, as those who suffer from obesity are more likely to see higher numbers in the triglycerides test score. You can lower your numbers by consuming less alcohol, avoiding sugary, high fat foods, and counting calories. Remember that triglycerides form when too many calories are consumed, so by increasing exercise and lowering caloric intake, you stand a chance to maintain a normal count.
If your doctor feels that a fast solution is necessary then he or she may prescribe you with statins, which are a cholesterol lowering drug. Niacin and fibrates are also common.
If you are concerned that you have high triglycerides, you should speak to your doctor about setting up a test. Testing lipid levels regularly can prevent heart disease and heart attacks from occurring.