Your Questions About Cholesterol And Triglycerides Numbers

Susan asks…

Blood work showed my triglycerides to be 154 despite very good cholesterol numbers. Is this at all worrisome?

I used an at home kit that showed my total cholesterol was 149, HDL 67, LDL 49, and triglycerides 154. I know the HDL and LDL levels are good, but the triglycerides levels are generally considered borderline high. Everywhere seems to state that high triglycerides and low HDL are correlated, but that doesn’t seem to be the case here.

Sheila answers:

You are right. The newest guidelines for triglyceride levels recommend a level less than 100 mg/dl on a fasting blood sample. You didn’t say if you tested your blood when fasting. But, either way, you should repeat the home test or have your doctor do it.  In a lab test and in a home test, there is margin for error.

Laura asks…

Should I be on meds for my cholesterol and triglyceride numbers?

Should I worry about not being on meds? Are my numbers dangerous? I have already lost 15 lbs and have been exercising 6 days a week for 30-40mins. My numbers are as follows. My LDL is 124 my HDL is 36 and my triglycerides is 217. My doctor told me to continue with the weight loss and diet and she would check again in 6 months.

Sheila answers:

Here are the recommendations of the American Heart Association:

Total cholesterol less than 200
HDL cholesterol at least > 40, ideally > 60
LDL cholesterol at least less than 130, ideally less than 100
Triglycerides less than 150 (actually, it is now less than 100 mg/dl)

So, your HDL is low and triglycerides elevated. Fortunately, the two go hand-in-hand and the steps you take to raise HDL will promote a lower triglyceride level and vice versa. I agree with your doctor that there is no reason you can’t make diet and lifestyle changes to improve your levels versus turning to medication.

Congratulations on the 15 pound weight loss! Stick with the activity and making positive diet changes and you should see an improvement in your cholesterol levels.

For additional help, check out Heart Health Made Easy.

Nancy asks…

Do my cholesterol numbers look okay?

Had blood work done last week and all I got was a voicemail from the nurse telling me my numbers were “fine”. I was hoping for a little more details.
Here are some of the numbers.
Triglycerides 102
Total Cholesterol 170
HDL 37
LDL 113
Chol/Hdlc Ratio 4.96

Sheila answers:

Going by established reference ranges, your HDL is slightly low, but also your total cholesterol is low, so the ratio is still pretty good. Again, by established ranges, your LDL is a little high but not really a problem at this time. Your triglycerides are excellent.

A good exercise program will improve your HDL and LDL numbers and, of course, be a benefit to your overall health. There is absolutely no reason to consider any of the cholesterol-reducing medications at this time.

Lizzie asks…

Can you reduce amount of drugs for cholesterol and triglycerides after numbers are normal?

Sheila answers:

If your cholesterol is within range and you are certain that you can maintain good cholesterol levels through dietary measures alone then there is no reason why you can’t come off your statin drug.

However, it is important to remember why you were put on the statin in the first place; high cholesterol is a significant risk factor for ischemic heart disease and stroke.

All medications require a careful assessment of the balance between benefit and risk. You should talk to your doctor before adjusting the dose or stopping your statin completely.

Betty asks…

How are my Cholesterol numbers for a 30 year old?

Got some blood work done a few weeks back…

I was 30 at the time, 5 foot 3 inches, and weigh 155.

Triglycerides – 76

Cholesterol – 145

HDL – 50

LDL – 80

Glucose (fasting) – 87

Are these good or no good?

Sheila answers:


You have exceptional cholesterol levels  Smile! HDL would be better sitting at around 60 because at that level it is proven to be most effective in preventing heart disease, but 50 is nothing to sweat over. Your LDL, triglycerides, glucose, and total cholesterol are optimal! Keep it up!

P.S. I did realize that you are somewhat overweight after looking at my post, just remember that a healthy cholesterol is just one factor to overall well-being!

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