Triglyceride Levels, What is Normal, Readers Ask

Mary asks…

What are the normal levels for triglycerides,cholesterol, ldl, vldl, hdl ?

At what levels it is advisable to take medicine ? What are the side effects of medicine ? Can these be controlled naturally by exercise or by changing food habits ?

Sheila answers:

According to the WebHealthCentre, the normal levels are:

Triglycerides less than 180 mg/dl
Total cholesterol up to 200 mg/dl
HDL cholesterol 30-60 mg/dl
LDL cholesterol 100-190 mg/dl

But be aware that these levels are changing. For example, the triglyceride level was decreased to be less than 100 mg/dl for ideal health.
Your physician can best determine when and whether it’s advisable for you to take medication.Yes, in most cases, these levels can be controlled by diet, exercise and other lifestyle changes.

Basically all the medications used for hyperlipidemia have side effects. Statins that are used in the treatment of high LDL have one set of side effects (e.g. Atorvastatin), whilst Niacin which is used in the treatment of hypertriglyceridemia has an entirely different side effect profile.

Linda asks…

Are my cholesterol levels normal?

Cholesterol: 172
Hdl: 51.
Ldl: 108.
triglycerides: 67.
Normal? Good? bad?

Sheila answers: This is an excellent answer from one of our readers who is a health care practitioner:

This is an excellent question as it asks what is ‘normal’. Laboratories are required by law to give a reference range for each test done. Reference ranges are a Gaussian or statistical rather than a health norm.

The US has the highest total cholesterol levels in the world so a Gaussian norm would place the upper limit at 300 to 330 mg/dL. Obviously this is not a healthy number. I do not speak in terms of normal but rather of an individual’s goal. The goal is based upon a cardiovascular risk assessment.

The National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel 3 guidelines are a bit out of date but these are the guidelines typically followed. According to this if you have no cardiovascular risk factors the goal for LDL cholesterol would be 160 mg/dL or less.

For a person with hypertension the goal becomes 100 mg/dL.

In the presence of diabetes or documented coronary artery disease or peripheral artery disease the goal is 70 mg/dL or less.

These guidelines do not take into account other factors such as the LDL to HDL ratio. Framingham data suggests a ratio of less than 3.5.

There is also the ability to determine the density and particle count of LDL and HDL and there are other tests which help to define cardiovascular risk.

There is no single recommendation which takes all of these factors into account. Assuming that you do not have hypertension diabetes or arterial disease then your numbers are excellent. I wish you the very best of health and may God bless.

William asks…

Here are the results of my latest lipid panel:

  • 1.46 creatinine level,
  • BUN 27,
  • Triglycerides 188 mg/dL (normal 0-149)
  • LDL Chol. 104

Are my kidneys damaged?

These results were on Dec 1st. 2 weeks later, after drinking 2.2 liters of water every day, creatinine went 1.4, bun 25, triglycerides went down 119, but total cholesterol went up to 209 (normal 100-199).

I did an ultrasound and my Family doctor said my kidneys were ok, but I have to go back to check the creatinine levels after 1 month. I am worried: Are my kidneys damaged? Are they going to be damaged since my creatinine levels went up since last year? In October 2009 my creatinine was 1.02
I eat chicken every single day, sometimes twice a day. I eat red meat very rarely. I was 190 lbs one year ago and now I am 175 lbs. I lost weight only watching what I eat, no exercising, but I am on my feet all day. I work as a waiter. if my kidneys are damaged, is there anything I can do to get them better? Can they be normal again or not?

Sheila answers:

The normal levels in men are 1.4 women 1.2  so your levels seem fine.

Your doctor checking the levels next month is precautionary to ensure that these levels do not rise consistently with kidney failure. If you have diabetes, you are at a very high risk of experiencing this type of elevation. It is important to understand that this rise in Creatinine levels is not a health condition in itself but rather a symptom of a deeper underlying cause that must be treated in order to reduce the levels.

There are also several other causes for an increase in Creatinine levels. The prolonged use of antibiotics or high blood pressure medications which are Angitensin-converting enzyme inhibitors can cause an increase in Creatinine levels. If you are an athlete or bodybuilder and you are on supplements, make sure that your supplements do not contain Creatine. Creatine supplements are often used to gain muscle mass quickly.

Dietary measures and medications are necessary in order to reduce elevated levels of Creatinine. However, these changes need to be specifically suited to your weight and physical fitness levels. Thus, you will need to speak to your doctor to get a dietary regimen that is suitable for you.

There are also several home remedies like cinnamon and Siberian Ginseng that can be used to treat this problem. Dandelion tea is an effective diuretic and is also rich in potassium which is a mineral that is often lost when using a diuretic. The tea also helps to normalize blood sugar levels and is therefore extremely effective in dealing with cases of increased Creatinine caused by diabetes.

Try not to worry so much as stress can also affect your immune system. Just follow the above tips and watch your diet and fluids and add the herbal remedies if you feel comfortable. Trust your doctor. Hope this helps.

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