Typically, if you have high triglycerides, you are generally not aware of it unless you have had your blood tested for it. There are usually no symptoms of high triglycerides. That is, until you reach the dangerously high levels. These are levels of 500 mg/dl and above.
Symptoms of very high triglyceride levels include the following:
- Inflammation of the pancreas
- Nodules, or lumps, on the elbows or knees
- Multiple pimple-size yellowing skin eruptions
The inflammation of the pancreas is due to the fact that the pancreas has to work overtime to process the extra triglycerides. Anytime one of your internal organs works excessively hard, it becomes inflamed, or enlarged, whether it’s your pancreas, or your heart or your liver.
Another term for an inflamed pancreas is pancreatitis. This is a very painful condition. Pancreatitis causes severe pain and has the potential to cause bleeding or serious death. It also damages tissue in areas around the pancreas.
If left untreated, pancreatitis can extend into a condition called peritonitis, which is inflammation throughout the abdomen. This is life-threatening.
Pancreatitis can also lead to malnutrition and diabetes. With time, the pancreas becomes scarred and, because of the scar tissue, the pancreas can’t do its job of digestion and processing of things such as your blood sugar.
Here are the symptoms of pancreatitis:
Pain in the upper abdomen that may radiate around to your back or up to your chest
- Nausea and vomiting
- Tender abdomen
- Fast heart rate
- Rapid breathing
- Oily stools- seen with chronic pancreatitis
High Triglycerides and Headaches
Headaches are not a typical symptom of high triglycerides, but they are possible. The main reasons behind headaches in this case are the complications of having too much fat in your blood.
Carrying excessive fat in your blood causes plaque to build up on the blood vessels, narrowing the vessels. As the blood pushes through the narrowed vessels, it exerts pressure to get through. This results in high blood pressure.
Though high blood pressure is known as the silent killer, some people do experience headaches with it. This is because of the blood trying to push through narrow blood vessels.
Unfortunately, if you are experiencing headaches as a result of high triglycerides, this usually means your triglyceride level is in the danger zone. You need immediate treatment as you are at risk for strokes and heart attacks.
Skin Symptoms of High Triglycerides
The other symptoms of high triglycerides, the nodules and skin eruptions, are due to excessive triglyceride fats accumulating just below the skin. If you get your triglycerides under control and at a healthy, normal level, the nodules and skin eruptions may go away.
The number of Americans with triglyceride problems is increasing and affects over a third of the population. It is so important to ‘know your numbers’ and get tested for it. If your triglyceride level is over 100 mg/dl on a fasting blood sample, you need to find triglyceride lowering options that work and start lowering your levels today.
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