Understanding Triglycerides

When you ask most people “What are triglycerides?”, you may be met with a blank look. And that is perfectly understandable with all the hullabaloo about cholesterol.  Few people realize that if they had their cholesterol checked, their triglyceride level was checked, too, since both are “blood lipids”.

But, once diagnosed with high triglycerides, you then look to find out all you can. And rightly so. After all, high triglycerides can be either a warning sign that you have another medical problem going on or they can be an indication of what’s in store for your future health.

When researching triglycerides, places that you may find helpful include:

  • The American Heart Association
  • Webmd
  • Mayo Clinic
  • MedlinePlus
  • Cleveland Clinic

These are all physician-based, reliable sources of medical information. And they are all obtainable from the Internet.

Of course, your personal physician will have information for you. And you may be referred to a dietician.  But, even so, it is always recommended that you do your own research which will help you to be an active participant in your own medical care.

What questions should you ask? What information should you look for? Here is a start for you:

  • What are triglycerides?
  • Why do they matter?
  • Why are they high?
  • What will correct my situation?
  • What treatment options do I have?
  • What if I do nothing?

As with any health problem, the first step in selecting the right treatment is to know what is causing the problem. You really need to know what the problem is in order to find a solution.  High triglycerides are usually a symptom of something else. Things such as obesity, a poor diet, diabetes and kidney problems, to name a few.

High triglycerides can be the result of a genetic disorder. Have any family members with the same problem? This is important to diagnose because your choice of treatment will be different than someone who has high triglycerides because they are obese.

Another very important reason to understand triglycerides and how they work is that knowing this will help you understand your treatment and how it works. This will hopefully help you stay motivated in your desire to lower your triglycerides to a nice healthy level.