Sunday, June 7, 2009

Do I Need To Lower My Lipid Level Right Now?

My cholesterol is 230 and my triglyceride reading is at 351. Is there a big worry to lower that immediately or can I kinda go at a slow pace and stay away from fatty foods?

William B.

Hello William,

It looks like your cholesterol is high and your triglycerides are as well.
Depending on your age, doctors are usually quick to want to see the cholesterol and triglyceride levels lowered ASAP. The longer you have excess fats traveling in your bloodstream, the more they can clog the arteries and eventually lead to a possible heart event.

High triglycerides actually are more a result of high carbohydrate intake than fat intake--particularly sweets and alcohol affect this level. If you were not fasting at the time of the blood test, the level may in fact be much lower.

At levels only slightly higher than yours is currently, there is also a concern of developing pancreatitis, a very painful condition that can recur in people with high triglyceride levels.

These are some good reasons to get on the ball right now to lower your levels--choosing a lower fat diet and reducing intake of sweets and alcoholic beverages--and to consider medication if your physician suggests it.

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