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Understanding Triglycerides - Medical Animation


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Understanding Triglycerides - Medical Animation
You or someone you know may have been diagnosed with high triglycerides. This video will show you what they are and how their levels are measured. High triglycerides can have harmful effects on your body. Triglycerides are a type of fat or lipid found in your blood. Your body uses triglycerides for energy. One place triglycerides come from is your liver. Another is from the food you eat. Foods that may raise your triglycerides include, fatty foods-- such as dogs and tropical oils-- refined carbohydrates-- such as french fries-- foods high in simple sugars-- such as donuts-- and alcohol. So how do triglycerides get to the cells that need them? Triglycerides in food are digested and eventually, reach your liver. In the liver, both the triglycerides from your food and those made in your liver are packaged together with proteins. Each resulting molecule is called a lipoprotein. The lipoproteins travel throughout the body in your bloodstream. They deliver triglycerides to your cells, which use them for energy. Or if you have more than you need, fat cells store the triglycerides as body fat. If you are 20 years of age or older, the National Institutes of Health recommends you have a blood test every five years. The test is called a fasting lipoprotein profile. During this test, a blood sample will be taken from your arm after you have not eaten for nine to 12 hours. This blood test can reveal whether your triglycerides fall into a healthy range. For most people, fasting triglycerides should be less than 150 milligrams per deciliter. 500 or higher puts you into the very high range. This means there is too much fat in your blood. Very high triglycerides can increase your risk of pancreatitis and other cardiovascular events, like heart disease. Ask your doctor what your triglyceride levels should be. In many cases, lifestyle changes can help maintain healthy triglyceride levels. These changes include eating a diet low in sweets, refined carbohydrates, and alcohol, getting regular exercise, managing your weight, and not smoking. Medications can also help treat impaired triglyceride levels. If your doctor prescribed medication to treat high triglycerides, it is important to take it as directed, and report any side effects you may have.

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Diplomate, American Boards of Electrodiagnostic Medicine and PM&R
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