Managing triglyceride level is important, as it determines the risk of other lifestyle disorders. High triglyceride is often linked with obesity, but there are many causes of high triglycerides in a skinny person also.
Triglycerides are basically a type of lipid or fat found in blood, which provides energy to your body between meals. Having the standard level of triglycerides is good for your health, but increased level of triglycerides in body can increase the chance of developing heart diseases and it can also be a sign of metabolic syndrome.
Usually, obese people are likely to have high triglycerides due to calorie rich diet and too much of fat cells in body. Contrary to this fact, there are some factors that can even cause high triglycerides in a skinny person. It is important to understand the normal levels and high levels of triglycerides along with the causes of high triglycerides in a skinny person.
What are High Triglycerides?
High triglycerides means you have elevated level of triglycerides in your blood, termed as hypertriglyceridemia. The level of triglycerides in blood is usually detected with simple blood test called lipid profile or lipid panel test. The test measures your:
- HDL Cholesterol
- LDL Cholesterol
- Total Cholesterol.
The blood sample is collected after fasting for 8-12 hours. This is because recent consumption of food can significantly increase the triglycerides level in blood. Alike other types of cholesterol, the level of triglycerides is also measured in milligrams per deciliter of blood. There are basically four categories of Triglycerides levels:
- Normal – Less than 150 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl)
- Borderline High – It ranges between 150 mg/dl to 199 mg/dl
- High – It ranges between 200 mg/dl to 599 mg/dl
- Very High – 500 mg/dl and above
Triglycerides are mainly stored in the fat cells of your body which is later released by the hormones in body for energy between your meals in a day. Eating more calorie than your body burns, especially the easy calories like fats and carbohydrates, can cause high triglycerides or hyper- triglyceridemia. High triglycerides can cause atherosclerosis in artery and increases the risk of strokes and hypertension in people.
Causes of High Triglycerides in a Skinny Person
Many people believe that only obese people are likely to have high triglycerides. But, some factors can even cause high triglycerides in a skinny person. There are no overt symptoms of high triglycerides in skinny people. The early symptom of high triglycerides in a skinny person is coronary disease which may develop in early age. So, even if you are skinny person, you are always required to undergo a lipid profile test to check cholesterol and triglycerides regularly.
Some of the common causes of high triglycerides in a skinny person include:
Regardless of your body weight and structure, refined grains and foods rich in sugar content can cause high triglycerides in blood. So, skinny people who consume foods rich in sugar content can elevate their triglycerides levels. This is an important factor that causes high triglycerides in a skinny person. White rice, pasta, white bread can convert into sugar in body and this can cause high triglycerides in skinny people.
Lack of Physical Activity
Another primary factor that causes high triglycerides in a skinny person is a sedentary lifestyle which is the commonest cause. People who don't perform workouts regularly are more likely to have high triglycerides in their blood and they are at risk of stroke and heart diseases.
Taking too much of psychological stress over a period of time is also one of the causes of high triglycerides in skinny persons. According to many studies, there is strong link between elevated triglycerides and stress. Due to high stress level the glucose level and fatty acid in body increase and this can elevate the triglycerides levels even in a skinny person.
Even people with healthy body weight can have elevated level of triglycerides in their blood because of the type of fat they consume. So, even if you are thin you may have high triglycerides due to the fat you consume regularly. Saturated fat is mainly found in dairy products, animal products, lard and butter, which when consumed more, can cause high triglycerides in a skinny person. Animal products, fried or processed foods are also high in cholesterol which can increase triglycerides.
Apart from sugars, refined grains and animal products, alcohol is also known to cause high triglycerides in a skinny person. Even small amount of alcohol intake can elevate the triglycerides level significantly and those who drink often can have high triglycerides.
High triglycerides can also be a genetic problem. This means that if anyone in your family or parents is suffering from elevated triglycerides levels or cholesterol levels, then you are susceptible to have high level of triglycerides, regardless of your body type and body weight.
Presence of diabetes is also one of the important causes of high triglycerides in a skinny person.
Ways to Reduce High Triglycerides in a Skinny Person
To reduce the level of triglycerides, skinny people must follow a healthy diet and lifestyle besides medications. Seeking medical advice can help to get the right treatment while the following lifestyle measures can be adopted.
Eat Right - Eat a healthy diet that contain fruits and fresh vegetables and avoid trans-fat and saturated fat products. Restrict the intake of sugary foods like ice cream, candy, soda, jelly and syrup. It is necessary to reduce the daily sugar content and limit it to 8% of your daily calories. So, replace simple carbs with whole grain breads, crackers, cereals, brown rice and pasta which convert into sugar gradually. To reduce high triglycerides, you need to limit the intake of trans-fat, saturated fat, cholesterol intake. You can replace the cooking oils and fats with monounsaturated fats like canola oil and olive oil. Omega 3 fatty acids are also approved to help reduce triglycerides levels in body. Avoid alcohol consumption.
Exercise Regularly – Being skinny doesn't mean that you don't need to workout. You need to perform regular workouts for at least 30 minutes daily to reduce your triglycerides levels. Walking, swimming or other types of exercises for at least 30 minutes daily can bring the triglycerides level to normal level.