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Why Are High Triglycerides Bad?

Triglycerides are derivatives of fat in our body. They are unused stored calories in fat cells. They are produced in the liver. The body utilizes triglycerides to extract extra calories between meals. They circulate in the body through blood. When the levels of triglycerides are elevated in the blood, it may lead to a risk of heart diseases, heart attacks, and stroke.[1] High triglycerides render serious life-threatening complications in people who have diabetes and low level of good cholesterol in the body. The causes of high triglycerides are obesity, high intake of high carbohydrate, high fatty food, hypothyroidism, kidney disease, genetic predisposition, certain medicines, and diabetes.

Why Are High Triglycerides Bad?

High triglycerides do not show any noticeable symptoms. High triglycerides are bad because-

Triglycerides are energy sources stored in fat. But if its levels increase more than the requirement, it causes hardening and thickening of the artery walls. This causes a condition known as atherosclerosis.[2] It also increases the chances of developing heart diseases, heart attacks, and strokes. Very high triglycerides may result in inflammation of the pancreas.

High triglycerides are associated with obesity or abnormal belly fat, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart ailments. They are together known as metabolic syndrome.[3] High triglyceride can be a sign of-

  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Type 2 diabetes or prediabetes
  • Hypothyroidism (low thyroid levels)
  • Genetic diseases with impaired fat metabolism

Triglycerides are a common type of fat formed in the liver from the food we consume. It is used as energy sources at the time of fasting or between meals. The normal level of triglycerides is less than 150 mg/dL.[4] High triglycerides are bad because there is a risk of heart ailments, heart attacks, strokes, and metabolic syndrome.

Triglycerides are a type of stored fat found in the blood. They are formed in the liver when extra calories derived from our food are not used. They are stored in the fat cells for use during fasting period between meals or during starvation. They basically supply calories when required. They are circulated in our body through blood, so that each cell of our body can extract energy as the requirement. Hormones trigger a release of triglycerides to derive energy. If we consume more calories, especially high carbohydrate food than we utilize, then triglycerides increase in blood beyond normal levels.[5]

High Triglycerides Levels

The levels of triglycerides are measured during fasting period through a blood test. The levels of triglyceride are-

  • Normal – When it is below 150 mg/dL
  • Borderline – When it lies in between150-199 mg/dL
  • High – When it ranges between 200-499 mg/dL
  • Very High – when it exceeds above 500 mg/dL

High Triglycerides Risk Factors

The risk factors of high triglycerides in the blood are-

  • Overweight or obesity
  • Women who are pregnant or who consume hormone replacement pills or who suffer from polycystic ovary disease
  • Mexican American men
  • Indian Americans
  • People who have heart ailments before the age of 50 years[6]

High Triglycerides Causes

There are a number of factors that cause elevation of triglycerides, these are:

  • Hypothyroidism– people who have low thyroid hormones for a long time are more prone to have high triglycerides.
  • Diabetes– uncontrolled or poorly controlled sugar levels in diabetes can lead to high triglyceride levels.
  • Kidney Disease– chronic kidney disease also trigger in elevation of triglyceride levels in the body.
  • Genetic Makeup– triglyceride levels are also high in people have a genetic predisposition toward it.
  • High Consumption Of Alcohol- excess alcohol affects triglyceride levels.
  • Consumption Of High Carbohydrate Diet For A Long Time – high carb diet which contains more sugary food especially processed food are more likely to have high triglyceride levels.
  • Low Physical Activity– those who exercise less are more likely to have high triglycerides.
  • Medicines– certain medicines such as beta blockers, diuretics, antipsychotics, corticosteroids, etc can elevate the levels of triglycerides.[7]


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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:May 31, 2022

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