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Triglycerides

250
4.5
NABL, ISO
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Overview
Interpreting Results
FAQ's
Triglycerides

Overview of Tg

What is Tg?

Triglycerides are the main constituents of body fat and provide energy to the body. The extra calories that you eat, get converted into triglycerides. Triglycerides test measures the levels of triglycerides in the blood. High triglycerides levels are associated with an increased risk of heart disease, stroke and peripheral artery disease. Increased triglycerides levels may be a sign of Metabolic syndrome.

Why is Tg done?

The Triglycerides test is done:

  • As part of a routine check-up to screen for lipid disorders

  • To predict the chances of heart disease, especially in the presence of risk factors

  • To monitor the effectiveness of lipid-lowering treatment




What does Tg Measure?

Triglycerides test measures the levels of triglycerides in the blood.

Triglycerides are a type of body fat (lipid). Chemically, triglycerides consist of three ("tri-") molecules of fatty acid combined with a molecule of the alcohol glycerol ("-glyceride").

High levels of triglycerides in the blood have been linked to atherosclerosis which increases the risk of heart disease (Coronary Artery Disease), peripheral artery disease, stroke and kidney disease. Atherosclerosis is a disease in which plaque (made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances) builds up inside the arteries (blood vessels) resulting in narrowing of the lumen. This restricts the flow of blood to the organs and other parts of the body. Signs and symptoms of atherosclerosis usually do not appear until severe or total blockage of the artery (blood vessel). Therefore, most people are not aware of atherosclerosis until they have a medical emergency, such as a heart attack or stroke.

Increased levels of triglycerides may also be seen in Metabolic syndrome (cluster of metabolic risk factors for cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke). Very high triglyceride levels can also cause inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis).

Triglycerides test is usually done as a part of lipid profile which includes other tests like cholesterol, HDL (High-density lipoprotein), LDL (Low-density lipoprotein), VLDL (Very low-density lipoprotein) also.

Preparation for Tg

  • Do not eat or drink anything other than water for 8-12 hours before the test.

Sample Type for Tg

The sample type collected for Triglycerides is: Blood

Interpreting Tg results

Interpretations

      

  • Normal — Less than 150 mg/dL (1.7 mmol/L)

  • Borderline high — 150 to 199 mg/dL (1.8 to 2.2 mmol/L)

  • High — 200 to 499 mg/dL (2.3 to 5.6 mmol/L)

  • Very high — 500 mg/dL or above (5.7 mmol/L or above)


Note:  Triglyceride levels remain temporarily elevated for a period after meals. Hence, fasting for 8-12 hrs is required before the test.



Answers to Patient Concerns & Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Tg

Frequently Asked Questions about Triglycerides

Q. How is this test performed?
This test is performed on a blood sample. A syringe with a fine needle is used to withdraw blood from a blood vessel in your arm. The healthcare provider will tie an elastic band around your arm to make the blood vessels swell with blood. This makes it easier to withdraw blood. You may be asked to tightly clench your fist. Once the veins are clearly visible, the area is cleaned with an antiseptic solution and then the needle is inserted into the blood vessel to collect the sample. You will feel a tiny pinprick during the procedure. Blood sample once collected will then be sent to the laboratory.
Q. Is there any risk associated with this test?
There is no risk associated with the test. However, since this test involves a needle prick to withdraw the blood sample, in very rare cases, a patient may experience increased bleeding, hematoma formation (blood collection under the skin), bruising or infection at the site of needle prick.
Q. What is metabolic syndrome?
Metabolic syndrome is a serious health condition which is associated with the increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke. It is a cluster of below mentioned metabolic risk factors. Metabolic syndrome occurs when a person has three or more of the following risk factors: Abdominal obesity (Waist circumference of more than 40 inches in men, and more than 35 inches in women); Triglyceride level of 150 mg/dL or greater in blood; HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) of less than 40 mg/dL in men or less than 50 mg/dL in women; Systolic blood pressure (top number) of 130 mm Hg or greater, or diastolic blood pressure (bottom number) of 85 mm Hg or greater; Fasting blood glucose of 100 mg/dL or greater.
Q. What are the causes of high triglycerides level in blood?
High triglycerides level can be due to: Poorly controlled diabetes, kidney disease, obesity, cirrhosis or other liver diseases, high alcohol intake, hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormones), certain medications such as birth control pills, steroids, beta- blockers, diuretics, estrogen, tamoxifen etc. and genetic causes (Familial hyperlipoproteinemia).
Q. What are the best ways to lower triglycerides levels apart from medications?
A healthy lifestyle is the key to reducing triglycerides levels: Exercise regularly, lose weight and maintain normal body weight as per height, have a healthy diet low in sugars and fats, be more physically active and decrease alcohol intake.
Q. Is there any preparation required before the Triglycerides test?
An overnight period of fasting (8-12 hrs) is required before the blood sample is collected for the test. Inform the doctor about any medications you may be taking. Avoid high fat diet on the night before the test. Do not drink alcohol before the test. No other preparations are required unless specified by your doctor.
Q. What additional tests your doctor may order in case Triglycerides test result is not normal?
Your doctor may order the following tests in case of abnormal results: Lipid Profile, Fasting Blood Sugar, Blood Sugar - PP (Post prandial) and Glycosylated Hemoglobin (HbA1c).
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