Overview of Triglycerides
What is Triglycerides?
Preparation for Triglycerides
- Do not eat or drink anything other than water for 8-12 hours before the test.
Why Get Tested for Triglycerides?
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
Understand more about Triglycerides
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.
What Results of Triglycerides mean?
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.
Patient Concerns about Triglycerides
Frequently Asked Questions about Triglycerides