Triglycerides

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Overview
Interpretations
FAQ's
Triglycerides

Overview of Triglycerides

What is Triglycerides?

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 your blood. High triglycerides levels are associated with increased risk of heart disease, stroke and peripheral artery disease. Increased triglycerides levels may be a sign of Metabolic syndrome.

Sample Type

The sample type collected for Triglycerides is: Blood

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?

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.



Patient Concerns about Triglycerides

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 attached is used to withdraw blood sample from a blood vessel in your arm generally from the inner side of the elbow area. The doctor, nurse or the phlebotomist will tie an elastic band around your arm which will help the blood vessels to swell with blood and hence 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 may feel a tiny pinprick during the procedure. Blood sample once collected is then sent to the laboratory.
Q. Is there any risk associated with this test?
There is no risk associated with the test. However, as this test involves a needle prick to withdraw the blood sample, rarely, a patient may experience increased bleeding, hematoma (blood collection under the skin) formation, bruising or infection at the site of needle prick.
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