Triglyceride Levels

Triglycerides, commonly known as fats, are important to keep track of, as their count in one’s blood can be indicative of his/her current fitness level as well as medical conditions. The most common deduction is that if someone has more triglycerides than the established medical range of normal triglycerides, that person is probably overweight and is likely heading towards obesity. While there are diseases like diabetes mellitus and certain genetic disorders that can raise the triglycerides levels automatically, generally it is the result of unhealthy dietary habits. If your blood triglyceride level is below 150 mg/dL, then you have nothing to worry about as it falls within the range of healthy triglyceride levels. Some of the athletes and sportsmen among us have an even lower triglyceride count than 100mg/dL and that is the optimum or ideal level for human beings. Normal triglycerides level is a sign of fitness as it shows that you work your body enough to burn most of the calories that you consume daily. When it comes to triglycerides, normal range is exceeded as soon as the tests show the level of triglycerides in blood has touched or crossed the 150 mg/dL mark. Up to 199 milligram of triglyceride in per deciliter of blood, it is considered borderline high, which means that it is time to be careful and watch the diet but not something to panic about. In order to be considered dangerous and alarmingly high, triglycerides count must be over 199 mg/dL and that would mean the person is very much susceptible to heart diseases. Anything over 499 mg/dL would suggest that something is seriously wrong and it has taken the level of triglycerides too high. A person with such extremely high levels of triglycerides in his/her blood would need immediate medical attention because not only will it make the heart extremely prone to atherosclerosis, but he/she could already be a victim of other more direct effects like fatty lever or pancreatitis. This extreme case of high blood triglycerides is medically termed as hypertriglyceridemia.

While there are more causes of high triglycerides than just obesity, it is certainly the most prominent cause as well as symptom of the fact that your blood has an elevated triglycerides count. Patients suffering from diabetes (mellitus) can develop very high levels of triglycerides in their blood at a rapid rate, provided the diabetes is not controlled with the help of insulin injections and other medications. Triglyceride levels can also rise if you do not burn the calories you consume, through exercising; if the calories are getting in your system through an unhealthy and ill-timed diet, elevated cholesterol levels as well as a host of other problems may begin to surface. Hypothyroidism, liver diseases, kidney issues, genetic disorders, estrogen replacement programs, certain types of medications and alcohol consumption are the other major reasons behind high blood triglyceride. As mentioned earlier, the most obvious symptom of accumulating triglycerides is the accumulation of visible fat, so if you are overweight, then it should be read as a symptom of excess blood triglyceride. In case of a rare genetic disorder known as familial hypertriglyceridemia, xanthomas or fat deposits may become visible just under the skin, but even people without the disorder may develop these lipid depositions if their blood triglyceride level goes up way too high (500 – 1000 mg/dL). Other than the xanthomas and the visible obesity of a person, in case of high triglycerides, symptoms are non-existent until they reach a level high enough to cause atherosclerosis, pancreatitis, fatty lever etc.

While low triglyceride levels are ideal for a healthy body, if it goes down too low, it is an indication of malnutrition or malabsorption. In order to be considered low, triglycerides count in a human should be below 50 mg/dL. If the count is even lower, that is below 35 milligrams, then it is a cause for severe concern and the person might need immediate treatment. An overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism) will speed up the metabolic rates and thus the person will run through his reserve energy supply (which are of course the triglycerides themselves) very quickly. In this case, an insatiable appetite can be considered as a symptom. Low triglycerides symptoms in case of malnutrition are the same as the cause itself, some of which are brittle hair, dry skin, cracked lips, being underweight and other similar symptoms. Malabsorption on the other hand, may point to the fact that the person is suffering from some sort of digestive disorder like Crohn’s disease, Celiac disease or may be even more serious illnesses like cancers or AIDS.